I had the opportunity to join 6 other men from my Church in presenting the last words of Christ at our Good Friday service. Presently, none of us are serving as pastors. Still, the Lord used us to bless our congregation. I was the fourth speaker and the following is the message that I delivered on Friday evening.
THE CRY OF OUR SAVIOR
Now, about the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying “Eli Eli Lama Sabachthani?” that is My God, My God why hast thou forsaken me. And some of those who were standing there, when they heard it began saying, “This man is calling for Elijah.”
The soldiers and religious leaders missed it. In that cry, Jesus was not calling to Elijah. He was crying out to his Father. And this cry was made on our behalf.
What would make the Savior cry? There are a number of places where the Savior cried, but the cry on the cross was different. The cry on the cross was emotional and it showed the anguish that he felt on the cross. The anguish was so deep that the Matthew and Mark wrote it in his native language – Aramaic.
We all know that Jesus suffered a brutal and painful beating at the hands of the Roman soldiers. We also can imagine the pain that he felt when he was being nailed to the cross. But that was not the reason for the cry.
This cry was directed straight to the Father. To understand why he cried out that way, we need to take another look at verse 45, which reads from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. This was a supernatural event.
Based on the Jewish system for keeping time in that era, the darkness fell at noon and continued until 3 pm.
Some would try to explain away different events in the Bible, by suggesting maybe it was a really cloudy day; or maybe there was a solar eclipse that day. Make no mistake about it, that God was the one who made darkness fall at midday. God’s hand was on the event. The scripture reads that it is God who will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight. Amos. 8:9
Why did this happen? It was at this point that God the Father, turned his back on Jesus, the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
It was at this point, as prophesied by Isaiah that the Lord placed our iniquities upon Him. Is. 53:6.
Before this, the Son always walked with the Father. The Son was always in communion with the Father. As a youth, Jesus told Mary and Joseph that he was about His Father’s Business. Later he said, I and the Father are one. If you have seen me, you have seen the Father. The relationship between Jesus and the Father was the closest that you can imagine.
So, now at this point in history, the one who was always with the Father is now, separated from the Father. So, he cried, Eli Eli Lama Sabachthani.
To understand why the Father would turn his back on his Son, we must consider God’s nature
We know that God is good. God is very good.
We also know that God is love. Because of His love, we know that he has a passionate love for each and every one of us. God is also Holy. Holy, Holy, Holy. He is just and righteous. Because he is Holy he hates sin.
Isaiah tells us that our iniquities separate us from our God. Because of our sins, He has hid his face from ours. Is. 59:2.
But on the cross, Jesus stepped in our place. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us. 2 Cor. 5:21. With Jesus bearing our sins on the cross, the mysterious darkness covered the land, in the middle of the day. It was at that point, that God turned his back on his Son. And it was that separation that caused the Son, our Savior to cry out, Eli Eli Lama Sabachthani.
Jesus cried out in this manner so we won’t have to. He cried in our place. He stood in our place to bear God’s wrath.
Many of us have already put our trust in Christ. For those who haven’t, you should consider a different cry. A cry of repentance.
The cry could be very simple, in your own words. There are also many examples in scripture. Father have mercy on me a sinner. Or in the words of David, Father against you and you alone have I sinned.
Or you could cry out in your own words, representing a heart felt repentance and placing your trust in the Savior.
If you have not turned to God in repentance and put your trust in Christ, I urge you to do it tonight.
It is better for you to cry out for mercy tonight than to wait until Judgment Day when it is too late, and you will be forced to cry, My God my God, why have you forsaken me.
C.S. Lewis Quote
4 years ago