Summary: In the hours of Christ's Crucifixion and at the moment of His death, God was talking. The people there missed it, for the most part. But we need to hear what He is saying.
Passage: Matthew 27:45-56
Intro: One of my favorite parts of Revelation is chapter 10:3-4
1. seven thunders, which “speak” so that John is ready to write what they say, but he is prevented.
2. I believe this is God talking.
3. wish we knew what He said. But we do know what He says in our passage this morning.
4. not audible words, but in the context of Jesus’ rejection by men and torturous execution, the intent is clear.
5. there are few statements in history as clear as those made by God in the face of Jesus’ death on a Roman cross.
6. the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was a work of awful darkness, fueled by the rejection of God.
7. here are God’s statements in response to that rejection.
I. Judgment is Irresistible
1. when Jesus was nailed to the cross, God said something.
2. v45, darkness from noon to 3 p.m.
3. “over the whole land”, probably Israel.
4. far too long for an eclipse.
PP solar eclipse, 6 minutes 39 seconds.
5. imagine the terror, because there is nothing man can do to accomplish this. It is God.
6. not surprisingly, God promised this very event in the context of judgment.
PP Amos 8:7-10
7. there is no doubt that signs and wonders in the heavens; things out of the ordinary, get our attention.
8. and the power that can “turn off the lights” and turn them back on is clearly an irresistible force.
9. how incredibly gracious of God to demonstrate His power again and again to us.
10. and specifically here in the face of man’s worst sin; the rejection of God’s gift of love, God flexes His judgmental muscle for us. But He is just starting to speak.
II. Judgment is Terrifying
1. when Jesus was suffering on the cross, He made a statement.
2. “My God. My God…”
Il) Don Hagner, “this is one of the most impenetrable mysteries of the entire Gospel narrative.”
3. can we know the depths of the judgment poured out our innocent Savior?
4. a quote from Psalm 22, which goes on to describe the crucifixion in amazing detail.
5. but to understand the idea of God turning away from Jesus, we need to understand this word “forsaken”
6. at root, means to leave behind.
7. but the intensive form is “to abandon, to leave alone.
8. and the super intensive form, used here is “to be deserted to face a powerful enemy, alone.”
Il) the Marines have a code: “We will leave no man behind.” Includes bodies of fallen soldiers.
9. here, God has left Jesus to face the twin enemies of sin and death alone.
10. and the terror of that impending experience is what caused Jesus to shudder in the Garden of Gethsemane.
11. cartoons of hell, jokes about hell paint a deceptive picture, but comforting
12. judgment? Look at Jesus on the cross, without the ending.
13. In God’s eyes, sin has demanded this awful payment.
III. Judgment Can Be Satisfied.
1. in the face of the irresistible terror of judgment, there is great news.
2. on the cross, judgment stopped.
3. not clear to those sitting and standing there what was happening.
4. confused, but figured something to drink might help. They were blind to the greatest event in history taking place before their blind eyes.
5. to them, it was kind of a game. V49
6. v50, cries out again, dies.
7. chronology exact in John 19:30
PP John 19:30 tetelestai
8. this most wonderful of words, “paid in full” The return of God’s favor, the satisfaction of debt.
9. do you know what this means? That the irresistible and terrifying judgment of God against my sin can be satisfied!!
10. God must judge sin, but His gracious desire is for His righteousness to be satisfied!
11. God’s character works in perfect harmony. He is not at war with Himself.
12. there is hope!
IV. Judgment is Satisfied Through the Death of Jesus Christ.
1. v51, “at that moment” NIV has taken the time element of “behold” into account.
2. when Jesus died, when the debt was satisfactorily paid, God spoke very loudly as only He can.
3. “curtain torn from top to bottom”
Il) 60 feet high, 30 feet wide. The curtain that separated God’s presence in the Holies of Holies from everyone else. High priest goes in once per year on Day of Atonement.
4. this means a couple of things:
5. one, the way to God is now open!
6. two, the requirements of the law have been met, and are therefore no longer in force.
PP Hebrews 9:12
7. so sin, the enemy of the human race and the force that the Law was designed to temporarily atone for, was once for all defeated.