Summary: The cross of Jesus reveals two important truths about God: He hates sin but He loves sinners.
WHAT THE CROSS TELL US ABOUT GOD
A. “My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?” Jesus cried while hanging on the CROSS.
1. As we discussed last Sunday, undoubtedly these words pierced the HEART of the Father.
He knew He would hear them. He inspired David to write them in the Twenty-second Psalm some 400 years before the crucifixion. But to hear those agonizing words from the parched lips of His only begotten Son as He hanged DYING upon the CROSS for something He didn’t do and knowing that He had the POWER to stop it at anytime, must have been the most DIFFICULT event the Father ever WITNESSED!
2. As parents we never want to see our children HURT.
When your young son comes home from school with a BLOODY NOSE and BLACK EYE and says that he’s going to be BEAT UP again tomorrow if he doesn’t give the BULLY $5.00, you will do everything possible to PROTECT him.
If you are informed by the hospital that your daughter was seriously INJURED in a car wreck, you will stop whatever you are doing and immediately go to her SIDE.
When our children HURT, we HURT. No LOVING parent will sit idly by and watch their CHILDREN get HURT without trying to STOP it. Yet, if my understanding is correct, when Jesus cried out: “My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?” the Father is turning His BACK on His DYING Son. He can STOP it, but doesn’t!
B. In Psalm 22 David describes CRUCIFIXION, although he had never witnessed one. Crucifixion was a
Roman’s INVENTION. (Listen carefully as I read and imagine what Jesus went through on the cross.)
1. This prophecy describes Jesus crying out for His Father to SAVE Him, and He doesn’t!
a. God had SAVED others who CRIED out unto Him, but not His own Son.
b. The people MOCK because God refuses to RESCUE Him.
2. Why would a LOVING FATHER do such a thing?
The CROSS of Jesus reveals two ATTITUDES about God that we need to UNDERSTAND before we can fully appreciate what Jesus did for us at Galgotha.
I. THE CROSS REVEALS THAT GOD HATES SIN
A. Jesus died a HUMILIATING and PAINFUL DEATH on the CROSS for one reason—yours and my SIN put Him there.
1. Jesus was SINLESS until He HUNG upon the CROSS, and our SIN became His SIN.
a. I Peter 2:24- “He bore our SINS in His body on the tree . . .”
b. II Corinthians 5:21- “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us . . .”
Our DISOBEDIENCE, our LIES, our IMMORALITY, our HATRED, our GOSSIP, our ENVY—every SIN we COMMITTED in the PAST and will COMMIT in the FUTURE nailed Jesus to the CROSS.
2. Jesus CRIED out from the DARKNESS, “My God. My God. Why have you forsaken me?” because of YOU and ME and a WORLD of people just like us.
a. Isaiah 59:2- “Our sins separate us from God.”
b. I John 1:5- “. . . God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.”
God has nothing to do with DARKNESS—SIN, EVIL, WICKEDNESS. He cannot FELLOWSHIP it. He cannot be PART of it. Where there is DARKNESS God will not be there.
3. If God is to have anything to do with us, He must EXPOSE of DARKNESS.
a. Romans 3:23- “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
b. Romans 6:23a- “The wages of sin is death . . .”
Because of our SIN, whether GREAT or SMALL, we are DESERVING of death. The reason we deserve death is because God, being HOLY, cannot allow the DEEDS of DARKNESS go UNPUNISHED.
4. Periodically, something happens to stab us awake to sin’s HIDEOUSNESS.
There was the BOMBING of the Oklahoma City Federal Building where 168 people died, many of them children left in a DAY-CARE. When I saw the photograph of the FIREFIGHTER carrying the limp, lifeless body of the TODDLER killed in that blast my HEART sank.
Four years later was the SHOOTING at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Twelve STUDENTS and one TEACHER were SHOT to DEATH and several more severely WOUNDED by two disturbed TEENAGERS. All the HOPES and DREAMS that those PARENTS had for their SONS and DAUGHTERS, were SNUFFED OUT by an ASSASSIN’S BULLET.
Never will we forget the TERRORIST ATTACK on 9/11. Over three thousand people were killed when the TWIN TOWERS were hit by two JETS with 157 PASSENGERS aboard that were used in the ATTACK. At the PENTAGON 125 people were killed in addition to 65 more who were in the JET used in that ATTACK. And even more people would have DIED that day if not for the brave souls on UNITED AIRLINES FLIGHT 93 who thwarted the TERRORIST ATTACK by attempting to take back the HIGH JACKED PLANE—45 people died when the PLANE crashed in Somerset County, Pa.