And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46
When you feel abandoned remember –
He was abandoned for you so that you would never be alone! The sky’s the limit in His love for you!
Some say He wept because of their unbelief. Some say He wept only because He saw them weeping. Some think the Son of God could have never wept as a human because He knew the beginning from the end. Some simply shrug and say it didn’t matter because in just eight short verses He cried out in a loud voice and called Lazarus out from the grave.
But can anyone really know the depth of the heart of Jesus of Nazareth? Can anyone see the limits of His compassion as He could see the depth of our need? To begin to understand why God’s Son weeps may take a lifetime of heartbreaks to begin to understand. To share in the sorrow of Jesus our Lord is not anything that can be explained or shared in just the sound of those two brief words:
Jesus Wept- The Longest verse in the Bible
… if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you Matthew 17:20b
Maybe when you have heard this verse mentioned it was used in the context of a surgery to be faced, a marital crisis brewing or a financial disaster looming on your horizon. But a mountain also represents any impossibility that separates us from God’s plan for our lives. What is the biggest mountain that separates us from God? Today’s encouraging news is that moving that mountain has nothing to do with its size but it has everything to do with our small faith in a big Savior!
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord Romans 8:38-39
No mountain can separate us from God’s love because of the cross of Jesus. Our sin which loomed like a giant mountain in our path has been removed and cast into the sea of God’s forgetfulness. It will no longer be remembered anymore forever. When one day we open our eyes in eternity with God we have the wonderful assurance that this biggest mountain of all has been moved! Since He has moved that giant mountain we joyfully use our mustard seed faith to face any small mountain today!
I am poured out like water and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax it is melted in the midst of my bowels. Psalm 22:14
As a teen ager I always loved the Christmas presents I got from my stepmother. She bought me beautiful expensive clothes. But as a loving reminder she would leave the price tag on! She didn’t mind spending the money but she wanted to be sure that I treated her gifts other special care!
When we are singing It is well with my soul we should always remember the cost of that message. In the garden His soul was sorrowful unto death. On the cross He was poured out like water. When the spear pierced His side the last drop of the lifeblood of Jesus flowed down to the ground. When we always remember the price we will always treasure the gift.
2 Corinthians 4:18 while we look not on the things which are seen but the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal but the things which are not seen are eternal
When I took this photo I just wanted to frame the river in the rigging of the boat. What was not seen by my eye was the Cross. That cross no longer seen is the one most eternal picture in the mind and heart of God!
When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30
Of the four gospel writers only John records these words. This last intimate communication which John overhears is the final prayer from Jesus to His Father. From the first cry of Jesus in Bethlehem’s manger to His final pain filled words on the cross Jesus had been on a mission. His mission was to seek and save what had been lost (You and Me). Now the healing, the praying, the fasting, the temptations, the teachings, the conflicts and the miracles of Jesus’ earthly ministry are finished. Every disciple who Jesus had called had been commissioned, every earthly relationship fulfilled, every suffering endured and He is ready to return to the place which He left at the right hand of God.
And it is most amazing to me that at that last moment, and with those final words, “It is finished,” that our own new life begins. Jesus has finished his race. Jesus has run carrying the torch of the light of heaven. As Jesus breathed out his last He passed to John, to His mother Mary and even to all of us who hear His words today that same torch to us to begin to run our own race. Some of us will run for miles and some only one short lap. Each of us has a different race marked out for us in this new year ahead, but we must start at the cross where Jesus finished His course and where we begin ours!
For me to live is Christ and to die is gain Philippians 1:21
Am I completely satisfied with Christ alone? When we are young we need to please someone. There is always one person’s opinion of our life that we value most. For some of us that is our Mom or Dad. Some idolize an older brother or a friend. But as a Christian really only God’s opinion matters. He is our true life but has that been our reality today?
Am I willing to surrender anything He asks? Once I was singing “I surrender all” during my nursing home ministry. At the end of the song one lady asked me, “what have you surrendered?” Her question cut right to my heart. What is Christ asking for me to give 100 percent to Him right now?
Am I ready to go anywhere He asks? Many times we pray for God to open a door. But what we truly have in mind is something that we have wanted on the other side. But if God opens a door and doesn’t tell us much about where it leads are we willing to push it wide open? Will we eagerly press forward just because we trust He knows best?
One terrible evening our Lord Jesus faced exactly these same three decisions. Did the Father’s opinion matter more than his own? Was he willing to surrender all he had? Would he go anywhere God asked? The open door before our Lord was a stone door ready to be rolled shut once he had entered. Christ prayed till sweat fell like drops of blood then he decided that for him to truly live was to do the Father’s will and for him to die was truly gain!