Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Never Alone - Lenten Journey Day 37 Devotional - April 16, 2014

“At about three o'clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ which means ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?"- Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34

As we are now in the fourth day of Holy Week, I was struck by Jesus’ cry; the fourth of seven sayings spoken by Jesus on the cross. 

When I think about the agony of Jesus’ body and soul that would draw these words out of the Son of God, it’s overwhelming.  As he bore all our sins, it was his alone to bear.  There was no comfort.  There was no grace.  All that was withdrawn from him and a divine wrath that was intended for me was unleashed on the Perfect Lamb of God.

Blessed be His name….

Some read this outcry and interpret it as Jesus’ lamenting, or even regretting, God’s decision.  That is not the case.  How do I know?  Because at this darkest moment, Jesus could’ve said a lot of things, but he instead turned to Scripture and spoke the first words of David’s twenty-second Psalm in his agony.  “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1).  That sounds like despair, but as Psalm 22 continues, David declares,

for he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help…. All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nationsThey will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!”

I don’t think Jesus’ reference to this Psalm was coincidental.  In fact, I think it was Christ’s desire to draw us here to this truth.  Why?  To show us how his temporary affliction and separation from God’s grace was fulfilling an eternal promise to us. 

In that moment, Jesus was forsaken, so that you would never be.  You know what that means?  You never have to ask God, “why have you forsaken me?”

You are never alone.  NEVER.   

You may feel like the world has abandoned you, but God never will.

"I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken..." - Psalm 37:25

God has your back through every valley and over every obstacle.   Before you were even born He had His love set on you and your victory on His agenda. 

Jesus’ cry, led to your triumph. 

So while Jesus began with the first verse of Psalm 22, we have the benefit of declaring the last one, “He has done it!” (Psalm 22:31).

Let’s pray and praise:  Jesus, we thank you for your obedience all the way to the cross.  Your body broken.  Your blood shed.  Your soul afflicted.  All those punishments were mine to bear, but you bore them all.  There are no words to express the depth of my gratitude.  I just want to say Thank You.  Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be in right-standing with God.  Thank you for giving your life, so that I can live eternally.  Thank you for my adoption into the family of God.  Thank you that because of your sacrifice, God has never left me or forsaken me, and He never will.  In my darkest hours, I will turn to your example, find comfort in God’s truth and know that I have the victory; not because God will do it, but because He HAS already done it.  Amen.

Now listening to: Just Wanna Say, Israel

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