November 2

Text: Matthew 27:46

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?" that is, "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?"  (NASB)

In this statement, Jesus was quoting Psalm 22:1.  The quote was quite fitting for the occasion.  The psalm was about a distraught, abused man who refused to abandon hope in God.   This distraught man focused on the praiseworthiness of God, not on the horror of his abuse.  Even in a cruel, unjust death, Jesus was the embodiment of Psalm 1:1, 2.  In all his pain and injustice, Jesus meditated on Godís word.

Sin in every way is the exact opposite of God.  It transformed people made in the image and likeness of God into people abhorrent to God (Genesis 1:31 with 3:24).  It perverted the creation that God Himself classified as very good to that which God never intended (consider Romans 8:19-22).  It deformed the sons of God into people who had no godly thought or motive (Genesis 6:2, 5-7).  Sin caused the flood, the deaths of delivered Israelites in the wilderness, the basic problem revealed in Judges, the divided kingdom of Israel, and the destructive captivities of Israel and Judah.

Now sin was devouring the physical life of His son.  Jesus died with the sins of mankind upon him (1 Peter 2:24; Hebrews 9:28).  No person has ever known anything as vile and objectionable as sin is to the God of purity and holiness.  Thus, the sacrificed Jesus died in a form of loneliness and alienation from God that no person in Christ can know or experience.

Peter declared Jesus successfully could yield to injustice because he focused on the way he should behave and gave vengeance to God (1 Peter 2:21-23).  Stressed physical people cannot surrender to godly behavior and seek vengeance at the same time.

Suggestion for reflection: Which is more important to you: pursuing vengeance or godly behavior?  (Read Hebrews 11:1-16.)

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