If Jesus Is God, Why He Cried Out, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”

Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Although he was in the form of God and equal with God, he did not take advantage of this equality. Instead, he emptied himself by taking on the form of a servant, by becoming like other humans, by having a human appearance. He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, death on a cross. 

Philippians 2:5-8
crucifix illustration
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Actually this cry, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” is a fulfillment of the prophesy in [Psalm 22:1]. But to better understand this cry, let us read Psalm 22 from verse 1 to 2; 

[Psalm 22:1-2]

1 My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning, 

2 O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer; And by night, but I have no rest. 

COMMENT: From analyzing the verses, definitely it is not an entreaty of Jesus to the Father because in verse 2, the Psalmist is restless by night, and his cry is not answered by God. While, Jesus was never deserted by the Father, in fact the Father dwells in Jesus [John 14:10]. The verses above is a pleading prophesy of a sinner (sinful mankind) who is forsaken by God. Since Jesus bears the sins of mankind and the pain of the punishment; He is presenting himself to God as sinful mankind who is punished on a cross because of sin. 

Prophet Isaiah foretold about the suffering Messiah or Jesus, to quote;

[Isaiah 53:4-6] Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 

[Isaiah 53:12] Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors

COMMENT: The above verses foretold the fate of Jesus who would become the bearer of our sins and the taker of our punishment. He would become the intercessor between God and sinful mankind.

Jesus although also God (since He is the spirit of God) did not use His power to his advantage, instead He emptied Himself to become an ordinary human. He humbled Himself, and followed the law accorded to humankind perfectly even death on a cross. Consider the verses below; 

[Philippians 2:5-8] Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Although he was in the form of God and equal with God, he did not take advantage of this equality. Instead, he emptied himself by taking on the form of a servant, by becoming like other humans, by having a human appearance. He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, death on a cross. 

Jesus had authority on Himself if He wanted to but He intentionally gave up His human life to redeem us. As He said;

[John 10:18] “No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”

After the first parents sinned because of the Serpent’s deception, God already had set up a plan to destroy Satan’s work, He said to the Serpent Satan; 

[Genesis 3:15]“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel”

COMMENT: This mentioned seed was fulfilled in Jesus who was born to a woman (Mary). The reason why Jesus was sent by God is to destroy the devil’s work through His death. So that in Jesus death, He might deliver us from the power of death inflicted by Satan. Kindly read;

[1 John 3:8] He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil 

[Hebrews 2:14-15] Since then the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 

The wages of sin is death, therefore mankind should die. God looked for a sinless man to be the reason He would not destroy the world but had found no one [Ezekiel 22:30 & Isaiah 59:16]. From this reason, God sent forth a spirit from Him to assume a human nature and die to save the world. Jesus took the penalty of death in place of us so that we may not perish because of sin [Psalm 73:27]. He bore our iniquities and died on our behalf so that we can become righteous and justified through Him [Romans 3:25-26]. By His suffering and anguish on the cross, God’s wrath became satisfied. As Isaiah prophesied;

[Isaiah 53:11] As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities.

Jesus was following the will of the Father, His fate was already written in the Scriptures since thousand of years before His birth. In fact His last word was, “it is finished” [John 19:30], referring to the fulfillment of the prophesies about Him. Kindly check this speech of Jesus to His apostles after His resurrection;

[Luke 24:44] “These are my words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” 

Furthermore, Christians are the modernizers of the world. They are the inventors of electricity, spaceship, computers, internet, cellphones, satellites, and many more. Therefore, Christians are genius for they are guided by God. Do you think when it comes to identifying God, they are so dumb? Christians believe Jesus as God because they have convincing reason. You study the Bible and you will see that Jesus is God. Imagine the world without Christians, the world of today would have been still barbaric. As a matter of fact even until now, many of the Islamic countries are still barbaric. Marrying a cousin, marrying a child girl, sex with a child , raping/selling slaves, and beheading/mutilating people are still practiced. 

Muhammad Could Not Read and Write?

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It’s not true that Muhammad could not read and write as the Muslims keep propagating. They do this to posit an impression that Muhammad was indeed a prophet since how he had acquired some biblical teachings if he’s not divinely inspired? The answer is Waraqah Ibn Nawfal, a Nestorian christian who happened to be the uncle of Khadijah bint Khuwaylid the first wife of Muhammad. Waraqah was the one who proclaimed Muhammad as their prophet in Arabia. When Waraqah was still alive in Mecca, Muhammad’s Qurans were Bible-aligned, pro-Jews, and pro-Christians. But when Waraqah died and Muhammad fled to Medina, his Qurans became brutal against the Jews and Christians. The Bible teachings had gone and the sword verses reigned in the Medinean Qurans.

The meaning of the word “illiterate” or “unlettered” mentioned in Quran is not referred to the person who could not read and write, but the person who is unknowing or ignorant of the Book (Torah and Gospel). Here’s the proof from Quran;

[Quran 2:78]

[Sahih International] And among them are unlettered ones who do not know the Scripture except in wishful thinking, but they are only assuming

[Yusuf Ali] And there are among them illiterates, who know not the Book, but (see therein their own) desires, and they do nothing but conjecture.

[Quran 3:20]

[Yusuf Ali] So if they dispute with thee, say: “I have submitted My whole self to Allah and so have those who follow me.” And say to the People of the Book and to those who are unlearned: “Do ye (also) submit yourselves?” If they do, they are in right guidance, but if they turn back, Thy duty is to convey the Message; and in Allah’s sight are (all) His servants. 

[Muhsin Khan] So if they dispute with you (Muhammad SAW) say: “I have submitted myself to Allah (in Islam), and (so have) those who follow me.” And say to those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and to those who are illiterates (Arab pagans): “Do you (also) submit yourselves (to Allah in Islam)?” If they do, they are rightly guided; but if they turn away, your duty is only to convey the Message; and Allah is All-Seer of (His) slaves

COMMENT: The (Jews and Christians) and the Arab pagans are contrasted here. The Jews and Christians who know the Book and the Arab pagans who know not the Book, also called ‘illiterates’ or ‘unlettered ones’. 

According to Quran Muhammad Could Read and Write;

1. [Quran 29:48] neither did you (o Muhammad saw) read any book before it (this Quran), nor did you write any book (whatsoever) with your right hand. in that case, indeed, the followers of falsehood might have doubted.

2. [Quran 25:5] and they say: “tales of the ancients, which he has written down, and they are dictated to him morning and afternoon.”

According to Hadiths Muhammad Could Read and Write; 

1. [Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 88]

Narrated ‘Ursa: the prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).

2. [Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 288 & Volume 5, Book 59, Number 716] 

Narrated by Said bin Jubair:  Ibn ‘Abbas said, “Thursday! What (great thing) took place on Thursday!” Then he started weeping till his tears wetted the gravels of the ground . Then he said, “On Thursday the illness of Allah’s Apostle was aggravated and he said, “Fetch me writing materials so that I may have something written to you after which you will never go astray.” The people (present there) differed in this matter and people should not differ before a prophet. . . 

3. [Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 59, Number 717] 

Narrated by Ubaidullah bin ‘Abdullah:  Ibn Abbas said, “When Allah’s Apostle was on his deathbed and there were some men in the house, he said, ‘Come near, I will write for you something after which you will not go astray.’ Some of them ( i.e. his companions) said, ‘Allah’s Apostle is seriously ill and you have the (Holy) Quran. Allah’s Book is sufficient for us.’ So the people in the house differed and started disputing. Some of them said, ‘Give him writing material so that he may write for you something after which you will not go astray.’ while the others said the other way round. So when their talk and differences increased, Allah’s Apostle said, “Get up.” Ibn Abbas used to say, “No doubt, it was very unfortunate (a great disaster) that Allah’s Apostle was prevented from writing for them that writing because of their differences and noise.”

4. [Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 3, Number :65]

Narrated Anas bin Malik: Once the Prophet wrote a letter or had an idea of writing a letter. The Prophet  was told that they (rulers) would not read letters unless they were sealed. So the Prophet got a silver ring made with “Muhammad Allah’s Messenger” engraved on it. As if I were just observing its white glitter in the hand of the Prophet.

5. [Sunan Abu Dawud 42:5117]

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: The Prophet wrote a letter to Heraclius: “From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, to Hiraql (Heraclius), Chief of the Byzantines. Peace be to those who follow the guidance.” Ibn Yahya reported on the authority of Ibn Abbas that Abu Sufyan said to him: We then came to see Hiraql (Heraclius) who seated us before him. He then called for the letter from the Messenger of Allah. Its contents were: “In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful, from Muhammad the Messenger of Allah, to Hiraql, chief of Byzantines. Peace be to those who follow the guidance. To proceed.” 

6. [Hadith about the (non) incident of the pen and paper (a Sunni perspective) [written by: Ibn Al-hashimi] 

The prophet asked for a pen and paper in order to write down some religious advice for the Muslims. however, immediately after asking for the pen and paper, the prophet fainted and became unconscious. while the prophet lay unconscious, a man got up to get the pen and paper, but Umar Ibn Al-Khattab called him away from doing that. Umar felt that they should not bother the prophet by asking him to write down religious advice, but rather they should allow the prophet to regain consciousness, get some rest, and recuperate. therefore, Umar said to the other Muslims: “the prophet is seriously ill and you have the Quran; so the book of Allah is enough for us.” 

7. [Sunan an-Nasa’i 4855] 

It was narrated that Ibn shihab said: “I read the letter of the Messenger of allah which he wrote for ‘Amr bin Hazm when he sent him to govern Najran. The letter was with Abu Bakr bin Hazm. The Messenger of Allah wrote this; ‘A statement from Allah and His Messenger; O you who believe! Fulfill (your) obligations, and he wrote the Verses until he reached. Verily, Allah is Swift in reckoning. Then he wrote: ‘this is the book if retaliation: For a soul, one hundred camels, ”” and so on 

8. [Saifur Rahman, The Sealed Nectar p.227-228] 

“Embrace Islam… If you two accept Islam, you will remain in command of your country; but if your refuse my Call, you’ve got to remember that all of your possessions are perishable. My horsemen will appropriate your land, and my Prophethood will assume preponderance over your kingship.”  

COMMENT: The above is one of the threatening letters sent by Muhammad to the rulers of other countries. This letter was addressed to Jaifer (King Oman) and his Brother ‘Abd Al-Jalandi, that they should accept Islam or suffer deaths and destruction. 

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