Growing up, I was taught that when Jesus was on the cross, God turned away from him because God could not look upon sin. The last few years, I have abandoned that theology.
These are just some the questions that caused me to change my thinking:
If God could not look upon sin, how did He find Adam and Eve in the garden? Why would He even go looking for them? Is sin bigger than God? Does God not want to deal with sin? Even closer to home: then how could He has seen me when I was a sinner? Does God not love us when we are sinners? Would God, who is defined as love, leave his beloved son on the cross without aid?
Then, I read Psalm 22, the Psalm that Jesus quoted while He was on the cross. If you read it from start to finish, you see that it was a prophetic psalm, detailing all that Jesus endured while on the cross. He was trying to show his brothers and sisters, even while on that cross, that He was the Christ.
So, today, when I read this in Isaiah:
54: 8 “In an outburst of anger
I hid My face from you for a moment,
But with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you,”
Says the Lord your Redeemer.
I had to put my finger to my chin and think about the phrase “I hid my face from you.” It just didn’t seem to make sense to me.
But then, I thought of myself as a parent because God continually identifies himself as the Father. There are plenty of times when my face is hidden from my dear ones, but even though they could not see my face, I could still see them. They just knew that I was still loving them, still there if they needed me.
Today, even though I may not see His face, I know He’s still there. I know that His “everlasting loving-kindness” is for me. I know that He is toward me and not away from me. I know that he is for me.