Summary: Jesus experienced being forsaken by God to unite us with Him.
1. Matthew 27.45-49
45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 46 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?” 47 And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.”
2. Cherokee Boy’s Rite of Passage
His father takes him to the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until dawn. Once he survives the night he is considered a man.
The boy is naturally terrified in the darkness. He hears noises and imagines wild animals all around. He imagines the worst but wants to become a man.
Finally at dawn the tension-filled night is over and he is able to remove his blindfold. It is then that he discovers his father sitting on a stump next to him. He had kept watch over his son the whole night.
God is watching over us in the darkness when we cannot see him. We walk by faith, not by sight.
3. The Darkness is the most frightening place to us
a. Night Terrors – Psalm 91.5a 5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, (NLT)
b. Ghost Stories – night time
4. At the Cross, even in darkness, Jesus took on our circumstances to reverse our consequences
a. We are in need of forgiveness for sin – He spoke, “Father forgive. . .”
b. We need salvation – He spoke of “Paradise”
c. We need to feel Loved – He spoke, “Behold your son/Mother”
d. We feel abandoned – He spoke, “Why have you forsaken me?”
5. Let’s focus on the darkness and the feeling of being forsaken by God:
I. Darkness is Tied to Light
A. Darkness Preceded Light in Physical Creation – Genesis 1
1. Biblical time is – Evening-Morning; Sunset to sunset
2. “First Day of the Week” – Jesus’ Resurrection; Disciples in Troas (Acts 20.7) – our “Saturday Night”
B. Darkness Precedes Light in Spiritual Awareness
II. Darkness is Tied to Chaos
A. “Tohu V’Vohu” – Darkness and Chaos on the face of the deep
B. Chaos of the Adversary – Matthew 8.23-27
23 And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. 25 And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” 26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”
Matthew 14.22-33 (Peter on water – disciples thought he was a ghost; fear)
1. Times of Confusion
2. Times of Fear
3. Times of Ignorance
III. Darkness is Tied to Sin
John 3:19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.
John 12:46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.
1 John 2:11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
A. Sin is from the Realm of Darkness and Evil – Colossians 1.13-14
13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
B. Sin is Dark and Costly
Tuna and Sin
The tuna were running for the first time in 47 years, only 30 miles off the Cape. All you needed to catch one was a sharp hook and some bait. And the rewards for doing so were substantial. Rumor had it that the Japanese buyers would pay $50,000 for a nice Bluefin! That is why many would-be fishermen ignored Coast Guard warnings and headed out to sea in small boats. But what these new fishermen didn’t realize was the problem is not catching a tuna, the problem comes after they’re caught. One September morning the Christi Ann, a 19 foot boat, capsized while doing battle with a tuna. That same day the 27 foot Basic Instinct suffered the same fate, while the 28 foot, Official Business, was swamped after it hooked onto a 600 pound tuna. These fishermen underestimated the power of the fish they were trying to catch. That is what sin does to us. It looks manageable on the surface. Only after we hook into it do we discover its strength….and realize the terrible damage it does. Christ’s fourth word from the cross reminds us that sin is very costly. The price we pay for succumbing to its false promises is far too high.