Summary: What this fourth saying from the cross does is to give us a glimpse into the hellish pain and agony that Jesus suffered because of His separation from His Father. This agonizing question from the cross does have an answer and we find that answer in the P

Purpose: To explore the agony of Christ's suffering.

Aim: I want the listener to worship Christ because He became a curse for them.

INTRODUCTION: While the scorching heat of the Palestinian sun beat down on Christ as He hung on the Cross He spoke three different times between 9 am to 12 noon. Then, at noon, God turned the lights out. As the song writer, Isaac Watts put it, "Well might the sun in darkness hide, And shut its glories in, When Christ the mighty Maker died, For man, the creature's sin."

Then for three hours Jesus suffered silently in total darkness. "There were three days of darkness in Egypt before the Passover (Ex.10:21-23); and there were three hours of darkness before the Lamb of God died for the sins of the world." -- Warren Wiersbe.

Starting about 3 pm Jesus spoke four more times beginning with this mournful cry in

"About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?' that is, 'MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?'"(Matthew 27:46).

When Martin Luther studied this text he could not sleep all night. The next morning he looked at this again and said, "God forsaken by God, who can understand it?"

Charles Spurgeon explained it this way, "We can no more measure the depths of His suffering than measure the heights of His love."

What this fourth saying from the cross does is to give us a glimpse into the hellish pain and agony that Jesus suffered because of His separation from His Father.

This agonizing question from the cross does have an answer and we find that answer in the Psalm that Jesus was quoting. In Psalm 22 we have the most amazing prediction of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ anywhere in Scripture. David wrote these words one thousand years before death by crucifixion was invented, and yet he writes as if he were standing at the foot of the Cross of Christ.

►Vs.1-22 I. Prayer From the Christ

► Vs.1-2 A. The question "My God, my God why have you forsaken me?"

These words were spoken in agony, and yet hope does shine through. Jesus never lost sight of the fact that the God of the universe was also His God, although He does not refer to God as His Father, which He had done so many times earlier.

► Vs.1b 1. Why is God so far away? "Far from my deliverance"

This experience is what Jesus was referring to when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane: Matthew 26:38-39 38 ..."My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me." 39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will." (NAU)

Drinking from God's cup refers to enduring God's wrath. "For a cup is in the hand of the LORD, and the wine foams; It is well mixed, and He pours out of this; Surely all the wicked of the earth must drain and drink down its dregs." (Psalm 75:8).

"Rouse yourself! Rouse yourself! Arise, O Jerusalem, You who have drunk from the LORD'S hand the cup of His anger; The chalice of reeling you have drained to the dregs." (Isaiah 51:17).

"For thus the LORD, the God of Israel, says to me, "Take this cup of the wine of wrath from My hand and cause all the nations to whom I send you to drink it." (Jeremiah 25:15).

Revelation 14:19 So the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God. (NAU)

► Vs.2 2. Why is God absent in daylight and darkness? "I cry by day... by night"

While the sin of mankind was being heaped on Jesus, God the Father had to turn His back on Jesus. God did not deliver Jesus in the heat of the day or in the blackness of darkness.

2 Corinthians 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, ... (NAU) This separation was necessary because of God's holiness.

► Vs.3-21 B. The answer

► Vs.3-5 1. God is holy "You are holy"

God's holiness demands that sin we punished. "Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, And You can not look on wickedness with favor. ..." (Habakkuk 1:13).

Leviticus 5:17 "Now if a person sins and does any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, though he was unaware, still he is guilty and shall bear his punishment. (NAU)

The only description of God that is repeated three times is His holiness. Isaiah 6:1--4 ... I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. 2 Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called out to another and said, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory." 4 And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. (NAU)

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