Updated: Sep 5
And at three o'clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice "Eloi, eloi, lema sabachthani?" Which is translated, "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?" -Mark 15:34 with almost identical passage in Matthew 27:4
***Warning: This document contains an explicit and graphic explanation of the Crucifixion***
This famous passage is often viewed by Christians as suggesting that God the Father, who could not see sin, was unable to see Jesus on the cross because Jesus had become sin in order to save the world. I do not claim this interpretation is wrong, but it appears to me as being overly simplistic. Jesus was still God, and therefore still was able to behold the beatific vision. His obvious distress while saying these words appears to be in conflict with His vision. I'm not saying this can't be reconciled, but things get very complicated very fast when one tries to do so. I have taken a few tentative steps myself down this logic path, and found efforts to reconcile this conflict created conflicts in other beliefs I had. And, unlike this theory, these beliefs were well supported by other scripture.
Finding myself at a theological dead end is not proof I am right in dismissing it, but to sacrifice (or at least largely overhaul) major aspects of my faith for something that has a minor impact on Christianity as a whole seems to violate the Cardinal Virtue of temperance. I would love to simply consider it a mystery of God and move on to more important aspects of my faith. But this is not practical, either. Unitarians (and I'm including Muslims here) consider this passage as proof that Jesus was not divine. To go into a discussion on how God is three persons in one which creates a situation where Jesus could still have seen the beatific vision while the Father looked elsewhere is likely to raise some eyebrows and even more uncomfortable questions. And since I don't even trust my own line of thought in this direction, it would be foolishness to present it against an intelligent and inquisitive interlocutor. What I need in this situation is a different approach. Fortunately, I have two approaches, and they actually supplement each other quite well.