Why Have You Forsaken Me?

Service

We meet Sundays at Cinergy Cinemas in COpperas Cove at 10:00 a.m.

by: Timothy Fowler

04/10/2020

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(Read Psalm 22)

Where is God? In our pain, anguish and frustration we may think these words; sometimes we even shout them aloud. But if I were to be brutally honest with myself, I would have to admit that, many times, my hurts are of my own doing.

The enemy loves to draw us into doing life our own way, and then blaming God for the consequences. Chaos and the stings of this world are brought about by our collective choices. It isn’t fun to think about our responsibility in creating it. We wonder where God is when we have pushed him away with our own actions and false beliefs.

Yet, look at the innocent savior: one with the Father and willfully allowing himself to know the consequences, the full pain, the impure punishment for our sins. I say punishment because, unlike us, Jesus execution was not for discipline or correction. As he was tortured on the cross, it was not a teachable moment for him. His experience was strictly punitive, excruciating payment…not for his own crimes, but for ours.

It was a common tool at that time to begin a familiar phrase and expect others to know the rest. Like you or I might say, “the best laid plans of mice and men” and assume the hearer completes “often go awry” in their minds, a speaker would do the same in the time of Jesus. In fact, Jesus often does this. His words on the cross, “Why have you forsaken me,” point us to Psalm 22.

Listen to some of the phrases in Psalm 22: “I am scorned and despised by all,” “Let the Lord save him,” “My enemies surround me,” “My life is poured out like water, all my bones are out of joint,” “My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth,” "They have pierced my hands and feet.” Written 1,000 years earlier, the lyrics of this psalm could have been written as an ode to Jesus’ crucifixion.

What a price he paid for our sins! And all this so that we can be near to God. He felt the brunt of total separation, complete abandonment as the one who knew no sin at all became sin in its fullness. Where is God? I am as close to him as I choose to be. Jesus took care of our extreme social distance from the Father. Call to him. Run to him. Worship him. He is near.

“Man of Sorrows!” what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
“Full atonement!” can it be?
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Lifted up was He to die;
“It is finished!” was His cry;
Now in Heav’n exalted high.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

When He comes, our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew His song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

(Read Psalm 22)

Where is God? In our pain, anguish and frustration we may think these words; sometimes we even shout them aloud. But if I were to be brutally honest with myself, I would have to admit that, many times, my hurts are of my own doing.

The enemy loves to draw us into doing life our own way, and then blaming God for the consequences. Chaos and the stings of this world are brought about by our collective choices. It isn’t fun to think about our responsibility in creating it. We wonder where God is when we have pushed him away with our own actions and false beliefs.

Yet, look at the innocent savior: one with the Father and willfully allowing himself to know the consequences, the full pain, the impure punishment for our sins. I say punishment because, unlike us, Jesus execution was not for discipline or correction. As he was tortured on the cross, it was not a teachable moment for him. His experience was strictly punitive, excruciating payment…not for his own crimes, but for ours.

It was a common tool at that time to begin a familiar phrase and expect others to know the rest. Like you or I might say, “the best laid plans of mice and men” and assume the hearer completes “often go awry” in their minds, a speaker would do the same in the time of Jesus. In fact, Jesus often does this. His words on the cross, “Why have you forsaken me,” point us to Psalm 22.

Listen to some of the phrases in Psalm 22: “I am scorned and despised by all,” “Let the Lord save him,” “My enemies surround me,” “My life is poured out like water, all my bones are out of joint,” “My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth,” "They have pierced my hands and feet.” Written 1,000 years earlier, the lyrics of this psalm could have been written as an ode to Jesus’ crucifixion.

What a price he paid for our sins! And all this so that we can be near to God. He felt the brunt of total separation, complete abandonment as the one who knew no sin at all became sin in its fullness. Where is God? I am as close to him as I choose to be. Jesus took care of our extreme social distance from the Father. Call to him. Run to him. Worship him. He is near.

“Man of Sorrows!” what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
“Full atonement!” can it be?
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Lifted up was He to die;
“It is finished!” was His cry;
Now in Heav’n exalted high.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

When He comes, our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew His song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

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