This fascinating paper explored many aspects of the subject, placing the fourth word in the context of the others. It passed on an interesting suggestion that Psalm 22 is worked out on the cross but in reverse order to the way it appears there so that Christ’s cry comes later whereas this is where David begins. In the presentation it came out particularly clearly that Christ’s mediatorship is encapsulated in the fourth word as mediatorship involves not only relationship but isolation too.
When we split into groups we were able to look at the subject in further depth. It became clear that if we do not begin with the penal substitutionary atonement view of the cross we will downplay the fourth word. Beginning with a victory theology it is very difficult to find a place for that word. His forsakenness is a mystery but perhaps we can distinguish between the loss of the sense of communion and loss of the presence of God. Although Christ could not have literally gone to hell, there is a sense in which he ‘descended into hell’ on the cross.
If the incarnation is mind boggling how much more his cry of abandonment.