Saturday, October 06, 2012

Asking Why

Many times in life we ask "why" of God for the circumstances we face or see in the world.  Is it wrong to do so?  What about the Psalmist who asks why often?  What about Jesus himself who asks why God has forsaken him on the cross?

Bill at The Billy Goat Blog looks at this question, and asks why it seems necessary to act in any other way than to be honest in asking God why because God already knows our thoughts.  By the way, Bill points out that it is not wrong to ask God why.

I used to struggle with why Jesus says on the cross, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"  as we see in Matthew 27.  I had always assumed - mostly due to the way I was taught about this - that Jesus was merely quoting Scripture.  He was quoting a messianic psalm to show that by quoting a messianic psalm he was the messiah who was being referenced in the psalm.  David was really not asking God why about something, but was simply supplying something that the messiah would quote sometime in the future to show that he was the messiah.  Kind of a self-fulfilling prophesy by way of quotation resulting in a proof text.  (Kinda cool, huh?)

But then I started wondering if Jesus could really have asked why God had forsaken him because he believed that God had forsaken him.  In other words, I started wondering if Jesus were honest and human.

I've since concluded that Jesus asked why because he meant it.  He was human, and really did experience being forsaken.  That's what the atonement was all about after all, right?  He was forsaken of God so that we wouldn't have to be.  So he really was forsaken and really did ask God why.  And, as we know from other points of theology, Jesus was without sin, so we know that asking God why he was forsaken wasn't a sin.  It wasn't a sin for Jesus, so why would it be a sin for us?


  1. Amen!

    It must be the week for bloggers asking why. Funny - I looked at the Billy Goat Blog and his article on "why" was posted the same day I posted approximately 10,000 "why" questions about my 20-yr homeschool movement experience :) . . ok slight exaggeration on that number.

    I have found this weird blogger connection a number of times (and I've never seen Billy Goat blog before!).

    1. Julie Anne,

      In a few days I will have been blogging for 3/4 of a decade. It never ceases to amaze me at just the blogger connection you've mentioned. Maybe it's all a statistical inevitability, who knows. But it sure seems strange.

  2. Great post.

    What Jesus said from the cross was the thing that really opened Luther's eyes (and heart) to the gospel.

    That Jesus took upon Himself all our sin and foresakeness, that was ours...that He did not that we might receive. in exchange, all that was rightfully His...was truly, is truly an act of grace and mercy for sinners in rebellion.

    Thanks, very much.


    1. Steve,

      It's good seeing your comments again. Maybe some day we'll get to talk to Luther.