04 August 2008

While recently reading my Bible, I turned to Psalm 22. I suppose most people already knew of the prophetic content regarding Christ's sacrificial death in this Psalm, but somehow the fact had eluded me. I was struck by the detail and veracity in which the writer described Christ's crucifixion. Reading on, I found, as you will if you read, that all of the prophecies in Psalm 22 were fulfilled at the crucifixion of Christ. The most interesting idea presented itself to me when I came upon verse 24:

24 For he has not despised or disdained 
       the suffering of the afflicted one; 
       he has not hidden his face from him 
       but has listened to his cry for help.

This is intrigued me. For years I had heard that God was compelled to turn away from Christ at the point when he bore the sin of all mankind. Yet very plainly this verse negates that. I then referenced each account of Christ's death in the Gospels. Reading each account, I discovered that there was no statement implying that God had abandoned Christ. The only way would could suppose this is from the words of Christ "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?". I understand why one would draw the conclusion from this statement that God had abandoned his Son. But Psalm 22 is clear in its statement that God never abandoned his Son. Every prophecy in Psalm 22 was fulfilled. If so, then why would verse 24 not also be true?  Add to that the fact that not one of the Gospel accounts state that God forsook his son. Therefore it would seem apparent that God not only was aware of Christ's turmoil and suffering, but that he was with Him during the time. 
Men have tried to illustrate God's abhorrence of sin by stating that he was forced to turn His face away from Christ because of his embodiment of sin. I find that argument weak. If God is omnipotent, and omniscient, then he holds both the power over sin and is aware of its existence. To say that God, even in His holiness, could not view sin, is to admit that sin is more powerful than the Creator who allowed it to enter the world. Yes, without God's approval, sin could not exist. Many Biblical references illustrate God's knowledge and "sight" of sin. Such as the account of the Israelites worship of the golden calf in the wilderness in Exodus 32.
7 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. 8 They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, 'These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.' 9 "I have seen these people," the LORD said to Moses, "and they are a stiff-necked people.
Job also is another book that acknowledges God's awareness and viewpoint of sin in chapter 11: 

11 Surely he recognizes deceitful men; 
       and when he sees evil, does he not take note?

It seems Scripturally apparent that God has the capacity to view sin, and does so.

I admit that I am no theologian. I am only writing all this for veracity's sake. I believe it is incongruent with Scripture to say that God did or was forced to turn his back on Christ during the crucifixion. I leave it up to the reader to decide why Christ uttered the words found in the Gospels, and first written in Psalm 22:1. I still have not decided what I believe the reason is. If any one reading this has an opinion or explanation for this. Or believes I have misunderstood what I have read, feel free to comment.
Like I said, I do not pretend to be a theologian. I'm just thinking out loud here. 

No comments: