Jesus lives for and in you!
What is today all about?
Yes I do want some answers to that question.
And the answer I am looking for is: Redemption.
Today is the celebration of God’s love for mankind in that he provided the needed sacrifice in order to accomplish redemption.
Once we accept the redemption of Jesus for our sins we can come to God without any reservations.
Isn’t that wonderful?
Thank God for that act of sacrifice that bought your redemption!
I want to focus on the words of Jesus while on the cross that many people have pondered through the years.
My God, My God why have you forsaken me.
Many interpretations have been given for those words of Jesus as he prepares to die.
The one I have accepted for most of my life is that Father God had to draw back in order for Jesus to be able to die.
As long as Jesus was one with God death could not touch him.
However, the more I get to know Jesus the more I believe that He and the Father were, are, and always will be, one.
Then the question becomes, why did Jesus say those words?
There are several instances where Jesus says that he said the words that he had just said for those who were there and could hear them.
They were for the people nearby not for Jesus.
If that might be the case in this instance where would we look for an explanation?
If Jesus is trying to communicate much more than just a few words in his anguish what would that be?
In the Bible where Jesus says these words there is a reference to Psalm 22.
Today I want us to look into all of Psalm 22.
Compare this to Job.
Job complains for most of the book then God responds and puts Job in his place.
The relationship between Job and God was broken.
Job is merely a human and God is God.
Psalm 22 reflects the relationship between God and mankind.
The first verses are the complaint.
God, where are you?
It seems like you are not doing your job.
I am not getting what I want from you.
We often live there, don’t we?
We know verses 1-3.
How about verses 3-5?
I now believe that Jesus says the words He says to draw attention to the whole of Psalm 22.
Which is: complaint and answer.
Our limited vision verses reality.
We cannot see what God is accomplishing.
But we can see where we live and we want more or something different.
Part of what it takes to bring us into fulfillment is not pleasant and can feel like God has withdrawn from us.
While all the time he is working out his perfect plan for our completion and fulfillment.
Verses one through three: God this hurts, where are you!
Verses 3-5: God is the salvation for his people in his own time, in his own way.
Verse 6 it starts over again: I am nothing. Mankind is nothing.
Verse 9: you are my beginning.
Verses 10-my difficulties, God’s salvation.
Then this theme of our need and God’s provisions repeats itself over and over in various ways.
It is all about our need and God’s provision.
Each day we should realize our need and then claim God’s provision for our needs.
Verses 20-22: When we realize how God is providing for us we need to tell others just how wonderful our God is.
And our praise should sound forth in the congregation.
From 23 to the end of the chapter it tells how wonderful God is.
Now relax and listen the what Jesus was wanting you to realize as he was paying the price for your sin in order that you might be able to come before God without hesitation and praise His name for the wonders He has done for you.
(If you are not in the congregation read Psalm 22 in light of the previous discussion)
To end this time of celebration of the goodness of God our Father I want to share a story.
It is the story of a religion professor who wanted his class to realize just what was accomplished on the cross.
He had been teaching for years and was troubled that the class seldom got the message of the cross.
So he asked a very stout athletic young man in his class to do something for him to make the point.
(If you are not in the congregation you can find this on face book or other places as: Professor Dr. Christianson and the Unshakable Truth)
(Read the story of the pushups and doughnuts.)
We who believe have reason to celebrate today.
The God who created a wonderful place for his people has provided for them what they could not provide for themselves.
What extreme effort could not provide.
What human or animal sacrifices could not provide.
Only the sacrifice of one who was perfect would pay the price for our inability to be what God wants us to be.
God sent his only Son into the world that it might be loved and saved through his blood sacrifice.
Let us take a few moments to thank God for His redemption through His Son.
Thank you Father, and help us to be worthy of such a great sacrifice.
Let us love for you, through the Son by means of your presence in our lives.
Let us live each say as your gift to us, free from Sin and complete in redemption!
Amen, so let it be known.
Amen, so let it be lived.
@ 2021 Empire Church of the Brethren