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"Why Have You Forsaken Me?"

The Difficult Sayings of Jesus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Mark 15:34 ESV
34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Matthew 27:46 ESV
46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Matthew
Sermon Series: “The Difficult Sayings of Jesus”
Today the difficult saying that we are going to study is one that Jesus said while dying on the cross of Calvary.
“My God, My God, why have Your forsaken Me?”
This is the hardest of all the hard sayings. Reported by both Mark and Matthew, both gospel writers recorded that after Jesus said these words, with a loud cry, Jesus breathed His last.
I’m sure that some of you have wondered what this really means. The common theological answer lies what Isaiah said that “God laid on Jesus the iniquity of us all”.
When Jesus was dying on the cross, the sins of the whole world have been placed on on Him. Therefore a Holy God could not stand the sight of it and for a moment turned His back on Jesus. The wrath of God was then poured out on Jesus in our behalf.
In saying “My God, My God why have You forsaken Me?..” We think of Jesus crying for help or a cry of loneliness or desolation.
To study this, we have to start with the doctrine of GRACE.
GRACE
Grace is a common word used by Christians and has been defined by Theologians in terms that are easier to understand. We think of grace as “unmerited favor”, the means by which we are saved.
G.R.A.C.E. - God’s riches at Christ’s expense.
All these cliches on grace are sound and true, but they lead us to confine the doctrine of grace to the writings of St. Paul. And many Christians, even seasoned Theologians tend to ascribe this teaching to the Apostle Paul.
What I believe is this...
Nobody can teach GRACE better than the One Who provided for it.
Jesus is still the greatest teacher of Grace because He is the Author of it.
Grace is the consistent story of God’s rescue unfolding throughout scripture.
G.R.A.C.E. - The Greatest Rescuing ARM in Christ, Extended to all of us.
Now we go back to today’s difficult saying of Jesus.
In saying “My God, My God why have You forsaken Me?..” We think of Jesus crying for help or a cry of loneliness or desolation.
In reality, in doing so Jesus was actually quoting from an Old Testament Psalm.
.
Psalm 22:1–18 ESV
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? 2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. 3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. 4 In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. 5 To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame. 6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people. 7 All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; 8 “He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!” 9 Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts. 10 On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother’s womb you have been my God. 11 Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help. 12 Many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me; 13 they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; 15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death. 16 For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet— 17 I can count all my bones— they stare and gloat over me; 18 they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.
Psal
was written by David a 1,000 years before Jesus was born. At that time crucifixion was not even invented yet. But the Psalm clearly talks about crucifixion from verse 16, “they have pierced My hands and My feet”.
In verse 14, the Psalmist said “all my bones are out of joints, my heart melts like wax”. In the crucifixion process the blood loss causes the heart to beat harder and harder and Jesus became extremely fatigued.
Jesus proclaimed His mission in the midst of agony.
The rest of the Psalm is an accurate depiction of the horrors of crucifixion and its physical torment.
In verse 14, the Psalmist said “all my bones are out of joint, my heart melts like wax”. In the crucifixion process the blood loss causes the heart to beat harder and harder and Jesus became extremely fatigued.
In verse 15 we see that Jesus was dehydrated.
In the middle of all the unimaginable suffering, the Psalm says that Jesus had to endure the scorn of men.
So great the physical suffering may be, as He hung in excruciating pain on the cross, the pain of His broken heart is even much greater.
Jesus did this for you and for me.
So great the physical suffering may be, as He hung in excruciating pain on the cross, the pain of His broken heart is even much greater.
Salvation is free but it is very costly.
Hebrews 5:7–9 ESV
7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. 8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. 9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,
A lot of Christians think of God’s grace as an entitlement or a license to do whatever.
What does this teach us? We get a better appreciation of the grace of God.
a. If Christ cried in faith so do we.
b. If Christ learned obedience through His death. We must learn obedience through His life in us.
Grace and Faith go hand in hand.
A lot of Christians think of God’s grace as an entitlement or a license to do whatever.
We have entitlements and it is not necessarily bad. It only becomes bad when we misuse it. It becomes seriously bad when we abuse it!
Case in point: Taking a sick leave at work.
Most employees are entitled to a paid time off if they are sick.
Do you think your supervisor does not notice that you only get sick on Mondays or Fridays?
Story is told of an employer who called in sick always on Fridays: (leaves a VM early to make sure his boss wasn’t there yet, had to make himself sound really sick - holding his nose, beating his chest) . One time he was surprised that the boss picked up the phone, upon picking up the boss said “Enjoy your long weekend!”
You see the point is that you are entitled to a sick leave, but do not misuse or abuse the privilege, do not lie about your health.
Note too that even though a sick leave is a privilege that you get a day off for free, it is not really free, someone still has to pay for the amount of your daily rate.
The same with salvation although it was freely given to you as a gift - it was not totally free, someone paid for that gift. It cost the life of God’s most precious and beloved Son.
2. Jesus pointed us to Himself.
Practice of the Rabbi prompting his students...
Verses of God’s rescue..
Excerpts:
We have entitlements and it is not necessarily bad. It only becomes bad when we misuse it. It becomes seriously bad when we abuse it!
Case in point: Taking a sick leave at work.
Practice of the Rabbi prompting his students...
Most employees are entitled to a paid time off if they are sick.
Do you think your supervisor does not notice that you only get sick on Mondays or Fridays?
When Jesus said those words, to those who had open ears, if they recognize the passage that Jesus quoted from the Hebrew Bible spoken in Aramaic. They actually would have understood that Jesus was making a claim: “I am the Messiah. See, this was written of Me. What you’re witnessing today is part of God’s plan!"
Story is told of an employer who called in sick always on Fridays: (leaves a VM early to make sure his boss wasn’t there yet, had to make himself sound really sick - holding his nose, beating his chest) . One time he was surprised that the boss picked up the phone, upon picking up the boss said “Enjoy your long weekend!”
He is reaching out to them. If you only knew that this suffering is part of God’s plan to save you!
He was pointing them to Himself. I am the One! What you are witnessing here is part of God’s plan.
The cross is the center of God’s plan for all of human history.
You see the point is that you are entitled to a sick leave, but do not misuse or abuse the privilege, do not lie about your health. People are praying to be healed and some of pretend to be sick??
Jesus is pointing you to Himself even now. In spite of what you are going through - God has a plan!
His ways are higher.
You know the saying: “The Thrill of Victory. And the Agony of Defeat!” (the feet)
He is teaching us that it is not all about winning, the way we have defined it. It is about God’s plan even in face of an agonizing defeat!
You may be suffering and facing an agonizing defeat
Jesus cried on the cross, and instead of being rescued out of the cross, God did something more magnificent - He rescued scores of other people from their sin.
Note too that even though a sick leave is a privilege that you get a day off for free, it is not really free, someone still has to pay for the amount of your daily rate.
The same with grace, although it was given to you - it was not totally free, someone paid for that gift. It cost the life of God’s most precious and beloved Son.
Jesus’ cry is actually a quote from . A messianic Psalm that was a prophesy of Jesus’
Verses of God’s rescue..
Hebrews 5:9 ESV
9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,
Hebrews
Jesus cried on the corss, and instead of being rescued out of the cross, God did something more magnificent - He rescued scores of other people from their sin.
Jesus cried on the corss, and instead of being rescued out of the cross, God did something more magnificent - He rescued scores of people from their sin
That is the story of Grace. When Jesus cried out “My God, My God Why have You forsaken Me?” It is not because Jesus wondered why these things are happening but He is telling us that we are the ones who really needed rescuing.
If you are a child of God living in His will, God has a plan through everything you are going through. In the end, He will rescue you.
Jeri and gas money. Independent, leaves the house sometimes without telling us, Guia and I will be wondering. Where did he go?
Gas money conversation..
I am here to rescue you.
3) Jesus identified with all our predicaments.
We need rescue every day.
Grace means in spite of our mistakes and our bad decisions God continues to stand by our side to rescue us if we call upon Him.
Christ identifies with us
Christ identifies with us
Because He knows that in our frailty in the story of our finite human condition, there are times that we feel and even ask:
“My God, why have you abandoned me, why did you let this happen?”
“My God, where are you?”
My God, why Me?” Sometimes we even sin when we ask that. God, why me? why not him? He deserves it more!
This is why we need to learn grace.
Until we learn grace, we will continue to ask God these “why” questions.
“LEARN THIS”
We will stop asking God the why questions and instead our hearts will just be so full of gratitude.
Instead of “earn this”
- Thank You God that you work all things (ALL - even my problems, hurts) for my ultimate good!
• Thank You God that in teaching me, I learn from my mistakes and I emerge a much better person.
“LEARN THIS”
• Thank You God that you prepare me to face the next great challenge.
That is GRACE!
The One who saved us is Alive forever more, ready to help us so that we continue to learn of WHo He is in His fullness:
If we experience grace it is just right to stop asking the WHY questions. But even more profoundly, God changes the WHY questions.
The One who saved us is Alive forever more, ready to help us so that we continue to learn of WHo He is in His fullness:
• Instead of “Why did you forsake me”? You will ask God “Why did you not?” In light of who I am and what I have done, why did you still choose me? In reality I deserve more hell than what I’ve been through. And yet you rescued me.
What is the fullness of Christ? Can we ever learn of Jesus in His fullness?
John 1:16 ESV
16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
John 1:
Until we learn that grace is so amazing.
We will stop asking God the why questions and instead our hearts will just be so full of gratitude.
- Thank You God that you work all things (ALL - even my problems, hurts) for my ultimate good!
Thank You God that in teaching me, I learn from my mistakes and I emerge a much better person.
Thank You God that you prepare me to face the next great challenge.
That is GRACE!
If we experience grace it is just right to stop asking the WHY questions. But even more profoundly, God changes the WHY questions.
Instead of “Why did you forsake me”? You will ask God “Why did you not?” In light of who I am and what I have done, why did you still choose me? In reality I deserve more hell than what I’ve been through. And yet you rescued me.
You will ask the same question”why me?” in a different light. Why me Lord?
Grace is so amazing we even have a song entitled Amazing Grace. But no one can even begin to imagine its true meaning, scope and power. Grace is mind-blowing! Why even care Lord? Why did you give up too much for lowly undeserving creatures such as myself?
To this, God’s simple response is: “I love you. Why? I see My beloved Son in You!”
The end of private Ryan, who here has seen that movie? Captain Miller said: “Earn this”
Instead of “earn this”
When Jesus hung dying on the cross. Learn this. Learn Grace. Learn of Me.
The beautiful thing is that we don’t have to go to some tomb to thank the one who made the supreme sacrifice to save us and to prove to ourselves that we have been good and that we earned the justification for the sacrifice.
“LEARN THIS”
The One who saved us is Alive forever more, ready to help us so that we continue to learn of WHo He is in His fullness:
What is the fullness of Christ? Can we ever learn of Jesus in His fullness?
John 1:16 ESV
16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
Grace on top of grace. Why? I don’t deserve this but God keeps pouring grace. It is unlimited in our lives. Why? I did not earn this..
With spiritual eyes we should be overwhelmed by God’s grace. We will be asking “grace again?”.
Some people insist. “I have to earn it. I have to do something. I have to be worthy of Christ’s sacrifice.”
God is speaking to you. You are not worthy. But Jesus is.
We are so proud when we say “I have to justify Jesus’ sacrifice by living a good life!”
We don’t need to justify Christ’s sacrifice. Christ’s sacrifice justified us. Period.
Then His Holy Spirit transforms us to walk a life worthy of His calling. That is sanctification.
At that moment, that Christ said the words, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”. The eternal Son of God, the spotless Lamb was separated from His Father so that We can be joined with Him.”
Jesus did not get rescued from the cross so that we can be rescued with a rescue that did not stop at salvation but rather a rescue that is for us every single day of our lives.
That is GRACE.
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