November 12: Matthew 27 & Mark 15
45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 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?” 47 And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
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?”
As we consider the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus, what do you think was the hardest part for our Lord to bear? He knew exactly what was going to happen when He was in the garden praying to God asking to "let this cup pass from me." But, then He responded, "Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done." What was the "cup" that was so difficult to bear?
Was it the time He spent before Pilate? Or, what about the mocking and flogging He received from the Roman soldiers? Was it the physical pain that He was going to experience?
No, it was none of these, though they were difficult in and of themselves. The thing Christ feared the most was that moment when He was forsaken by God! As the sins of all His children were cast upon Him, even God could not look upon Him.
When we think of eternal punishment, what will be the most difficult thing for the ungodly to bear? Will it be the pain, the fire, or knowing they missed the opportunity to accept Christ? No, again, it will be the total separation from God that will be the most difficult thing to bear.
You see, even though they may reject God on this earth, God is still present blessing all of mankind. No one can rightly imagine what this world would be like with God totally removed.
I can not even come close to imagining the great love of Christ for His people that He would go through such utter torment for such unworthy people. Yet, He did this willingly; He chose this path, knowing that it was the only hope of saving a people for Himself. No one killed Jesus! He willingly gave up His life for His sheep.
What is our response?
What is your response?
My husband, David, has written a beautiful poem that expresses what I cannot. To read the entire poem, He Bore Our Sins, you can go to my website. The third stanza says,
He who in very nature God
Despised not to condescend
Oh magnify His name and laud
Who drank the cup and purchased men
Eternity's too short a day
To glorify His holy name
Dear saint but lightly chastened here
Rejoice in hope O mortal frame
Forsaken! Forsaken for us!
God Bless You,
All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.