Intro

This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?"

QUESTION: Explain the words of Christ on the cross, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" — Matt. 27:46.

ANSWER: It is said that Martin Luther, after several hours' meditation on these words, exclaimed, "God forsaken of God! I cannot understand it. I cannot understand it." I sympathize with the great reformer. The personality of Christ in whom two natures are blended is unique and beyond our poor philosophy. Still more unfathomable is the unique act of atonement for sin which he was making when this dereliction took place. But we must believe that Christ, "the fullness of the Godhead bodily," ever had the inner consciousness of union with his Father indestructible and that there was no objective withdrawal of the Father and much less was he hurling down the thunderbolts of wrath upon the head of his beloved Son as a vicarious malefactor enduring punishment. Calvary was a scene of suffering but not of punishment. It is reasonable to believe that in the intensity of the unspeakable physical and mental agonies of Jesus, the pain and loss of blood so affected his brain as momentarily to interrupt communion with the skies, that — to use a modern illustration — the receiver of his telephone was out of repair so that the uttered love of the Father was not heard. Dr. A. Clarke inclines to the theory that the word "why" is capable of being translated. thus: "To what kind of men have you left me?" thus reflecting upon the cruel ingrates who were murdering him, rather than on the withdrawal of his Father. There is some ground for this exegesis, but to most Greek scholars it must appear to be strained.

Steele's Answers pp. 213, 214.