Question 151:

Why did Jesus cry out on the cross: “My God, why have you forsaken me?” if he himself is God?


Answer: The question refers to the description of Jesus death on the cross according to Matthews Gospel, Mt 27:46: At about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice: Eli, Eli, lema sabachtani?, that is: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

That is a cry of complete want since Jesus is both fully God and man. In Jesus God came down to us in our mortal anguish out of love for us sinners and became one of us, except without sin (Phil 2:6-11). Jesus’ cry on the cross is not a cry of desperation. The lament taken from Psalm 22 is a prayer to God. In this Psalm, where Jesus prays, the lament is followed by the good news of the final victory.

My God, my God, what have you forsaken me?

Why are so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?

O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but find no rest.

Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.

In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted, and were not put to shame. (Ps 22:2-6)


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