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  1. What is the correlation between these two scripture?
  2. Why Jesus felt forsaken if he knew what was going on?
  3. Why was it mentioned in Old Testament as well as New Testament(in two places)?

My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning? (Psalm 22:1, NKJV)

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46, NKJV)

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This is only time in gospels that Jesus used God instead of Father. Our sins (all of them) must have some effects on the connection between Jesus and God. –  shakAttack Nov 7 '14 at 19:42

6 Answers 6

up vote 9 down vote accepted

He was quoting David in Psalm 22. But nevertheless, Jesus must have felt these words Himself. What it was like for the Son of God to experience "Hell", or separation from God, we can not begin to imagine.

We can only speculate that Jesus, when He uttered those words, felt God had abandoned Him in a real way, not a symbolic way. Jesus truly felt separated from God, and that was far worse than even the pain and suffering on the Cross.

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"the source of human depression" that is so pure speculation that it it devalues your answer slightly IMO. Unless you have some causal evidence with that? (not anecdotal, not correlation, but causal). I don't mean that nastily, but human depression is complex, often profound, and affects all backgrounds and walks of life - throwing this out there so casually is - unhelpful. –  Marc Gravell Mar 13 '12 at 19:08
Very much speculation and generalization on my part. –  Hammer Mar 13 '12 at 20:11

For the same reason so many other things from the Old Testament are mentioned in the New Testament: they're quotations. This particular one was a reference to the beginning of the 22nd psalm, and it's quite instructive to look at the psalm in its entirety. Of particular interest is verse 18, which had literally happened to him just moments ago. Jesus's invocation of the psalm gives a good look into his mindset and his feelings at the time.

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I agree. "The Psalm of the Cross." I like how the Psalm not only starts with "My God, My God..", but ends with something similar to "It is finished!" And everything in between can definitely give insight to what Jesus felt in that moment. –  Nick Rolando Mar 15 '12 at 0:32

The quick answer, the condensed one that I hear in homilies at Mass around Holy Week is that Jesus quotes this scripture to evoke the Psalm, not just the part of the Psalm where David feels forsaken, but the part where God is glorified.

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+1 because of "God is glorified" –  Vijin Paulraj Mar 13 '12 at 17:07

Take a look at this article which I feel explains one view pretty well.

"It is possible that at some moment on the cross, when Jesus became sin on our behalf, that God the Father, in a sense, turned His back upon the Son. It says in Hab. 1:13 that God is too pure to look upon evil. Therefore, it is possible that when Jesus bore our sins in His body on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24), that the Father, spiritually, turned away. At that time, the Son may have cried out."


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Jesus was really suffering. He probably could have used miracles to not feel any pain, but then the whole sacrifice would just have been a fake one. To be a real sacrifice, feeling real human pain, both physical and psychological, was indeed necessary in my opinion. Can there be any bigger emotional pain than feeling that God has forsaken you?

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I've heard (but I don't remember where) that Jesus actually had to work a miracle in order to suffer. His human nature was still united to His divine nature, so He still had the beatific vision, which would ordinarily make suffering impossible. –  Andreas Blass Mar 18 at 14:08

In my opinion God didn't turn his back but merely his gaze. Like any father asked to watch his son endure torture or pain God had to look away so that he would not stop what was always supposed to happen. It was written that Jesus would be born of a virgin, which He was. It was written that Jesus would be betrayed. Which he was. It was written that Jesus would then die for the sins of the world to be forgiven and that was done so that he didn't have to go back on his promise (with a rainbow) to never do what he did in the days of Noah again. Jesus died so we didn't have to. Our sins were all forgiven. We should however thank him for this gift by trying our hardest not to sin. Just cause we are forgiven doesn't give us free range to sin as we please.

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This answer would be a lot better if you could add references showing that this is a common understanding, and who teaches/believes it. On this site, we're not looking for personal interpretation, but rather focusing on what various Christian groups teach. See How we are different than other sites? and What makes a good supported answer? –  David Apr 21 '14 at 15:19

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