Grace Bible Church
Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 060814

 

We have begun the Seven Sayings of the Lord Jesus Christ while on the Cross. The first statement dealt with the word forgiveness for all mankind including His enemies, LUK 23:34. This saying is found in LUK 23:34, where our Lord said about those who were mocking Him and ridiculing Him and His response was “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”
The second Saying dealt with the subject of salvation and caring for others beginning in LUK 23:39-43, And one of the criminals who were hanged {there} was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? “And we indeed justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”

Then our Lord’s second statement from the Cross, LUK 23:43  And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

And as I mentioned to you, each one of these sayings on the Cross have a special meaning. The story of the salvation of the dying thief reveals the power of the Lord Jesus Christ to save mankind and His willingness to receive all that come to Him, in spite of their predicament.

The third statement from the Cross is found in JOH 19:26-27 and it deals with the word compassion and caring for others, no matter what you’re going through.

JOH 19:26-27, When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own {household}.

Here is a passage which teaches the affection and tenderness that our Lord had for both John and His mother.

Joseph, her husband, was dead, and the lord Jesus Christ had supported her, and now that He was dying what would become of her?

He saw her standing by, and knew her cares and griefs; and He saw John standing nearby, and therefore He confirmed a new relationship between His mother and the apostle John. This shows the affection and care that the Lord showed others while going through the tremendous suffering of the Cross.

Our Lord’s fourth statement which is one of the most famous ones found in MAT 27:46 and deals with His personal anguish and His desire to let us know what He was going through, MAT 27:46.

MAT 27:45-46, Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”

These words, found in Mat and Mar, as well as in Psa 22: were screamed out over and over again.

In this cry Jesus Christ made it clear that God the Father with whom He had eternal and unbroken fellowship had to break that fellowship at this moment. These words also reveal what our Lord was willing to go through just for us. This is the time when Jesus Christ “bore our sins in his own body on the tree” (1PE 2:24). This was the unspeakable agony of the Cross, the spiritual death prophesied in PSA 22:1.

The fourth cry indicated that He was being judged for us. God the Father had to pour out His wrath, as a matter of justice, upon God the Son, while the humanity of Jesus Christ bore the sins of the world. This is why the Father had to turn His back upon Him.

And these words were screamed out by the humanity of Christ. Some call this the saddest cry from the Cross.

“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” is a tremendous statement that no man will ever be able to really understand. First of all, the Lord Jesus Christ was accustomed to address God as His Father. If you look at His prayers, you will find Him speaking to God as His Father. However, in this instance, He does not say, “Father;” but “My God, My God.” Was it that He had any doubt about his Sonship? Absolutely not!

He was simply speaking from His humanity and that this is the reason why he cried, “My God, My God,” rather than “My Father.”

As God the Son He would say “My Father.” But in His humanity while being judged for the sins of the world, He cries out “My God, My God.”

Actually this statement shows us how truly human the Lord Jesus Christ was, that He could be forsaken of His God. It is hard for us to comprehend that the Lord being Emmanuel, God with us, and His deity and humanity being permanently united in one person, could have been forsaken by God. This is such a sacred statement that it is one of the only verses which is given in all three languages that the Bible was originally written in. It is given in the Hebrew – PSA 22:1; in Aramaic – MAT 27:46: in GreekMAT 27:46. He was and is the God-man who has been scourged, and spit upon, and Who has died. He is the First and the Last; The Alpha and the Omega.

REV 1:17-18, And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as a dead man. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades. And yet all the doctrines concerning salvation were made, not only possible, but also sacredly certain in order to complete the redemption of His people.

So it was necessary for Him to be both God’s beloved Son and to be forsaken of his Father. Now, what was this forsaking? This forsaking was something personal to Himself. It was not the God of man to whom He appealed, but “My God, My God.” It was a personal grief that came from a personal cry, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Now, what was this forsaking? Was it physical weakness? Some of you know that when the body is suffering it also can affect the mind. But this is not true in the case of our Lord, because it was not many moments after this that He shouted “with a loud voice,” His victorious “It is finished,” and passed from the conflict of the cross to His coronation. His courageous spirit overcame his physical weakness. And though He was “brought into the dust of death,” and into the deepest intensity of depression in His spirit, yet, still, the cry, “My God, my God,” which also was uttered “with a loud voice,” proves that there was still a considerable amount of mental strength in Him.

So His physical weakness would not account for this agonizing cry. And certainly this cry was not caused by unbelief. Sometimes believers who go through different trials cry out, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me, but this was not true for our Lord. In fact in ISA 49:14 we read, But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, And the Lord has forgotten me.”

Unbelief often makes us talk about God forgetting us when He does nothing of the kind, but our Lord Jesus Christ was a stranger to unbelief. It was impossible for Him to have any doubt about the faithfulness and lovingkindness of His Father; so His cry did not arise from unbelief. The Lord Jesus Christ made no mistake about this, for God had truly forsaken Him. When He said, “Why have You forsaken me?” he spoke infallible truth. He knew what he was saying, and He was right in what He said, for His Father had forsaken Him for the time. God did forsake His Son, but He loved Him as much when He forsook Him as at any other period. As Isaiah put it ISA 53:10, But the Lord was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,

It is an awful thing for a person in hell to be without God; but, as far as their own consciousness is concerned, they are so hardened that to be without God, they are incapable of knowing the beauty of a relationship with God from whom they are separated forever. But how different was the case of our Lord Jesus Christ when upon the Cross! He knew, as no man could ever know, what separation from God meant. None of us knows the presence of God as Christ knew it. No believer has ever enjoyed the love of God as Christ enjoyed it.

Never did any human being know so much and enjoy so much of the love of God as Christ had done. He had lived in it, and there had never been any interruption to it. He said in JOH 8:29, “And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” His Father had said MAT 3:17, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well‑pleased.”

The point is that our Lord Jesus Christ had enjoyed the love of God to the fullest so think what it must have been for Him to lose the conscious enjoyment of it. The love of Christ towards his Father was endless. For the light of His Father’s face to be taken away from Him, was a dark and terrible thing to Him. Also remember, too, the absolute purity of Christ’s nature. In Him there was no sin.

1JO 3:5, And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.

1PE 2:22, He committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth;

Think then of the perfectly Holy Son of God, fully agreed with His Father in everything, finding out that the Father had, for good and sufficient reasons, turned away His face from Him. The only solution was this, Jesus Christ was forsaken of God because we deserved to be forsaken of God. He was there, on the Cross, in our place.

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