Summary: The death of Jesus gave the illusion that Jesus failed. Things are not always the way they appear!
• VIDEO CLIP
• SLIDE #1
• If all one knew about the life of Jesus was what we saw in the video clip, one could easily conclude that Jesus failed miserably.
• Here was a man who made bold claims about being the Son of God, about being the Messiah, as well as stating that when you looked at Him, you were looking at the Father (John 14:9)
• Jesus made many claims, and truth be told, anyone can make a claim; however, it is another story to back up the claim.
• During The Illusion Series, we have been looking at some of the illusions people were taken in by, both during Jesus’ ministry and even yet today.
• We examined the Illusion that Jesus was powerless, and last week we examined the illusion that Jesus was not God.
• For some here today, you may be struggling with what you believe about Jesus.
• The whole God becoming man could come across as stuff of myth, making it easier to believe the illusions versus embracing the truth concerning Jesus.
• The closest disciples of Jesus, the ones who heard the teaching, who saw the miracles, who saw Jesus raise a man from the dead who was in the grave for four days, when push came to shove, they struggled with what they believed about Jesus, for a time anyway.
• When you look at the clip we showed taken from the Gospels, it sure looks like, no matter what you believe concerning Jesus, feeds into the illusion that no matter what the miracles pointed toward, and whoever Jesus claimed to be, that Jesus failed!
• Today we will spend the bulk of our time in Matthew 27:45-50, this passage takes us to the point of Jesus dying on the cross, feeding into the illusion that Jesus failed.
• If Jesus failed, then the illusions of Jesus being powerless and not being God would be true.
• By the way, if Jesus failed, there are ramifications for us to this day and for eternity (1 Corinthians 15).
• Let us begin our journey together by looking at Matthew 27:45-49
• SLIDE #2
• Matthew 27:45–49 (CSB) — 45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over the whole land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Elí, Elí, lemá sabachtháni?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” 47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling for Elijah.” 48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and offered him a drink. 49 But the rest said, “Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
• SLIDE #3
I. The illusion that Jesus gave up.
• Have you ever worked on a project, a project you were excited about, one that you had poured yourself into, only to find out once you got deep into the project that you were not going to be able to complete the project, the project was going to be a failure?
• Once you hit that spot in the project, did you find your energy dropping, did you see your enthusiasm for the project begin its steep descent into Bummerville?
• When one faces a situation that seems to be a lost cause, many tend to give up.
• Giving up is a classic sign of knowing one failed or was about to fail.
• When you look at Jesus from the time after He was arrested until He died, he is not giving off the vibe that He is going to succeed.
• IT almost would appear that God Himself had given up.
• There was a supernatural darkness that took place in the region. This darkness could represent the judgment to come or possibly a manifestation of tremendous sorrow on the part of God.
• During Jesus’ trial, we are told that Pilate was amazed that Jesus would not answer the accusations raised against Him. Why would you not defend yourself unless you have given up?
• Jesus allowed Himself to be arrested when He said that He could call down an army of angels to stop it.
• Why did He let them beat Him and spit on Him or injure Him in anyway? Jesus is giving off the illusion that He has given up.
• While Jesus was hanging on the cross as people are mocking Him, He cries out, MY GOD MY GOD WHY HAVE YOU ABANDONED ME?
• Sounds like He has given up.
• It sounds like all hope is gone.