The Cry of Mystery
Introduction: * The Fourth Word of Jesus from the cross describes his relationship with his Father.
The Fourth Word was motivated by the physical and mental agony of Christ. * The five-hour silence of Jesus before the Fourth Word was marked by extreme physical anguish.
- Illustration: Physical pain, such as that associated with open heart surgery, can be a profoundly isolating experience.
- Christ suffered mental agony over how the best elements of society could be twisted to produce revolt against God in the form of the Crucifixion.
The Fourth Word is a commentary on the magnitude of sin. * At that moment, Jesus saw clearly the utter horror of human sins, both large and small.
- Illustration: Drinking from a rare museum goblet reveals a sinister surprise.
- Illustration: In the Victor Hugo novel The Toilers of the Sea, the villain is literally snared by the consequences of his sin.
- Although Jesus was not a sinner, he felt the suffocating grip of sin while on the cross.
The Fourth Word was an echo of Psalm 22. * Jesus' Fourth Word was drawn from Psalm 22, a passage meaningful to all devout Jews.
- Psalm 22 foretold with great accuracy all Jesus endured on the cross.
- Jesus uttered the words feeling separated from God, while knowing he really wasn’t.
The Fourth Word expresses assurance, not despair. * Illustration: A painting in the National Gallery of Art in London depicts the crucified Christ being physically held up by the Father.
- Illustration: A mother explains which of her three sons she loves the most, and why.
- Even in those dark hours, God carried his Son, and he will carry us in our darkest hours as well.