For the entirety of the Old Testament, God was known by His title, “God,” and His name, “Yahweh”. In giving His title and name to individuals and then to the nation of Israel, He made it clear that He desired to know and to be known by them.

When we arrive in the New Testament, there is another title that Jesus introduced – “Father.” Over and over, when Jesus refers to God, He always called Him “Father.”

In fact, when He was teaching His disciples how to pray, listen to what He told them to call God…

Matthew 6:9 “Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven…”

By using this new title for God, Jesus made it clear that God didn’t simply want to be known by us. He wanted relationship with us.

God wanted us, through Jesus, to enter into a family relationship with Him in which He is our Heavenly Dad and we are His children.

John 1:12 “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,”

As part of the Trinity, Jesus took the role of Son and enjoyed an intimate (family-like) relationship with God the Father and He wanted us to enjoy it, too.

In fact, Jesus enjoyed this relationship with the Father so much that He ALWAYS called God “Father” … except on one occasion. In my study of God’s Word, I have only been able to find one single instance where Jesus referred to God as something other than “Father.” Here it is…

Mark 15:34 “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'”

Jesus uttered these words (in Aramaic) on the cross. The above passage tells us that it was “at the ninth hour” which was 3 PM. This was the time at which Jesus gave up His spirit and died.

From this verse, we realize that moments before He died, He God “God,” not “Father.”

Why? Why did He not refer to God as His Father as He had always done?

Because at that moment, He was wearing the guilt of our sin. God looked on Him as our substitute and saw Jesus as being guilty of every sin we would ever commit.

So, in that moment, God was displeased with His Son and was pouring out the wrath we deserve upon Him (see Isaiah 53, esp. verse 10). In that moment, there was no family relationship. There was no “Father.” Only “God” who was administering justice.

He did that for you, friend. In fact, He did that for every single person who will ever trust in Him for salvation.

When we realize that Jesus bore our guilt as He called God “God,” He was doing so in order that we will ALWAYS be able to call God “Father.” He temporarily lost the relationship so that we will never lose our relationship with our Creator and Savior.

Bless His Name!

man kneeling in front of cross
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