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March 28th: God Grieves with You



 

 

Scripture: Mark 15:33-41

 

God Grieves with You

“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”  It’s a big quote.  It is at the center of this passage.  At times it is the center of our lives.  It is a phrase that in some fashion many of us have uttered before.  It is the question that essentially the book of Job asks.  It is the lament of the Psalmists.  This question has been the reason that people leave the church, give up Christianity, or aren’t willing to listen to the good news of Jesus Christ.  But it is also the question, if we wrestle with it, draws us closer to God as well.

 

Why did Jesus say it?  We may never know the answer.  Some of the thoughts, however, are helpful in growing our faith:

 

1.       Jesus knew He was going to die a horrific and suffering death.  There isn’t a good way to say it, but Jesus’ suffering in death makes Him more relatable.  We have seen or heard people that have a hard and slow painful death, and Jesus is with them through the pain and hardship.

2.      Jesus bared human sin upon the cross.  Jesus was and is sinless and blameless, but He sacrificed Himself on our behalf.  While it doesn’t work in my head that God was actually forsaking Jesus, the argument can be made that when all of that sin was placed on Jesus, He was separated from God.  When we are separated from God, even our suffering becomes harder.

3.      I’m not sure Jesus was forsaken.  I think God was mourning.  The sky went dark at noon.  The temple curtain was torn in two.  God was beside Himself in mourning that He had lost His only begotten Son. Where is God in the darkness? I love the picture above. Even in the darkness we can find a pinprick of light. God is that hope. There is always hope when God is that hope.

 

Needless to say, it is a text and a question we will often wrestle with, but our faith reminds us that God is there.  It, after all, was in this moment that a Roman Centurion, a battle-hardened man who was recently mocking and beating Jesus, was the first to recognize without sarcasm who Jesus was.  Jesus is God’s Son.  Everything begins to change in this passage.  Our sin begins to be washed away in a new way.  Death begins to be swallowed up in victory.  We the church begin to become the Holy Temple.  And the world, not just a few select people, begins to know that Jesus is the Son of God.  There was still work to do then and there is still work to do now.  That work is to share the story of Jesus and spread the love of God.

 

Questions:

1.       What makes you question whether God has forsaken you?  Is there something that is a good reminder to you that God is with you?

2.      We know the Easter story so well.  Sometimes it helps to hear it a different way.  For some of us music is that different way.  What reminds you of Jesus’ sacrifice for us, outside of scripture?  There are many for me, but today, “Here I Am to Worship” sticks out: “I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross.”

3.      What are you most thankful for in the story of Jesus Christ?

 

Prayer:

Dear God, thank You for loving me.  I know at times I feel forsaken, but I know more often I have probably forsaken You.  Pull me closer to Your goodness and mercy.  Thank You for the gift of Jesus.  Thank You for the Roman Soldier that began to see You clearly as hope for me.  In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


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charlenemjett
Mar 28

“I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross.” is also a favorite of mine. Thanks for sharing!

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