Why did Jesus say “My God, Why have you forsaken me” on the Cross?

Mark 15:34 tells us that just before His death on the cross, the Lord Jesus Christ said “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” So, why did he say this? The answer is because the Father forsook Him and He was stating a rhetorical question to both express that, and also to fulfill the prophesy of Psalm 22:1.

For a complete understanding of this, there must be an understanding of what He did for us on that cross. The humiliation and torture, were only the beginning.

The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and in the Scriptures, death never means “ceasing to exist.” Death always means “separation” and in the case of Romans 6:23 it is eternal separation from God. That is the death that every one of us deserves. But “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

He “gave” His only begotten Son to receive those wages on our (those of us who have been born-again, by grace through faith) behalf so that in His righteousness, we could legally be called sons of God (1 John 3:1), inheriting a new, eternal, holy nature.

In order for the wages of sin to be paid IN FULL for anyone, there would need to be a blood sacrifice (life is in the blood) from one who lived without sin to substitute for us. Anything less would not be legally justified in God’s righteousness.

If the blood was not from one without sin, the debt could never be paid in full. It would need to be done over and over again, as it were in the old testament. If the blood was not from one who lived without sin, it would only be a partial payment and the sum would never, ever be paid in full, because eternity never ends.

Since Jesus Christ is not only fully man, but also fully God. He lived a life without sin and received those wages on our part. Our debt was paid IN FULL, yet eternal death could not contain Him (Acts 2:24) because He is eternal!

So although the Father had to turn His back on the sin that the Son bore on our behalf, it was only temporary because His Holy, Righteous Blood continually serves as the atonement for our sins, for eternity!

It all comes down to the eternity of God! Without the sinless life of Jesus Christ our sin debt could not be paid. And without the Eternal Spirit He could not escape death. but together, death has been defeated through the Holy and Righteous blood of Jesus Christ, our Lord, King and Savior! Hallelujah!

So, the answer to the question is:

1. Due to God placing the sins of the world on Him, the Father “turned away” and forsook Him, but only for a time, as that eternal separation from the Father could not contain Him, due to His deity (which presents a very serious problem to anyone who denies the trinity).

2. To state a rhetorical question in order to both express the fact that the payment was paid and also to fulfill the prophesy of Psalm 22:1.