Summary: This is the fourth message in a Lenten series on"The Seven Last Words of Christ." I also have information on appropriate dramas that can be used as an introduction to this and the other six messages in the series.


--Matthew 27:46 (27:45-54)

Psalm 27:10 assures us, "Though father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me"; but, in all likelihood, everyone of us has experienced times when we have felt as if we have been forsaken by God. This is true for both individuals and nations. Isaiah 49:14 is a case in point for Judah:

But Zion said, "The Lord

has forsaken me,

the Lord has forgotten me."

In the aftermath of "911" many felt God had abandoned our Country and questioned His goodness.

On September 13, 2001, Billy Graham’s evangelist, daughter Anne Graham Lotz was interviewed on the CBS Early Show by Jane Clayson. Clayson asked her, "I’ve heard people say, those who are religious, those who are not, ’if God is good, how could God let this happen?’"

Graham Lotz replied:

I say God is also angry when He sees something like this.

I would say also for several years now Americans in a sense

have shaken their fist at God and said, "God we want You out

of our schools, our government, our business; we want You out

of our marketplace." And God, Who is a Gentleman, has just

quietly backed out of our national and political life, our public

life. Removing His hand of blessing and protection. We need

to turn to God first of all and say, "God, we’re sorry we have

treated You this way, and we invite You now to come into our

national life. We put our trust in You." We have our trust in

God on our coins, we need to practice it.


Yes, God is a Gentleman. He never forces Himself on any person or nation, and

there comes a time for both individuals and nations to repent and confess,

"God, we ’re sorry we have treated You this way, and we invite You now to come

into our life." God will only "remove His hand of blessing and protection from nations and individuals who turn their backs on Him and choose to "go their own way" without Him.

Jesus, Who never sinned and always remained faithful and obedient to His Father even came to the point He too questioned, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me." He truly understands our recurring "Question that Never Dies."

“It was a mountain one-room school house with severe unquestioned standards. The noon recess was ended and the teacher was interrogating the class with regard to the disappearance of Sally Jane’s lunch. After a few minutes of verbal threats and demands, a sob was heard. It was little Billy--a thin, undernourished child. His family was the poorest of the poor.

"Did you take Sally Jane’s lunch?" demanded the teacher.

Yes, sir," mumbled Billy through his tears. "I was hungry."

"Nevertheless, you did wrong to steal and you must be punished," declared the teacher. As the teacher removed the leather strap from its place on the wall, Billy was ordered to the front of the room and told to remove his shirt. The arm of the teacher was raised over the bent and trembling form of little Billy.

"HOLD IT, TEACHER!" shouted a husky voice from the rear of the room. It was Big Jim striding down the aisle removing his shirt as he came. "Let me take his whipp’n," he begged.

“The teacher was aghast, but knowing that justice must be demonstrated, he consented and laid the belt to the back of Big Jim with such force that even the stronger boy winced and his eyes watered. But Billy never forgot the day that Big Jim took his place [--James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) pp. 34-35.].”

Jesus became our Big Jim when He took our place on the Cross. The Bible says in I Peter 3:18, “For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit. . .” Gordon Jenson’s 1972 Southern Gospel Song “I Should Have Been Crucified” lays it on the line:

I was guilty with nothing to say

And they were coming to take me away

When a voice from heaven was heard that said

Let him go take Me instead

And I should have been crucified

I should have suffered and died

I should have hung on the cross in disgrace

But Jesus, God’s Son took my place

That crown of thorns, a spear in His side

and all the pain it should have been mine

Those rusty nails were meant for me

Oh but Christ took them and let me go free

And I should have been crucified

I should have suffered and died

I should have hung on the cross in disgrace

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