Summary: ❶. Jesus Identifies With The Sinner's Darkness ❷ . Jesus Identifies With The Sinner's Despair ❸ . Jesus Identifies With The Sinner's Death
THE FIRST THREE WORDS FROM THE CROSS
1. "Father, forgive them." Shows His pity for men
2. "Today, thou shalt be with me." Shows His power to save
3. "Woman, behold thy son." Shows His provision for those He loved
Mk. 15:33-34 - Mt 27:45-46- My God My God why hast thou forsaken me?
On May 21, 1946, in Los Alamos, New Mexico, a daring young scientist was carrying out an important experiment in preparation for the forthcoming atomic tests to be conducted in the waters of the South Pacific at Bikini Atoll. He had successfully performed such an experiment many times before. In his efforts to determine the amount of U-235 necessary for a chain reaction, he would push two hemispheres of uranium together; then just as the mass became critical he would push them apart with his screwdriver, thus instantly stopping the chain reaction. On that day, just as the material became critical, the screwdriver slipped; the hemispheres of uranium came too close together. Instantly the room was filled with a dazzling bluish haze. The scientist, instead of ducking and thereby saving himself, tore the two hemispheres apart with his hands and interrupted the chain reaction.
By this instant, self-forgetful act, he saved the lives of the seven other scientists in the room. He recognized at once that he would succumb to the effects of the excessive radiation that he had absorbed, but he did not lose control. Shouting to his colleagues to stand exactly where they had been at the moment of the disaster he drew on the blackboard an accurate sketch of their relative positions so the doctors might discover the degree of radiation to which each had been exposed.
Later, as they waited at the roadside for a car to take them to the hospital, the scientist said to his companions, “You’ll come through all right, but I haven’t the faintest chance myself.” In nine days he died in agony of radiation sickness.
Two thousand years ago the Son of the living God walked directly into sin’s most concentrated radiation, allowed Himself to be touched by its curse and let it take his life. The accumulated guilt of the ages released its deadly contamination over Calvary, and He who made the atom permitted himself to be nailed to the tower at ground zero, allowed wicked man to trigger the cruel device we call “Calvary,” and by that act He broke the chain reaction, He broke the power of sin. The mocking crowd said, “He saved others; Himself He can not save.” They were correct, for Christ to interrupt the chain reaction of sin, He had to give His own life. He could not save Himself and others too. It is as if He spoke to every man, “You can come through all right, but I haven’t the faintest chance myself.” (George Vanderman quoted in Decision Magazine).
THE DIFFICULT WORD
This is the only sentence of any length in Aramaic preserved in Matthew, though he has Aramaic words like amen, corban, mammon, pascha, raca, Satan, Golgotha.
Luther meditating on this verse - Unfathomable God Forsaking God
1. My God, My God why hast thou forsaken me?
Ps 22:3 gives the answer to this significant and terrible cry:
2. This is the word that identifies Jesus with sinners
❶. Jesus Identifies With The Sinner's Darkness (V.45)
A. Darkness on earth for three hours. (from noon to 3:00pm)
1. Many explanations for this, but this is supernatural
2. Tertullian records a worldwide darkness
3. Eclipse impossible: - Time of full moon - too long
B. Pictures for us the supernatural darkness brought by sin
1. Mind of man is darkened (Rom. 1:21)
Romans 1:21 (AV)
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
2. Deeds of men called the works of darkness (Rom. 13:12-14;
Romans 13:12–14 (AV)
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
3. Man yields himself Sp Darkness (Eph. 6:12)
Ephesians 6:12 (AV)
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
4. Sin in its end brings eternal darkness (Mt 22:13)
Matthew 22:13 (AV)
13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.