John MacArthur: “Because God is holy, He separates Himself from the Sin-Bearer.”
“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'”
“How can God be separate from God?
How can God, the Trinity, be divided?
How can the Father be divided from the Son?
How can God forsake His own Son when they are One in essence?
All He had ever known was the most intimate communion with the Father, the eternal love of the Father. And now He is exposed to being treated by the Father as if the Father hated Him, rather than loved Him. This is a strange miracle in which Jesus feels the alienation.
. . .
I can only read what you can read. I can take you back to Psalm 22, verse 1:
‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.
O my God, I cry by day, but thou dost not answer,
and by night, but I have no rest.’
And here’s the answer in verse 3:
‘Yet thou art holy, o thou who art enthroned upon the praises of Israel.’
The answer to why God must separate? ‘Thou art holy’
Because God is holy, He separates Himself from the sin-bearer.”
Listen to the full sermon here.