Bible Study

Did Christ Bear God’s Wrath On The Cross? (Was He Forsaken?)

Being presented with the question of whether or not Christ experienced God’s wrath made me think and feel a few things. I was trying very hard to find scriptures that specifically talked about God’s wrath, being forsaken, etc. My findings were…not what I expected.  

There are a few things we need to be familiar with.

(NIV) Isaiah 59:02, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.”

Sin separates us from God. This is a simple truth we know. Scripture is clear God does not tolerate sin in any form. He chooses to hide His face to sinners, regardless of prayers or even fasting. (Micah 3:04, Psalm 18:41, Proverbs 1:28, Isaiah 1:15, Jeremiah 11:11, Jeremiah 14:12) *Note: This is not saying the prayer of a sinner who is sincere and seeks repentance will not be heard. I’m saying sinners who will not change their ways and are not sincere. 

God’s wrath on sinners is not hidden.

(NIV) Ezekiel 8:17-18, “He said to me, “Have you seen this, son of man? Is it a trivial matter for the people of Judah to do the detestable things they are doing here? Must they also fill the land with violence and continually arouse My anger? Look at them putting the branch to their nose!” Therefore I will deal with them in anger; I will not look on them with pity or spare them. Although they shout in My ears, I will not listen to them.” (regarding the vision of idolatry in the temple.) 

There are a couple of reasons why sin separates us from the Lord and the most obvious is simply when we sin we are not serving Him. It’s about us. Not Him. We know God is a jealous God. (Exodus 34:18) 

Which is why Christ is so unique regarding this.

Christ Loved And Served God Always– Jesus was completely pure. He was a servant at all times. (Hebrews 2:09) He was never selfish, and the Lord WAS pleased with Christ. (Matthew 3:17)

I don’t think at all Christ was lying when He fulfilled scripture saying He felt forsaken. I used to look at the scripture and I thought Christ was declaring (in a way) that the Lord had physically forsaken Him. Many believers believe this, I did until a few days ago.

But then, I am reminded of Job. He felt despair and utter agony, and when he proclaimed these similar things in his prayers, God did not hold it against him, but we know the Lord was active in looking over Job. Job’s words weren’t sinning because his feelings were valid, and therefore, not lies, either. Is it possible Christ experienced something similar?

(NIV) Psalm 22:01, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from saving Me, so far from My cries of anguish?” (I highly encourage you to read this whole chapter, 22, is all about the cross and what Christ went through.)

Christ had prayed before He got arrested requesting that God be willing to take the cup from Him. It is clear the Lord’s answer to this prayer was, “No.” Therefore Christ would be not be saved and would have to endure persecution and death.

I want to point out how painful this had to be for Christ, especially the taunting of people telling Him, “Have God rescue You!” This was something CHRIST HIMSELF PRAYED FOR and He knew God’s answer was no. (Psalm 22:08)

Would that not feel like God had forsaken you?

We are not really given the specifics of what exactly being forsaken meant, and it’s important we do not add anything to scripture, but also to make sure we are not taking anything away either.

(NIV) Psalm 22:24, “For He has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; He has not hidden His face from Him but has listened to His cry for help.” (this does specifically refer to God listening to Christ)

This appears to show how God heard Christ, He may not have answered, but He was aware. Scripture many times as well shares how God listens to His servants (Psalm 66:20, Psalm 69:33, Psalm 69:17) 

I think it is possible for the Lord to not have forsaken Christ to a degree, but for Christ to feel forsaken. I want to make a clear distinction between sinners being forsaken and Christ. The difference in when Christ bore our sins was that HE WAS NOT A SINNER! 

The Lord forsakes sinners, so I think it is possible the Lord did not forsake Christ. But that does NOT at all, in any way, LESSEN what Christ felt on the cross! He felt forsaken because SIN TAKES US AWAY FROM GOD! Sin creates a barrier. It puts a veil over us. God, right now, has His hand prints everywhere on this world, and we, right now, STRUGGLE TO SEE HIM!

Scripture talks about Christ bearing our sin, but there are no scriptures that specifically indicate He also bore the wrath of God. But there are no scriptures that say He didn’t, either.

I think there was a lot of supernatural stuff at work in Christ’s mind and spirit, let alone what He was physically hearing and experiencing. Whether bearing our sins was an additional spiritual and supernatural weight that He felt on the cross or during the whole experience of His persecution, He bore them.

For God so loved the world, He gave His one and only Son (John 3:16)Christ was born to bear sin on behalf of us. 

Something we could never repay happened on the cross. He was completely innocent. Yet, He died in one of the darkest ways.

(NIV) 1 Peter 2:24, “He Himself bore our sins” in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by His wounds you have been healed.” (Christ became our example of suffering)

Through His death and resurrection, we do not have to face the Lord’s wrath. Through Christ’s sacrifice, God was appeased with our sin through His own Son. Willing to forgive us when we turn our sinful lives over to Christ and not cast us into His wrath. Through salvation, we bear the mark of His Son.

The point is what Christ went through, His entire ministry for the Lord and becoming our Savior says so much. He felt the pain of sin when He bore it, but praise the Lord never fell into its trap. His life was always about the Lord. It was always about God’s glory, getting us to know God, and He was willing to give us everything dedicating His life in all ways.

Even now, His eternal mission is the glory of the Lord. Never forget that


Comment Below:
What are your thoughts? Do you have scripture you think adds to this discussion, please share 🙂

Monthly Scripture – (NIV) 2 Corinthians 4:02, “Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.”

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14 thoughts on “Did Christ Bear God’s Wrath On The Cross? (Was He Forsaken?)

  1. In saying “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me,” Jesus would have been quoting scripture; Psalm 22 was already scripture by Jesus’ time. Recognizing that Psalm 22 ends with a declaration of God’s faithfulness and deliverance, it makes sense to understand Jesus’ words in Mark 15:34 as a statement of ultimate hope, from a place of terrible suffering. (The onlookers don’t get it; see Mark 15:35-36. But we can.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was just reading in scripture a few days before He was crucified He was praying and declared He knew God heard His words. It is true. Christ knew scripture and it was very common for people to proclaim scripture as a way to glorify God. Esepcially on the cross this is so powerful.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Very interesting! I’ve always thought of the cup that He had to drink as being the cup of God’s wrath. But now that you mention it, Jesus asks his disciples if they can drink of His cup, and when they answer “yes”, He agrees that they can. (Mark 10:38,39; Matthew 20:22,23) If the cup was God’s wrath, it seems to me that they would not be able to drink of it, given that there is no more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1), and that “God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Thess. 5:9 So, what would the cup be, then? Cup of suffering, maybe? Or just drinking the cup of the blood covenant that He cut with us on the cross? I’m not sure. But one thing is sure, and that is that Jesus took God’s punishment for our sin.
    I had a picture burned into my mind the other day that I think relates to this. It’s like Jesus was on the cross in darkness in the left, diagonal, half of the picture, and the brightness of God was behind and above Him, just on the other side of a line drawn between them, on the right diagonal side, and while the Father required that Jesus pay the price for our sins, He was looking on in love for His Son while His Son did what had to be done so that we would be able to be saved.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I agree, I think Christ bore something but scripture is not really direct on everything He experienced, but God’s wrath or being litterally forsaken are not as clear. I agree, too, Christ took our punishement regardless. I was hoping this would encourage everyone to really look at scripture and be aware of what we say scripture says when, in fact, it may not be what we think it is. Today I was going over the cup of suffering scripture, too ❤ It is true, God knew what was going to happen, even told Christ it was being glorified and would be glorified. So I see your picture making sense. 🙂 Glad for the discussion!!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I think when it comes to Jesus not truly being separated from God, I may need to catch the revelation. lol. I always came to the understanding that Jesus Christ literally took our place and penalty on the cross, taking on what we would have taken on if we died in our sins. I just read Psalm 22 and still didn’t catch the revelation. Perhaps in due time of His timing. Interesting perspective for sure sis, and a good read as always! God eye for pointing out that scripture doesn’t speak about the “wrath of God,” being poured. That was something I always assumed until reading this article. This makes me ponder about testimonies I would hear from people who died in their sins, went to hell and came back and lived a repented lifestyle. Anyway, blessings to you sis!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. See scripture really does not say either way regarding separation. It isn’t clear as people may want it to sound. That’s the main point. But scripture does, at least, indicate God did not hide Himself from Christ. But what exactly Christ experienced, its full depth isn’t given. We know He bore our sins and as I shared I think it was intense in all levels. Another commenter mentioned how the cup of suffering Christ drank from, scripture does say others can drink from. But again, this is not that people bear the sins of others, no. Our Savior is very unique regarding that and therefore His experience was so much deeper than anything we could ever experience. And yes, we can be persucuted simply because we love Christ.

      I’m really glad this made you ponder and so excited you were encouraged to read Psalm 22. It just truly paints a picture of what He went through. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on the topic! 🙂 God be with you, sis!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Oh, and regarding the wrath of God, I view it now as because of Christ’s sacrifice to bear our sins, we, at least, know, this glorified God and God accepted it as a worthy sacrifice so that those who are redeemed have been spared wrath because of Christ. 🙂

      Like

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