He did not spare His own Son

A depiction of the Raising of the Cross, by Sebastiano Mazzoni, 17th century, Ca’ Rezzonico

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning? 

God … did not spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all.

Psalm 22:1; Romans 8:31.32

The life of Jesus was characterized by obedience to God, His Father, not through coercion, but out of love towards Him. As the crucifixion drew nearer, He said, “That the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave me commandment, so I do” (John 14:31). In obedience He allowed Himself to be crucified, giving His life for the guilty. Thus He proclaimed His love both of the Father and us. He was obedient even to “the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8). No human love is comparable to the Father’s love of His Son, and that of the Son for the Father.

God’s righteousness demanded a ransom, so that He might show grace to the guilty, such as us. Jesus was therefore laden with our sins, He was “made sin for us” (2 Corinthians 5:21). God punished His own Son. Isaiah had announced: “He was bruised for our iniquities. … The LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (ch.53, 5-10).

In those hours of unspeakable distress, Jesus turned to God whom He loved and in whom He still confided. But God, in His holiness, forsook His Son laden with our sins. And Jesus cried out with a loud voice: “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).

God gave us His Son. “The Son of God … loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Thus spoke one whose sins were atoned for on the cross. God is indeed love  (cf. 1 John 4:8).

Image: By Didier Descouens – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=85004855