Devotions for Holy Week
From First Assembly of God, Brookfield, CT
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
The 4th Saying of Jesus on the Cross
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is to say, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46)
As the end of his life drew near (ninth hour: 3 p.m.), Jesus cried out to his God, not to himself, but to His God. God who had come in the flesh, to live and dwell among His people, Jesus was crying out to His God, “My God, my God.”
Hanging on the cross, He was bearing the total weight and punishment of sin for the entire world at this moment. Was this how it was supposed to be? To endure this much pain? To endure this much agony? To carry this great of a burden, for the sin of the entire world cast upon Himself? Yet it was the iniquity of us all that was laid upon Christ (Isaiah 53:6).
How could the King of Israel, willingly submit Himself to dying on a cross, like this? The power of God was demonstrated through His life many times before, why wasn’t the power of God visible again, even now? Yet it was, only not in the manner of man’s desire, but according to God’s will.
Can you imagine hearing the despair in the Lord’s voice as He cried out to his God? Can you imagine the pain in His body as He tried to summon the strength and energy to shout as loudly as he did to God, for help? Yet, the answer was neither seen, nor heard. He was left alone, to die, so that the atonement was completely satisfied and His will would be done.
There may be, or have been, times in our lives when we have felt as if God has forsaken us, or forgotten about our troubles, pain, despair or the help we so desperately need from Him. No doubt, we may have cried out to God loudly too, just as Jesus did as He hung on the cross until He died.
The suffering of Christ on the cross was and is for the glory of God. It always has been and it always will be. Jesus may have felt abandoned by God during that hour of His death, but He wasn’t abandoned by his God at all. The will of God had to be fulfilled first before the power of God could be seen.
While it seems that God couldn’t intervene and help Jesus as He was dying upon the cross when he cried out to Him, He really did.
If it weren’t for God leaving Christ upon the cross, to atone for our sins, we couldn’t possibly live in His mercy and grace, nor know the greatness of His love.
Kurt is currently serving as a Pastoral Intern at First Assembly of God in Brookfield, CT. He and his wife Kristi live in Danbury.
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