Have you ever noticed the famous words of Jesus while hanging and dying on the cross? “My God, my God why have You forsaken me?” It just seems odd that at Jesus’ lowest moment He makes the claim that God had forsaken Him. You would think at the point of Jesus facing death, God would have drawn closer to Him. Think about it, Jesus beaten, bleeding, barely clothed and mocked and this is the cry of His heart because the One He referred to as Father, was no where to be found.
For us to understand the severity of that moment we must also understand the severity of the punishment. When the Romans at that time punished people by whipping and hanging them on the cross, it was a very cruel punishment. Their whips were engraved with sharp objects. Every stroke of the whip would wrap around a person’s body to tear the flesh apart as the Roman soldier would pull the whip back, often leaving a person trying to hold their insides in. Jesus endured this beating with thirty-nine strokes. You can only imagine what kind of mangled mess He looked like. Jesus was hanging on a cross with nine-inch nails driven through His hands and feet. His insides, most likely were barely held together and what does Jesus utter? According to Jesus’ own words God turns His back on Him and literally forsakes Him! The question to ask is, why?
If we want to know why God turned His back on Jesus hanging on the cross, we must look back four hundred years prior to this event to see it through the eyes of the prophet Isaiah. “For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you. With a little wrath, I hid my face from you for a moment. But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you.” Isaiah 54:7&8
This moment was foretold to happen and I am sure that Jesus was plenty aware of what He would be going through. This is important for you to understand. Jesus, even knowing what was going to happen still felt the pain and struggled to cope with it, even emotionally. In other words, Jesus was heartbroken and hurt that God had turned His back on Him, even though He foreknew through the prophecies this had to take place. Everything Jesus went through we deserved. Jesus did not die for you, He died as you! All humanity deserved for God to turn His back on them, but He has not done so, nor will He. Why? He already turned His back on Jesus who was our replacement. If God already turned His back on Jesus who died as you, why would you believe God would turn His back on you? Furthermore, why would you believe a religious lie that He does turn His back, therefore; you take on the guilt, shame and struggle, internalizing all the emotional punishment that comes with it. Jesus already took that for you, too.
You should never have a day were you believe that God has “hung you out to dry” even when you think you deserved it. Read the second part of Isaiah’s statement again. “…. with great mercies, I will gather you…. with everlasting kindness, I will have mercy on you, says the Lord your Redeemer.” Jesus died as you, He took the penalty of sin as you, endured God’s wrath as you, He was forsaken as you and for what reason? So God would never punish you but instead have everlasting kindness and mercy towards you. How long is everlasting kindness? That means FOREVER! Even on your worst days, it never ends.
Let me end this blog with the same question I began with. Have you ever notice the famous words Jesus uttered on the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Do you find that odd? I don’t, because now I can say, “My Father, My Father, You will never leave me nor forsake me.” Notice the only time Jesus referred to God as God, instead of Father in scripture was that moment on the cross. Why? Because God, in that moment rejected Jesus as His Son so that He would never reject you or anyone else as His sons and daughters. Jesus died and was punished as you, so you could forever be brought into the family of God and never be a disappointment in the eyes of God! God is happy with you All THE TIME!
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Are you looking for a Gospel of grace church that preaches the finished work of Jesus? Do you enjoy ministries like Joseph Prince, Andrew Wommack and Lynn Hiles? If so, Reveal Church might be the perfect fit for you. Come join us Sunday mornings at 10 am. We meet at Copper Stone Executive Business Center at 3632 Land O Lakes Blvd. Land O Lakes, FL. 34639. Children’s church is provided for all ages. Pastor Brian has been ministering the gospel of grace message since 1999, with powerful truths that will continue to empower you to walk out God’s best for your life as you stay at a place of rest in Christ. Come be a part of this powerful start up gospel of grace church and help us reach the Tampa Bay area with the message of the finished work of Christ. We look forward to seeing you this Sunday!