Where was God when Jesus was on the cross?
We update studies as the Lord Jesus leads us. You can find the latest update of this study at ChurchAges.net
Great is the mystery of godliness, God was manifest in the flesh.First published on the 22nd of March 2018 — Last updated on the 8th of April 2018
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?
Isaiah, with his sparkling language and brilliant images, introduces a seemingly "impossible" Saviour-figure Who is to be born of a virgin and thus, though He seems to be a fellow Man, yet He also somehow lives far beyond or above our common human experience.
Unto us a Child is born, says Isaiah, Who is none other than the mighty God, the everlasting Father. This incredible God-Man is such a great mystery that He has split Christianity into three groups. The majority are those who believe that Father and Son are two separate Persons, each of whom is God. Yet somehow, no-one quite knows how, there is only one God. The Trinitarians believe in a God of three Persons and the Jehovah Witnesses believe in a God of two Persons.
Then there is a minority viewpoint, that God is one Person, due to the fact that the fulness of the Godhead dwelt in Christ.
Colossians 2: 9 For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
In other words, God became a Man and took on the human Name of Jesus Christ. His main Old Testament Name of Jehovah is never mentioned in the New Testament. The purpose of the Old Testament was to prepare the way for God to become a Man. Then the purpose of the New Testament is for God to make us into the godly and holy human beings that He always wanted us to be. Thus the Son of God was the human Man Jesus, that the supernatural Spirit of God dwelt in so that God could manifest or show His humanity. As a Spirit, God could easily demonstrate His supernatural powers. But since God made man in His own image, that indicates that there is also a human side to God.
In order to manifest His Human capabilities, God became a Man so that He could live with us (this is the meaning of His Name "Emmanuel") for 33 years and set us a perfect example. The Bible (the Word of God) is the basis for uniting the supernatural and the human. The Old Testament set the standards for the Messiah. Then all of God lived in the Man Jesus to fulfill the Old Testament prophecies of the Redeemer.
Jesus was the only Man that all of God could live in.
God needed human blood to atone for human sins. So God had to create a Body for Himself to live in. Then that perfect Man became the sacrifice for sin. Thus, when we are born again, God injects a portion of His Spirit into our hearts. This portion of the Holy Spirit is not only supernatural but also is partly human. Consequently this portion of the Holy Spirit makes us into the kind of human being that God wants us to be. So a little of God lives in us in order to demonstrate aspects of His humanity. That is part of what born again means. God wants to live out some of His human attributes in each of our lives.
But God can only live out His Humanity in human bodies.
The Devil was happy to live in the pigs at Gedara. Devil possessed pigs then drowned themselves. Suicide is Satanic. However God only wants to live in born again human beings and give them eternal life, rather than death.
God wants our old human self to die as He creates a new and better human being inside our bodies. God wants to make us into the human beings that He can use to fulfill His will.
The Bible establishes the truth, and also sets the limits for Godly and holy behaviour, in the same way that God set boundaries for Israel when He gave the Promised Land to Abraham.
Our promise is the Holy Ghost.
ACTS 2: 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off.....
Our land is the Bible.
We can extract every blessing and all our guidance and protection from the Bible, as well as learning in the Scripture about God's love for us and His plans for us, as well as our responsibilities towards God and mankind. The Bible also exposes the tricks of the Devil that keep us on our guard and stop us getting lazy and complacent.
A born again Christian has both supernatural and human characteristics that come from God, both of which are rooted in an understanding of the Bible. Only the Holy Spirit in you can teach you the reality of what the Bible says.
JOHN 16: 13 Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth:
Our old human spirit (think of it as a bad dog) clashes with our new human spirit (the good dog) that we get from God. These two dogs endlessly fight within us. The winner is the dog that we feed the most.
Let us first consider some visions of Heaven that people saw in Bible times.
Daniel, Stephen, and John the Revelator saw visions of God that seem to look like two People. These are the Scriptures that Jehovah Witnesses claim in order to prove their idea of a two-Person Godhead. The Father is God, the Son is a god (with a little letter g). The Trinitarians disagree by calling the Father God and also calling the Son God (with a capital letter G). But the Trinitarians can find no vision where anyone saw three Persons. The best they can point to is the baptism of Jesus where they see a Man and a Dove descending on Him and hear a Voice.
MATTHEW 3: 16 And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him (John the Baptist), and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him (Jesus):
:17 And lo a voice from Heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son , in whom I am well pleased.From that event most Christians imply that there were three People, but John never saw three People.
So no-one ever saw the Trinity in the Bible.
The father of a child is the man who places the seed of life in the mother’s womb. In the case of Jesus, this was the Holy Ghost. This fact is repeated twice, just to make sure that we do not misunderstand what happened.
MATTHEW 1: 18 When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
MATTHEW 1: 20 … saying, Joseph thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
Thus the Holy Ghost is the Father of Jesus Christ, and as such is the One who speaks and says, "This is My beloved Son" when He descends like a Dove. Again, as the Jehovah Witnesses insist, this still only looks like two Persons and not three. No-one can see a voice.
To be quite honest, if you saw a man and a dove you would only claim that you saw one person.
This evidence, if it favours either two or three Persons in the Godhead, tends to favour the Jehovah Witness two-Person Godhead, not the Trinitarian three-Person Godhead that was never seen in Scripture. No one ever saw a Trinity in the Bible.
God wanted to anoint Jesus publically and chose to represent His anointing Spirit as a Dove in order that we would not make the mistake of thinking that there were two Persons involved. When a preacher is anointed with the Holy Spirit, that does not make him two people. The Spirit simply anoints the man so that he can go into action for God.
If God is more than one Person, then God has no Name.
Jehovah Witnesses describe their two-Person Godhead as Jehovah and Jesus. Notice, there is no single name for their God.
The Trinity has a bigger problem. They name the Father and Son as Jehovah and Jesus, but the Holy Ghost has no name in Scripture. Thus they have two names for three People. This is not very convincing. They certainly have no single name for their Triune God. Since neither of these groups are able to provide us with one Name for the Christian God, these ideas of the Godhead are unsatisfactory.
Trinitarians attempt to fill this gap by saying, "In the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost" but they are completely unable to tell us what this Name is. Three titles is obviously not one name.
Thus a common problem is the inability of Christians to find one Name for either the two-Person God or the three-Person God.
So remember, their very plausible argument that Jesus on the cross was crying out to another Person in Heaven (God the Father) is thus an argument that results in the one God of the Christians having no single Name. In addition, God the Father does not pay the price for sin and is thus not our actual Saviour because God the Father effectively abandoned our Saviour Jesus on the cross.
But God is our Saviour.
ISAIAH 43:11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.
You cannot interpret a vision of Heaven by assuming that the Saviour Jesus is standing or sitting beside God.
Jesus alone washed or purged our sins away. So how can God be our Saviour?
HEBREWS 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
The right hand is a symbol of power.
MATTHEW 26:64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
ACTS 20: 28 to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood
But it was God’s blood that bought us.
ISAIAH 43: 3 For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.
Jehovah says here that He is the Saviour.
ISAIAH 43: 25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions
So Jehovah God blots out our sins.
ISAIAH 44:6 I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
You will never look into Heaven and see somebody who is God standing or sitting beside Jehovah God.
I JOHN 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
God’s Spirit is the only eternal life that never started and thus will never end. God always simply was. We cannot comprehend this. But this eternal life is in Christ.
We need to look at this situation on the cross far more carefully.
Before we try to puzzle out how Jesus could speak to His Father, we must first find out where God the Father was when Jesus died.
JOHN 4: 24 God is a Spirit.
God is not flesh and blood. So the Human side of Jesus does not make Him God.
1 TIMOTHY 3: 16 Great is the mystery of godliness, God was manifest in the flesh.
COLOSSIANS 1:15 [ Jesus ] Who is the image of the invisible God,
God lived inside the physical Man Who we called Jesus.
COLOSSIANS 1: 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
It was the supernatural Spirit that lived inside the Man Jesus which made Him God.
What fooled the Devil was the fact that Almighty God hid Himself inside a single Man Who was a suffering and severely beaten up Servant.
ISAIAH 45:15 Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.
When God saved us, He was hiding Himself somewhere. Where?
God always dwelled inside the perfect Man Jesus.
ROMANS 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son,
II CORINTHIANS 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself,
We were only reconciled to God at Calvary.
And God was in Christ when we were reconciled. So God was in Christ at Calvary.
JOHN 16: 32 ye shall be scattered..........and shall leave me alone, yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
The supernatural God remained inside Jesus when He was on the cross.
JOHN 10: 30 I and my Father are one
Father and Son were one Person because the supernatural God needed a Human body to die in so that perfect blood could be shed to wash our sins away.
ISAIAH 33:3 at the lifting up of thyself the nations were scattered.
Jehovah God got lifted up on the cross.
ISAIAH 49:16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands;
The nails were hammered into the Hands of the Body that Jehovah lived in.
I CORINTHIANS 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
Jehovah God will not give His glory to another Person.
ISAIAH 42: 8 I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another.
God will not give His glory to another. Yet Jesus was the crucified Lord of glory. This is only possible if the supernatural Spirit of God was hiding inside the beaten up physical body of Jesus.
II CORINTHIANS 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ
The glory of God is the shine on the face of Jesus Christ.
If the supernatural Spirit of God was living inside Jesus on the cross, why did Jesus feel forsaken?
ISAIAH 59: 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
If you are in the same room as another person and he deliberately turns his face away from you, then he refuses to communicate with you and you will feel forsaken.
The worst pain that Jesus, as a Man, had to endure was not the pain of the crucifixion but rather the pain of being separated from the communion that He had with the indwelling Holy Spirit. God had to shun Him when He took our burden of sin on Himself. He thus suffered and died as a Man when the supernatural God refused to commune with Him in any way. (That is the main reason for calling the Lord’s table the communion as we remember His death. Communion between Himself as a Man and the indwelling Spirit of God was His greatest treasure on earth. When that communion was broken at Calvary, it was the hardest part of His struggle to free us from sin).
ISAIAH 64: 7 for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities
Thus as a Human, He felt abandoned because He had to suffer in His Human strength. Virtually all Christians have felt a similar emotion at some time or times in their Christian experience.
Jesus had to endure this feeling of being forsaken so that He could suffer as we suffer. The feeling that Heaven's doors have been closed to us and we seem to get no answer from God.
But when we feel forsaken of God, it does not mean that God has physically left us. He simply hides His face from us for a while.
PSALM 77: 6 I commune with my own heart
David would commune with that indwelling spirit within himself.
NEHEMIAH 5:7 Then I consulted with myself,
The human brain is so complex that it can communicate with itself as if another person is talking to you. How many times have you argued with your own conscience which seems to be a separate voice within ourselves.
The Man Jesus relied on His communication with the indwelling Spirit of God.
JOHN 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
At Calvary, the supernatural Spirit of God could not communicate with the Man Who was covered in the sins of this world that He was carrying. Our sins. God’s supernatural Spirit withdrew inwardly as God does not tolerate the presence of sin. This left the human attributes of Jesus to fight against sin in His human strength. He triumphed despite the incredible pain and the desertion that He suffered. Jesus was tough, incredibly tough.
Death is the separation of the spirit from the body.
When He died, the Holy Spirit left His Body and went down to hell to dump our sins on the Devil, who is the father of sin. The Holy Ghost then took possession of the keys of death and hell, and returned back up to perform the resurrection by re-entering into His Body early on Sunday morning.
HEBREWS 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Jesus never changes. If God’s Spirit was ever in Him, then the Holy Spirit was always in Him.
ISAIAH 40: 25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? Saith the Holy One.
ISAIAH 46: 5 To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?
It is impossible for any person to be equal to Jehovah God. God is infinite. Our universe cannot contain anything that is infinite. So God fills and overflows our universe. There is just no space left over to squash in a second infinity. There is not even enough space for the first infinity.
PHILIPPIANS 2: 6 Thought it not robbery to be equal with God
JOHN 5: 18 Jesus……. said that God was His Father making himself equal with God
No one is equal to God. Yet Jesus was equal to God the Father.
This is impossible unless Jesus and the Father are the same Person. The invisible Father needing a Human Man to dwell in so that God could make Himself known to us by the behaviour of His Son.
But God the Father was also greater than Him.
JOHN 14: 28 for My Father is greater than I.
How is this possible?
Your spirit inside you is greater than your body, and controls your body. A case of mind over matter. But both your spirit and your body are you. When someone praises you for what you have done, both your mind and body share the praise because they are equally you.
REVELATION 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
ISAIAH 63: 3 I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me:
Isaiah said that Jehovah alone trod the winepress. But John the Revelator said that Jesus trod the winepress. So Jesus is the human Man that Jehovah God lives inside.
PSALM 85: 10 Mercy and truth are met together.
Mercy comes from the Humanity of God which He lived out in the Body of Jesus. Truth comes from the indwelling Holy Spirit Who requires high standards.
Mercy and truth met in Jesus. The perfect Spirit of God lived in Him and manifested the high standards of truth, and then His humanity mercifully offered His perfect Body as a Sacrifice for our sins, because He was a Kinsman Redeemer Who loved us and knew that we were unable to live by those high standards.
I JOHN 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
Jesus is both Man and God. A completely unique combination that no-one else could ever achieve.