Monday, March 21, 2016

My God, My God....

It's Easter week.  Good Friday is near.  At this time of year in the Christian calendar we celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ.  But I fear we misunderstand one of the most important truths of the cross.

As Jesus neared the end of his sacrifice on the cross he cried out, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"  Many in the Christian church have taught that in that moment God turned his back on Jesus and in his agony Jesus is verbalizing that sense of total abandonment and rejection,  but that can't be true! 

At that moment God the father was more pleased with his son than we could possibly imagine.  In that  moment Jesus had fully obeyed the father and accomplished redemption. In that moment I'm sure the father is smiling at the son, not turning away.

But why did Jesus cry out these words?  Why did he declare an apparent sense of forsakenness?  It's because we don't understand what Jesus was doing.  He didn't say these words in despair or agony, he said them as a sign post pointing us to Psalm 22! He's telling his disciples and us, "look at Psalm 22, you will see all this prophesied by David hundreds of years ago."  This is something rabbis often did to point their disciples to a certain passage of scripture.

In the moment of the father's greatest approval of the son we see rejection, but we miss the point of what the Savior was doing.  He was showing us he fulfilled all that the father had given him to do.  He had fully obeyed, fully pleased his father.  How can we see the great work of redemption as displeasing to God?  How have we gotten this so wrong?

In the moment of greatest defeat in the world's eyes God accomplishes his greatest victory!  How wonderful God loved us so much that he gave his son for the salvation of the world!

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