Wednesday, December 02, 2020

A very certain call

Matthew 27:45-50…

This cry from Jesus illustrates the depth of His suffering as He felt Himself regarded as sin though He was sinless (2 Corinthians 5:21). We are reminded of John 3:16, Isaiah 53, and 1 Peter 2:24 as we see the Son of God bearing the sin of the world. This cry of desolation comes at the close of the three hours of darkness. However, it was not only a seeming cry of desolation but also a declaration. Jesus was not simply acting out a part. No, His pain and suffering were very real, but even amidst this agony He knew what the conclusion would be.

Still, Jesus suffered the ultimate loneliness. Some of the people that had shouted “hosanna” now shouted “crucify Him”. Some of the disciples who had stayed with Him now denied, deserted, and betrayed Him. But much worse than all of this, more worse than we can possibly imagine, was the forsaking by the Father of His Son. The Father had spoken words such as, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” but now was silent. The Father had let the Son be beaten, spit upon, mocked and mangled at the hands of men, finally to be hung on a cross, a tree, a curse to a Jew, which Jesus was.

But He was more than a Jew, He was the Son of God, and all this other pain and suffering was nothing compared to the absence of that sweet communion Christ had always known. Jesus’ faith did not fail. He cried out to God, not against God, but the Father did not answer Him in tenderness, but with wrath (Isaiah 53:10). Even when Jesus had poured out His own blood in the prayers at Gethsemane, God the Father was still with Him, and He had the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, as He had always known. But He had known nothing of the pain of desertion and the suffering of damnation He endured on the cross.

Yet this wasn’t an uncertain cry but a very certain call. When Christ called out to God in this manner, clearly He was consciously quoting this part of Psalm 22 as an illustration of the fact that He was fulfilling all of this Old Testament prophecy. Jesus drew the attention of the Jews to this scripture while He was hanging on the cross. Psalm 22 was a Messianic Psalm, and the second half is hymn of victory (vs.22-31).

Certainly Jesus was in a real sense “forsaken”, yet He also knew the final outcome of all this, and so therefore endured the greatest suffering of all time. Jesus’ cry was about suffering the world’s penalty due to sin, but it was signifying more than just that. It was the voice of the eternal victor who proclaimed the eternal victory of the Messiah to His people who were the victims of their own sin. He was supremely confident of the Father’s ultimate deliverance of Him through the resurrection of His body before it had even seen decay (Psalm 16:8-11 / Acts 2:24-31).

Every person who has ever been born has felt alone and forsaken and wonders if God is real and if He cares, even Christians go through these sorts of things. But only Christians, those born again to a living hope can also cry, “it is finished” (John 19:30), and thereby know that God will never leave nor forsake them (Hebrews 13:5), on account of Christ.  When you do that it is not an uncertain cry but a very certain call.

1 comment:

Even So... said...

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