The subject scripture comes from Matthew 27:46 “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

Jesus had always felt the presence of his Father, he had always communed with Him in prayer, and was always assured of His protective care. Yet at this most crucial moment, as Jesus hung upon the cross, suddenly that seemed to all change.

Jesus’ words were a quotation from Psalm 22:1 “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?” (NIV)

For Jesus to quote this Psalm from memory would suggest that he had considered its meaning. In quoting the Psalm, Jesus was directing the thoughts of those that heard to consider that Psalm in its entirety. The entire Psalm is about his crucifixion and death. In other words the people were literally watching that prophecy being fulfilled. Since Jesus knew this was his destiny, his purpose then was to reassure all that it wasn’t the Romans that put Jesus on the cross, and it wasn’t the Jews that put Jesus on the cross, no it was Jesus who had put himself on the cross. He had accepted the terms that Jehovah had laid out for Adam’s (mankind’s) redemption. The terms were the life of a perfect man (Jesus) in exchange for the forfeited life of a perfect man (Adam). That was what Jesus offered.

But “why hast thou forsaken me?” Because an actual withdrawal of the Father's favor and communion was a necessary part of the Lord's suffering as a sin-bearer. The penalty of Adam's transgression was not only death, but additionally separation and alienation from God. Jesus bore the sinner's penalty in all its particulars. It was necessary that the Father should hide himself from him as though he had been the sinner.

If Jesus was fully to take the place of the sinner, he must know by experience, even if only momentarily, separation and alienation from God. This was to be a part of the full experience of a sin bearer.