Why Have You Forsaken Me?

The Essential Unity of the Godhead

Many Scriptures teach the essential unity of the Godhead (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit).  In Deuteronomy 6:4, page 297, Moses declared: “Hear O Israel! The LORD is one! 1Moses used the term “one” (“אֶחָד”) to describe the compound unity of God–one God in three Persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit; compare Mark 12:29, page 1583 and Galatians 3:20, page 1823; some commentators claim that the term for one here stresses the “uniqueness” of God, but other passages provide strong lexical support for compound unity: Genesis 2:24, “one flesh”;  Genesis 41:26, “one dream”; Exodus 24:3, “one voice”; in contrast, the term “yachid” referring to a definite one apparently was never applied to God. Likewise New Testament authors make the same declaration concerning the unity of God. 3James described God as “one” (“εἷς”) (James 2:19, page 1889. In John 10:30, page 1677, Jesus described Himself as “one” (“ἕν”) with Father. This masculine neuter word means that Jesus was “one” with the Father in that: (1) Jesus did the works of the Father (John 10:25, page 1676) and (2) Jesus held believers in His hand and the Father held believers in His hand (John 10:28-29, page 1676). Jesus further elaborated on the this concept of unity with the Father in John 17:11, page 1689.  There, Jesus prayed for believers to be “one” (“ἓν”) with each other as Jesus is “one” with the Father.  Likewise, in John 17:21, page 1690, Jesus prayed also that all believers may be “one” (“ἓν”) as Jesus is “one” (“ἓν”) with the Father.  Jesus described this “oneness” as the Father being “in” (“ἐν”) the Son and the Son being “in” (“ἐν”) the Father, and believers being “in” (“ἐν”) both the Father and Son.  In this case, the essential unity at issue concerns the spiritual unity that testifies to the unbelieving world that the Father sent the Son into the world. As Jesus approached betrayal, arrest and crucifixion, He declared that He was never alone, because the Father was with Him, and that Father had not left Him alone because He did the things pleasing to Him (John 8:29, page 1671). 2Consider Isaiah 53:10, page 115, where the Father was pleased to crush Jesus, putting Him to grief, as Jesus rendered Himself as a guilt offering. Furthermore, the essential spatial unity of God with everyone doing His will adds weight to the claim that Jesus was never separated from the Godhead because He always did the things pleasing to God, especially during the work of atonement.        The role of the Holy Spirit plays an important part in the work of Jesus the High Priest, offering Himself once and for all as the perfect sacrifice for sin. Can you seriously imagine that Christ performed His work as Priest while being separated from the Godhead? Hebrews 9:11-28 provides a careful description of the atoning, high priestly work of Christ. More particularly, in Hebrews 9:14, page 1878, God reveals to us that Christ offered Himself “through the eternal Spirit without blemish to God . . . .” The work of the Holy Spirit indwelling Christ as He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice for sin must compel us to realize that Christ had not been separated from the Godhead during the work of atonement, which entailed His death on the cross. Therefore, the essential unity of God, and especially the work of the Holy Spirit in the offering of Christ as the perfect sacrifice, precludes any notion that Jesus was separated from God at any time related to the atonement or the high priestly ministry of Christ.

The Garden of Gethsemane        

Jesus confronted this issue of groaning for deliverance in the Garden of Gethsemane just before His arrest and crucifixion.  Jesus prayed specifically

References │ Page Numbers Below Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Moses used the term “one” (“אֶחָד”) to describe the compound unity of God–one God in three Persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit; compare Mark 12:29, page 1583 and Galatians 3:20, page 1823; some commentators claim that the term for one here stresses the “uniqueness” of God, but other passages provide strong lexical support for compound unity: Genesis 2:24, “one flesh”;  Genesis 41:26, “one dream”; Exodus 24:3, “one voice”; in contrast, the term “yachid” referring to a definite one apparently was never applied to God.
2. Consider Isaiah 53:10, page 115, where the Father was pleased to crush Jesus, putting Him to grief, as Jesus rendered Himself as a guilt offering. Furthermore, the essential spatial unity of God with everyone doing His will adds weight to the claim that Jesus was never separated from the Godhead because He always did the things pleasing to God, especially during the work of atonement.
3. James described God as “one” (“εἷς”) (James 2:19, page 1889. In John 10:30, page 1677, Jesus described Himself as “one” (“ἕν”) with Father. This masculine neuter word means that Jesus was “one” with the Father in that: (1) Jesus did the works of the Father (John 10:25, page 1676) and (2) Jesus held believers in His hand and the Father held believers in His hand (John 10:28-29, page 1676). Jesus further elaborated on the this concept of unity with the Father in John 17:11, page 1689.  There, Jesus prayed for believers to be “one” (“ἓν”) with each other as Jesus is “one” with the Father.  Likewise, in John 17:21, page 1690, Jesus prayed also that all believers may be “one” (“ἓν”) as Jesus is “one” (“ἓν”) with the Father.  Jesus described this “oneness” as the Father being “in” (“ἐν”) the Son and the Son being “in” (“ἐν”) the Father, and believers being “in” (“ἐν”) both the Father and Son.  In this case, the essential unity at issue concerns the spiritual unity that testifies to the unbelieving world that the Father sent the Son into the world.