Glimpse of the Cross Day 6; The God-Abandoned God

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring” Psalms 22:1 

Jesus had always called God His Father. “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” “I always do those things that please my Father.” “I and my Father are one.” Yet when Jesus was on the cross, being treated as we deserve, He could not call God His Father, and so He cried out “My God,  Why has Thou forsaken me?”

Could this be what made Jesus’ death the ultimate sacrifice? Many  think of the physical torture Jesus endured while on the cross, but many have suffered physically just as much. As a matter of fact, if you asked a cancer victim if they would like another year of chemo or six hours on a cross, they will choose the cross over chemo! What made Jesus’ death the ultimate sacrifice goes a lot deeper than the physical pain. He died a death no one has ever died yet.  John Huss sang hymns of praise while he was burning at the stake. If Huss could sing as he died for his faith, why wasn’t Jesus singing songs as He died? Why was He instead crying out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Because Jesus died a totally different death than Huss or anyone else has ever died. Huss died knowing he was accepted of the Father, but Jesus suffered God-abandonment for us so we could be saved.

The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father’s wrath upon Him as man’s substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God. -Desire of Ages, Page 753

Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. ‘With His stripes we are healed.  -Desire of Ages, Page 25. 

The Gospel and Creation

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I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Friday’s section of this week’s SS lesson asks the question, “Critics of Christianity will often argue that Jesus knew beforehand that, though He would die, He would be resurrected to life. Thus, they ask, what was the big deal about His death when He knew it would be only temporary?”

My mother knows that flying in an airplane is safer than traveling by car. She knows the sad statistics that people are killed every day on the highways, while a rare jet crash makes headlines around the world. Knowing all this, when my mother gets on an airplane she sure does not feel that it is safer! There is a difference between knowing and feeling. Jesus died as a man, not just a God.

As a man, this is what Jesus experienced;

“In that thick darkness God’s presence was hidden. He makes darkness His pavilion, and conceals His glory from human eyes. God and His holy angels were beside the cross. The Father was with His Son. Yet His presence was not revealed. Had His glory flashed forth from the cloud, every human beholder would have been destroyed. And in that dreadful hour Christ was not to be comforted with the Father’s presence. He trod the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with Him.”-Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, pp. 753, 754.

“The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father’s wrath upon Him as man’s substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.” -Ellen White, Desire of Ages, Page 753.

Foxe’s book of Martyrs tells us John Huss was singing songs of praise as he burned at the stake for his faith. I ask you, if John Huss, a mere mortal man could be singing songs of praise as He died at the stake, why couldn’t Jesus sing songs of praise instead of crying out “My God My God why have You forsaken me?” The answer is John Huss died a totally different death than Jesus died. John knew he would be resurrected. He knew he was at peace with the Father. But on the cross Jesus was being treated the way we deserve to be treated so we can be treated the way he deserves to be treated. Think about this, Jesus always called God His Father.

“In my Father’s house are many mansions.”

“I always do those things that please my Father.”

“I and my Father are one.”

But when Jesus was on the cross being treated the way we deserve to be treated He could not call God His Father! Instead He cried out, “My God! Why have you forsaken me?” This fulfilled the prophecy of Psalms 22 of Jesus dying the second death.

Jesus was not crying out, “why have you forsaken me till Sunday morning.” You don’t forsake someone when you leave them for the weekend. When I tell my Sabbath School class I will be preaching at another church next Sabbath, none of them ask me why I have forsaken them. They know I will be back the following week. You don’t forsake someone when you leave them for the weekend. When Jesus cried out, “Why have you forsaken me?” He felt abandoned forever. He felt what the wicked will feel.

Obadiah 1:16 says the wicked will be as though they had never been. Jesus was not facing a mere six hour pain endurance marathon. A lot of cancer patients would gladly trade their years of battling cancer for six hours on a cross. The physical pain is not what made it the supreme sacrifice. What Jesus was facing was going into total oblivion and it being as though He had never existed! While Satan was willing to sacrifice anyone who got in his way of being number 1, Jesus was willing to go into total oblivion if He could just save someone else.

Hebrews 2:9 tells us Jesus tasted death for everyone. Jesus and Paul both refer to the first death as sleep. Jesus did not save us from that death, as we plainly experience that death ourselves. Paul did not say Jesus tasted sleep for everyman. No, He tasted death, the death of the wicked. Yes, He prophesied of His own resurrection, but that was while He still felt the presence of His Father. When Jesus felt the Father turn His back on Him, He felt, as a man that the promise of the resurrection had left with the Father. Jesus became the God-forsaken God.

Some say, how could Jesus have died the second death while He never lost faith in His Father? Remember Jesus had no sense of self-preservation. The sense of self- perseveration belongs to Satan. Jesus had faith, but His faith was not that He would be saved but that you would be saved!

Some have a hard time wrapping their minds around this awesome love. Some refuse to believe that Jesus would be willing to die forever to save us. In that case they have made Moses more loving than Jesus. In Exodus 32:32 Moses is willing to be wiped out of eternity in order to save the children of Israel. Do you think Moses loved them more than Jesus loves sinners? Of course not! Only when Moses experienced the self sacrificing love of God could he express such love. If you don’t believe that Jesus was willing to say goodbye to life forever in order to save us, then you have Moses showing more love than Jesus. This is impossible.

Since the Jews were accusing Jesus of blasphemy they could have just stoned Him to death. According to Leviticus 24:16, blasphemers were to be stoned and not crucified. Yet Jesus was crucified. Why? Because Deuteronomy 21:22-23 tells us those who are hung are cursed by God. Someone could plead for mercy and have the hope of salvation, just like John Huss had even though they were stoned to death. However, being hung was a sign you were cursed by God. Joshua 10 tells the story of five kings who refused to accept Israel’s God, and were hung from five trees, telling the world they had rejected God and so there was no salvation for them. It was goodbye to life forever.

Friend, does this help you understand how much Jesus loves you? He could have come down from the cross and returned to heaven where He could wear His kingly Crown instead of the crown of thorns. He could have left the road to Calvary and walked on streets of gold. He could have left the mocking mob and returned to hear angels sing His praise. He could have returned to His mansion. Why didn’t He do just that? because the thought of going back to heaven without you did not appeal to Jesus. Heaven would not be paradise without you as far as Jesus is concerned.

There is nothing I would rather be preaching than this message here. It is the everlasting gospel in the three angel’s messages. This kind of love changes everything. It changes how we look at the cross and how we look at sin. Most of all it changes our hearts. The disciples were just a bunch of self- ambitious men until they saw this love displayed on the cross. After they saw this love they were willing to give everything-even their own lives. Revelation 15 tells us there will be a multitude singing the song of Moses and the Lamb. They will be filled with this self -sacrificing love just like Moses and Jesus. They will hate sin more than they hate death and they will love God more than they will love their own lives or self preservation.

Jesus’ love for you goes deeper than the nail scars. He loves you more than He loves life itself. He was willing to go into total oblivion and it be as though He had never existed if that is what it took to save you!

Glimpses Of Grace; Jesus-The God-forsaken God

I am writing this morning from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?  Mark 15:34 

John Huss sang hymns of praise while he was burning at the stake. If Huss could sing as he died for his faith, why wasn’t Jesus singing songs as He died too? Why was He instead crying out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” The answer is because Jesus died a totally different death than Huss died. Huss died knowing he was accepted of the Father. Jesus died feeling forsaken by the Father so we could be accepted. Jesus had always called God his Father. “I and my Father are One.” In my Father’s house are many mansions.” I always do those things that please my Father.” But when Jesus was on the cross, He could not call God His Father, and He cried, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” 

Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. “With His stripes we are healed.”  {Desire of Ages, p 25}  

If you are in the Tampa Bay area, I would like to invite you to a special agape feast, and communion service Friday night, January 6, at 7pm, at the Tampa First-Seventh-day Adventist Church.  Pastor Brad Cassell will be leading us in this service.

Please click here to find a church to celebrate God’s agape love anywhere in the world.

Matthew 27; The God-forsaken God

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Here is a sermon I have preached at least 50 times maybe a hundred. I plan on preaching this over and over until I die. I wanted to share it here for this Easter weekend.  It explores the depths of Christ sacrifice for us on the cross. If you would like you can also watch and share it on video. On the list of videos it is the one called “The God-forsaken God”. I have broken it into sections here for those who are busy and don’t have too much time to read.  

   

 
 

 

The Supreme Sacrifice

    

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring” Psalms 22:1 

 

 

 

  What was it that made Jesus’ death the ultimate sacrifice? Many times we think of the physical torture Jesus endured while on the cross, but many have suffered physically just as much. As a matter of fact, if you asked a cancer victim if they would like another year of chemo or six hours on a cross, they will choose the cross over chemo! What made Jesus’ death the ultimate sacrifice goes a lot deeper than they physical pain. He died a death no one has ever died yet. He tasted the second death.      John Huss sang hymns of praise while he was burning at the stake. If Huss could sing as he died for his faith, why wasn’t Jesus singing songs as He died too? Why was He instead crying out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Because Jesus died a totally different death than Huss or anyone else has ever died. Huss died knowing he was accepted of the Father, but Jesus had to be forsaken by the Father in order for us to be accepted.       “Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. ‘With His stripes we are healed.’ ” {Desire of Ages, p 25}  

 

      Crucified, not Stoned   

   “Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And [Pilate] saith unto them, Behold the man! When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify [him], crucify [him]. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify [him]: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.”   John 19:5-7      

The law the Jews were talking about is found in the verse below, but notice the law states that one who blasphemes (which Jesus did not do but was accused of doing), should be stoned, not crucified.    

  “And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, [and] all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name [of the LORD], shall be put to death.”  Leviticus 24:16

 

 Notice in the verse below, the Jews were not ignorant of this law. “I and [my] Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.”  John 10:30-31    

   “And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree:  His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged [is] accursed of God;)” Deuteronomy 21:22-23      If a man committed a crime worthy of death he could still ask forgiveness and have the hope of the resurrection, but if he was hung on a tree that meant he was accursed of God and it was good-bye to life forever. This is what Jesus experienced for you, so you could experience the acceptance of the Father. “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” Ephesians 1:6-7   

 

      Accursed of God  

    And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight.  And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening.   Joshua 10:25,26    

  By hanging these five kings on five trees, Joshua was saying that they had their opportunity to accept Israel’s God and rejected Him so it was good-bye to life forever. This is the death Jesus tasted for us. He did not taste the death of the righteous as he did not save us from the death of the righteous. He saved us from the death of the wicked, therefore He tasted the death of the wicked. Jesus faced the death of the wicked which meant facing total oblivion Obadiah 1:16.      

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?  Matthew 27:46      Jesus had always called God His Father. But on the cross, while He was tasting the death of the wicked, He could not call God His Father. He cried out “My God” and not “My Father.” He was not crying out why have You forsaken me till Sunday morning. You don’t forsake someone when you leave them for the weekend, you forsake them when you leave them forever!      

 

 “Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father’s wrath upon Him as man’s substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.” {Desire of Ages, p 753}

 

 

   

What God did to His Son

 

   

 

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  Isaiah 53:4

 

 

 Isaiah 53:4 tells us He was smitten not by us or Satan, but by God! This verse is about what God did while Christ was on the cross. Jesus loved you so much He was willing to do way more than endure terrific pain for six hours! He was willing to say goodbye to life forever if that’s what it took to save you! The thought of living eternally in heaven without you was Hell to Jesus!       Sure, Jesus could have come down from the cross and saved Himself. He could have thrown down that crown of thorns and taken back His royal crown. He could have ascended back to His throne and the angels would have welcomed Him with open arms. He could have gone back to those mansions He talked about in John 14. But listen to what He says about those mansions, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 

 

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also.”  John 14:2-3.

 

 

 Did you catch that? “That where I am there ye may be also.”  We always focus on the mansions in that verse, but what Jesus is focusing on is the being with you part.       See, while Jesus had mansions, golden streets, a throne and angels who would bow and worship and serve Him perfectly heaven just isn’t heaven to Jesus without you. So the thought of leaving the Cross and ascending back to His throne without saving you, just didn’t appeal to Jesus. Jesus loves you more than He loves life itself. His feelings for you are beyond love- you are His passion. Do you love Jesus more than you love life itself? Is He your passion?   

   

Tasting Death for Every man

 

 

 

 

“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”  Hebrews 2:9

 

 

 Some may say, “How could Jesus have died the second death while prophesying of His resurrection?” Good question. Remember though, feeling and knowing are two different things.  Many people know flying is safer than driving, but you put them on a plane and they sure don’t feel safer! Jesus may have known He would be resurrected but He sure did not feel it! Also the Bible tells us He tasted the second death in the verse above.        Jesus obviously has not tasted the first death for every man, we taste that death ourselves. The first death Jesus does not even call death, He calls it sleep. Jesus did not taste sleep for every man, He tasted death, the second death. Jesus never lost faith in His Father. But His faith was not in His own salvation but in your salvation!       

 

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?  Romans 8:32

 

 

 

God gave all when He gave His son! Jesus was willing to say goodbye to life forever to save you! He gave all of His life! Will give Him all of your heart?

 

 

   If you would like to talk to me about giving your heart to Jesus, you may contact me at LayPastor@TampaAdventist.net    

For more Easter devotionals click here Click here for “Was the Atonement for an Angry God or an Angry Race?”