• Matt O'Reilly

Did the Father Really Turn His Back on Jesus?


One common interpretation of this saying suggests that, at this very moment, God the Father abandoned God the Son. Unable to look upon the sin that Jesus carried for all of us, the Father turned his back, and the very heart of the Trinity was torn apart. This interpretation presents a variety of difficulties. What would it mean for the Trinity to essentially come apart? And is not the Father pleased with the Son? Why would he abandon his beloved at the moment of his greatest suffering? Even more, if the Father turns his back on the Son, can we trust God to be present with us when we need him the most? Jesus’ cry of forsakenness from the cross clearly presents challenges both theologically and pastorally. These difficulties have caused me to wonder whether there might be another approach to this passage? Can this text be heard on its own terms in a way that is faithfully trinitarian and pastorally sensitive?

Keep reading this post at Seedbed for the pastoral implications of a biblical and trinitarian approach.

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