Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Jesus Forsaken By His Father

Chuckle: After being pulled over, the driver asked, “Why was I pulled over when I wasn’t the only one speeding?” The policeman replied, “Have you ever been fishing?” “Yes,” said the motorist. “And have you ever caught all the fish?”
Quote: "Live as if Christ died yesterday, rose this morning, and is coming back again tomorrow." -- Martin Luther

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?" (Psalm 22:1 NIV).
While suffering extreme agony suspended on a cruel wooden cross on a hill outside Jerusalem, Jesus quoted the first sentence of our passage as His life was draining from His body (Matthew 27:46). Although impossible for us to fully comprehend, an amazing fact remains -- Jesus, God the Son, was forsaken by (separated from) God the Father while He was dying as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. His death on the cross paid our sin debt so that we might be forgiven and receive eternal life.
Down through history, the cruelty of human beings against one another has been on display and often leaves us aghast. In contrast to our more humane and relatively painless executions by lethal injection, history is replete with attempts to devise ways of torturing people to death that maximized and extended the suffering to ensure that death came as slowly as possible. The longer a person suffered before dying the more pleasure it brought to the executioners and those demanding the execution. Crucifixion was one of the most heinous and cruel methods of execution ever devised.
But Jesus' death on the cross was not only agonizing for Him, but it must have been equally agonizing for His Father. It was the Father's fathomless love for us that caused Him to give His Son and forsake Him on the cross. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:15). "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
Because of His great love for us, Jesus took our sin upon Himself and paid the full price which included being forsaken by His Father, in addition to the excruciating physical pain he endured. Although the physical agony was horrible, even more horrible was being separated from God, His Father. God forsaken by God, who can understand it? It's a mystery far beyond our ability to fully comprehend. How could God the Father and God the Son love us so much?
Even though we can't fully understand the dimensions of God's love, we can only accept the benefits of that love by faith, with deep gratitude, and unending praise. When our finite minds contemplate the mystery of God's love, we should rejoice because of the peace and joy made possible by what happened on that cross almost two thousand years ago – followed by Jesus’ glorious resurrection the third day.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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