1. Hello, listening friends.
2. What a joy it is to know that you are on the other side, listening.
3. We are in the midst of a series of messages on the seven statements of Jesus from the cross.
4. Throughout history, many people have rejected Jesus Christ.
5. In the last three messages, we saw the reality of that.
6. As Jesus hung on the cross, the Romans abandoned Him.
7. Organized religious leaders repudiated Him.
8. The crowd reviled Him,
9. and His friends had fled and forsaken Him;
10. and, today, in the fourth statement from the cross, we see the ultimate abandonment.
11. In the past three messages, we saw how, at the third hour, which is around 9:00 in the morning,
12. while Jesus was suspended between Heaven and earth,
13. He, as the High Priest, forgave the sins of His transgressors.
14. That is not surprising;
15. then, about mid-morning,
16. He looked to a repentant criminal, hanging on another cross next to Him, and made him a promise.
17. He said, “Today, you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
18. That is not surprising;
19. then, in the middle of the day, Jesus looked at His mother, Mary, and the Disciple whom He loved, John, and He made provision for His mother.
20. That is not surprising;
21. but, today, we will see how, at about high noon,
22. when the brightness of the day turned into the blackness of midnight,
23. Jesus made the fourth statement from the cross.
24. He said, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani,”
25. which means, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
26. That statement is possibly very confusing.
27. This statement, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani,” arches over the previous three statements,
28. as well as the next three statements.
29. Please turn with me, if you have your Bible, to Matthew 27:45 to 50.
30. Let us read it together.
31. Now, I want you to reflect on this passage under two headings.
33. the three hours of darkness that lit up the world.
35. the moment of desertion that redeemed the world.
36. The brightness of the sun, during high noon, is dazzling.
37. It is blinding;
38. so, imagine, in the midst of the brightness of high noon, it becomes as dark as the middle of the night;
39. and it was not for only a moment or two.
40. It was for three hours.
41. This was God’s response to those who love darkness better than light,
42. for the Scripture says, “The Light came into the world and the world comprehended Him not.”
43. It is as if God was saying, “You love darkness? Well, that’s what darkness is like.
44. You prefer your way? That’s the result of it.
45. I will grant you your request.
46. You have opted for the darkness of sin and shame; then, I will give it to you...”
47. but there is a deeper, theological meaning to the three hours of darkness than this.
48. The three hours of darkness were a fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy.
49. The high priest went inside the Holy of Holies once a year to atone for the sin of the people,
50. and, that place had to be dark so that no one could see the holy things happening at the Ark of covenant
51. and, when Christ, our High Priest, was ready to take His own blood into the heavenly tabernacle, nature darkened,
52. so that the unsympathetic eye could not see.
53. We read, in the Old Testament, when the law of God was given in Mount Sinai,
54. there were thick, dark clouds on that mountain and everyone stood at a distance.
55. This thick darkness is a symbol of our inability to keep the Law of God.
56. None of us have been able to keep the Law.
57. When Christ went into the darkness,
58. when the One who perfectly obeyed the Law of God entered into darkness,
59. the darkness of our inability to keep the Law of God wrapped Him up, as one would wrap itself in a cloak;
60. so, it was the three hours of darkness that lit up the world;
61. then, secondly,
62. this moment of desertion has redeemed the world.
63. After hanging on the cross for six hours,
64. a cry pierced the darkness. “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”
65. These are the very words that came out of the mouth of the Lord Jesus.
66. The word, “forsaken,” used in this passage means to abandon someone;
67. and that is why this fourth statement from the cross was the most surprising of all.
68. How can the Father and the Son, who have eternally been in unity, be separated?
69. The Father and the Son have always been One;
70. yet, if we understand the depth of these words, we would understand the very center of what the cross means.
71. Turn with me, please to Psalm 22, verse 1.
72. It says, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
73. These words that Jesus uttered were quotations from the Scripture.
74. Psalm 22 is a preview of the cross.
75. As the Lord begins to experience the physical disruption and the division of the cross, He recalls the words of Psalm 22 with meticulous accuracy.
76. Verse 7 of Psalm 22 says the following:
77. “All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads, saying, ‘He trusted in the Lord. Let the Lord rescue him.’”
78. This is a literal prediction of Matthew 27:39,
79. where the crowd reviled Him at the cross, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself.”
80. Psalm 22, verse 14, says,
81. “I am poured out like water and all my bones are out of joint.”
82. This is the dislocation of the cross.
83. Verse 15 says, “…my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.”
84. This is the dehydration which we see in John 19:28, when He said, “I thirst.”
85. Psalm 22:16, “…they have pierced my hands and feet...,”
86. How can anyone doubt the cross, when you see that, centuries before it took place, it was predicted with such accuracy?
87. My listening friend, I want to have a personal word with you.
88. If you are one who doubts the Word of God to be the absolute truth,
89. it is possible because you have not examined it for yourself;
90. but, just in case you begin to think that Psalm 22 is all about defeat and suffering,
91. you need to read verses 27 and 28.
92. “All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, for the Kingdom is the Lord’s. He shall rule over the inhabitants.”
93. Psalm 22 is a complete prophecy of the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
94. “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani,” obviously is a word of prayer.
95. Strange as it is, this is the only time that the Father did not answer the prayer of the Son.
96. When He was baptized in the River Jordan,
97. the Holy Spirit came and testified with a word from the Father,
98. “This is My beloved Son...”
99. but, at the cross, when the crowd was reviling Him,
100. when He needed a word from the Father the most, He was deserted.
102. The reality is that, in this prayer, we are looking at the very heart and necessity of the cross.
103. What happened, at this very moment on the cross, is this:
104. the sins of all of humanity rained down upon Christ, so much so that He experienced the very Hell of being separated from the Father;
105. and, for the first time from eternity, the Son experienced the wrath and the separation from the Father.
106. The Father could not look upon sin.
107. The Father’s eyes are too pure to look on sin.
108. Listen to what Proverbs 8:30 tells us.
109. From eternity, the Son had delighted in the presence of the Father.
110. There was never a second during which there was no harmony between the Father and the Son;
111. and, yet, for that moment of desertion, when all our sins were heaped upon Jesus,
112. for the first time, Jesus looked up to Heaven and saw, not God the Father, but God the Judge.
113. It is very important to notice that Jesus does not use the word of familiarity, “Abba.”
114. Instead, He used the word, “Eloi,” which indicates “God the Sovereign, God the Judge, God the all-filled One.”
115. We can never understand the pain that Jesus experienced as a result of His separation from the Father;
116. and Jesus did this so that, when we come to Him in repentance, we can receive forgiveness;
117. and that is why Paul tells us, in 2 Corinthians, Chapter 5,
118. that “…He who had known no sin became sin for us that we may become the very righteousness of God in Him.”
119. After the price was paid in six hours, Jesus dismissed His spirit.
120. The word, here, has the meaning of a military commander who is dismissing someone from his presence.
121. He was in complete control of His life.
122. He dismissed His spirit when He wanted to.
123. He dismissed His spirit after He paid the price for sin,
124. for, earlier, He said, “I have authority to lay down My life. I have authority to take it up again.”
125. The normal lingering of dying on a cross would take 48 hours before the crucified man dies;
126. yet, in Jesus’ case, it took six hours.
127. That is why the soldiers were surprised.
128. They did not have to break His legs, like they did with the others.
129. The very moment that Jesus said, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
130. He paid the penalty of sin.
131. Jesus died in darkness that we may live in light.
132. He died forsaken that we might be accepted.
133. He died rejected that I might be received;
134. and, my friend, I want to plead with you
135. that, if you have never accepted the gift of forgiveness from the hand of Jesus,
136. do it today.
137. Accept the fact that He died for you
138. and rose again to assure you of your own resurrection.
139. Do not postpone.
140. The time is short;
141. and, then, please write to us and tell us;
142. and, until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.