Now Denny, Harold and their two beastly women were walking along, minding their own business, when they could have sworn that they saw their friend Charlie up ahead. Only this man was with an absolutely drop-dead gorgeous supermodel/centerfold. Stunned, Denny and Harold approached the man and in fact it was their friend Charlie. They asked him, why was he with this unbelievable goddess, while they were stuck with these awful women.
Charlie replied, "I have no idea, but I’m definitely not complaining. This has been absolutely the best time of my life. I am looking forward to spending the next five years with this gorgeous woman. There is only one thing that I can’t seem to understand. Every time we’re together, she keeps mumbling something about those darn income taxes.
The fact is that everyone one of us will die one day. And one of the best things about the last cry of Jesus from the cross, this cry of submission, is that it teaches us an important principle about dying: Most of us will die the very same way that we lived. I think that is the essence of this cry from the cross. Let’s see if we can’t look at it in a little more detail and see how that is true.
JESUS DIED THE WAY HE LIVED...
1. Accompanied by His Father’s presence
Three of the seven cries from the cross are prayers, and when we examine those prayers we find that they reveal something important about Jesus’ relationship with His Father:
• Jesus’ first cry from the cross, his cry of forgiveness, is directed to His Father: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
• Then, when all the sins of the world are laid upon Him and Jesus cries out in anguish, He no longer refers to God as His Father. Instead, he cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Because He bears the sin of the world, His fellowship with the Father has been broken and He ceases to enjoy the presence of His Father for a period of time.
• But in His last cry, Jesus once again addresses God as “Father”. As Denny pointed out last week, the very moment that Jesus cried out, “It is finished,” victory was achieved and therefore Jesus once again could experience the presence of His Father
Jesus died accompanied by the presence of His Father because He also lived in that presence. One of the things that characterized the life of Jesus while He was here on this earth is the importance of His relationship with His Father.
• When He was twelve years old, He told His parents that he must be about His Father’s business.
• Before he began His ministry, he spent 40 days in the wilderness in the presence of His Father.
• In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus uses the word “Father” 15 times.
• We constantly read of Jesus going off to a solitary place to be in the presence of His Father and pray.
• On the night before His crucifixion, Jesus goes into the Garden with His disciples, where he prays in the presence of His Father, first on behalf of His disciples and then for His own strength.
It was because He lived His life in the presence of God that Jesus was able to say things like: