Tender Savior, let me never lose my wonder over the fact that You gave all to bring me back to Yourself.
Read Matthew 27:45-56
 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land.  About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).  When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”  Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink.  The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”  And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.  At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split  and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.  They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.  When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”  Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs.  Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat is your response to this God?
Sometimes Jesus’ words “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (46) have been interpreted as meaning there was some kind of “break” in the Trinity, for how can God die? If death means “ceasing to exist,” then there is a problem. But in the Bible, death is a consequence of sin, a state of existence. Spiritual death, or existence away from God and his redemption, is hell. In letting himself be “forsaken” by his Father, Jesus suffers hell for us. The physical agony of the cross is terrible, but the spiritual agony of bearing the weight of the world’s evil is the worst torture imaginable. Jesus is taking the sins of the world upon himself as prophesied long beforehand (Isa. 53:4,5). To understand the words that Jesus speaks from the cross, we need to read all of Psalm 22. In Jewish culture, when people quoted the first line of a psalm, they were invoking the whole psalm. As we read Psalm 22, we see that Jesus is drawing our attention to the fact that his suffering was prophesied and the means of his death was accurately detailed: from hands and feet pierced, to lots cast over clothing (Psa. 22:16,18). Jesus’ cry from the cross is one of both desolation and explanation.
Jesus experienced the punishment of hell for us. He desires all to receive forgiveness. Bring this news to the world.
Jesus, how deeply You entered our brokenness! Thank You that You are never a God who is far off.
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