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Sunday, March 15, 2015

03152015 Laetare - Fourth Sunday in Lent - "My God, My God, Why have You Forsaken Me!"

Gospel Audio
Sermon Audio

March 15, 2015
God forsook Jesus for us!
God, it is clear from Jesus being nailed to the Cross of Calvary, His being spit upon and mocked by the soldiers and bystanders.  And giving away His responsibility of His Mother Mary to His beloved disciple, in His Humanity Jesus Christ felt no hope.  But the words, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" have a further sting that cuts deeper than any knife of Jesus feeling of being alone and Your deserting Him.  Reveal to each of us this was not abandonment without a divine purpose.  The purpose was our forgiveness and the fulfillment of the promise of salvation for each of us.  For this message is a clear demonstration of Your love for each of us gathered here to hear about the Gospel of Salvation and believe in Your Love of us in these Words from the Cross.  AMEN.

Simple words cannot begin to explain or describe the emotion of these 9 words of Jesus from the Cross.  “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?”  Posed in the form of a question, full of emotion and Jesus feeling the weight of the World upon His shoulders.  This statement is not only a question, but even a plea from Jesus to His Father in heaven seeking an answer.

Jesus was clearly worn down both physically and emotionally by the events of the last 24 hours.  Having watched His disciples whom He had called, lived and journeyed with for the last three years running away in fear of being captured and suffering the same fate.  Now Jesus hanging upon the Cross that He had carried from inside the walls of Jerusalem outside of the city, because it was more palatable to nail someone to the cross outside of the walls.  Jesus in anguish was feeling the fullness of what His humiliation would entail when He came down from heaven.  Jesus felt alone and forsaken hanging on the Cross on Golgotha.

Even though Jesus felt alone and forsaken, there was a purpose.  The divine purpose was to show God’s love.  Love you say, how could being forsaken, show love?  Simply, Jesus being forsaken by God the Father, having God the Father turn His back on His Son, allowing the full weight of the sins of the world to rest upon His Son’s shoulders was because of God’s love for you and for me.
God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit loved us so much that in order to save mankind, God not only sent His Son, Jesus Christ, but allowed Him, Jesus Christ to feel forsaken.  Jesus words, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” capture clearly the feeling Jesus in His Humanity had of not being connected with His Father in heaven.  Jesus Christ, Who had daily gone out to pray to continue the connection with His Father, now felt the clear and radical break in that most intimate divine connection.

We as Christians at times also feel a break in connection.  Whether with spouse, family, loved ones, child or even and especially our Father in heaven.  When our world seems to be spiraling out of control, like a car on ice without traction, a tractor that has lost its steering capability or even a plane that no longer has lift under its wings.  When we are out of control, we feel lost, alone and we cannot connect.  This is what Jesus was feeling on the Cross of Calvary and how we who gather here today can feel comforted that even Jesus, God’s own Son, felt out of control and clearly felt a clear sense of disconnection from His Father in heaven.

But this is why Jesus came down from heaven.  To bridge the gap, fill and reconnect the lost connection between God and man.  Jesus Christ came to offer Himself as the perfect sacrifice, connection and bridge for each of us, because of His love for us.  Jesus Christ came to live the ‘broken’ experience that we feel, speak the words, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” and bridge the gap for all of mankind because of His compassion and great love for each and every one of us, His children.

When Jesus spoke these words 9 from the Cross of Calvary, in the moment Jesus felt isolated and alone.  But Jesus being alone was only a stepping stone on the journey towards the free offer of grace to all of mankind of salvation.  For it was through Jesus being there on the Cross of Calvary that we are offered eternal life and salvation.  Jesus Christ desperate questioning cry from the Cross points to both aloneness and desperation as seen from the side of Good Friday and the clear sense of loss.  But we have a God Who came and offered Himself to each and every one of us to set us free and that message came Easter Sunday with His resurrection.  We are freed because of God’s love for each and every one of us.  Our freedom is found, because we have a Savior willing to experience our lowest point of desperation and set us free from our feeling forsaken through His resurrection and overcoming death in order to set us free.

God, through His Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven, was nailed to the Cross of Calvary out of His love for mankind and reconnects each and every one of us to His Father in Heaven through Jesus Christ offer of forgiveness.  We are set free from isolation and aloneness and reconnected with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Jesus Christ in uttering these words looked not at that which bound Him to the Cross, or the feeling of being forsaken, but beyond to the freedom He would offer us on Easter with His resurrection.  We have a God Who saw through Good Friday to Easter where His Son Jesus Christ proclaimed our freedom from all that would bind us.  God is offering us this same gift today to see through our feeling of being forsaken to be embraced by His gift of love and salvation for all of mankind.

Jesus Christ looks through “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” and bridges the gap for all eternity of freedom, life and salvation that is the greatest offer mankind could ever be given.  This is the gift that Jesus Christ is offering to each and every one of us today from the Cross and Jesus does this out of His love for all of mankind.  Including each and every one of us gathered here this morning who feel forsaken.  For God has not forsaken us, He sent His Son for all of mankind and offers each and every one of us gathered here this morning at Emmanuel life and salvation from a Cross where Jesus Christ fulfilled the plan of salvation for each and every one of us when He uttered, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?".  AMEN.

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