As a hospice chaplain when I pray with folks I often
Jesus promised that he is closest when we are most in the trials of life. During these trials, we are apparently left completely alone, although in fact we are not alone – at those times God is most intimately present at our deepest level giving us support. Because of that inner presence, when any of us have success in a spiritual test we form a partnership with God at the deepest level. In the Lord’s case, he was then united to God, his Father, at the deepest level.
The Lord was left to himself during the suffering on the cross, as is clear from his crying out on the cross: “God, why have you abandoned me?” [Matthew 27:46]. This is also clear from the following words spoken by the Lord: “No one is taking my life away from me – I am laying it down by myself. I have the power to lay it down and I have the power to take it up again. I received this command from my Father” (John 10:18).
From the points just made it is clear that it was not the Lord’s divine nature that suffered, it was his human nature; and then the deepest union, a complete union, took place.
An illustration of this is that when we suffer physically, our soul does not suffer, it merely feels distress. After victory, God relieves that distress and washes it away like tears from our eyes.