My friends, we all know that perilous times are here. They didn’t just arrive today. They have been moving upon the land for quite a while now. The United States is experiencing the worse housing crisis since the Great Depression. Home values have dropped a greater percentage than at any time on record. One-and-a-half million people are at risk of losing their homes. I’m one of them.
On Good Friday, I preached one of the Seven Last Words of Christ. It was given to me by my friend, Pastor Edward McRary of Spreading Oak Church in Inkster, Michigan. I didn’t personally select it. My message was “My God. My God. Why hath Thou forsaken me? Attached is that mini-sermon. I hope you will be encouraged by it. Take your “meds.”
TEXT: MATT. 27-43-54
Let me begin by saying that I’ve never felt forsaken by my god. However, I have felt deep depression, grief, sorrow and fear. There have been times when I’ve wanted to throw in the towel, face cloth, and the soap!
One time shortly following the passing of my husband, i was feeling very low. When my girlfriend called me, i answered the phone, but stayed under the covers. She could tell that something was wrong when i said “unless you tell me your mother’s maiden name, the last four digits of your social security number, and your pin number, I’m not coming out from under these covers. I’ve been under attack, and I need to make sure it’s you.”
What I was experiencing is what some call “a dark night of the soul”
As we look at Matt. 27:45, we can see that this was a dark night on the cross for Jesus. He came to do the fathers will. He had pinpoint obedience. And yet here he was being crucified. Have you ever felt that you were doing all that you could to please the lord but you felt forsaken by God?
Keep in mind here that Jesus was God in the flesh. His spirit was willing to go to the cross but his flesh was weak. In fact, he had pleaded earlier in Matthew for the bitter cup to be removed from him. He said, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful.” He was a man of sorrow, acquainted with grief. Jesus did not want to go to that cross. But he knew that without the shedding of blood that there was no remission for sin. It wasn’t until he died that the people believed he was the son of God. God showed up.
Likewise, people are watching us and we must be willing to crucify our own flesh, be willing to suffer, to win the lost.
Have you been mocked by onlookers who may have suggested that God had forsaken you. Perhaps their subtle remarks suggested “where is your God now?”
Notice this: right up until the end, Jesus cried out with a loud voice. He travailed. There is a difference in praying and crying out loud. Sometimes our predicament will require a shout and not a whisper.
In spite of what Jesus had to suffer, he still had a personal relationship with his fat her. We see that because he called him, “MY GOD. MY GOD.” In conclusion, let me repeat that I’ve never felt forsaken by God. There are at least two reasons why?
When Jesus went back to glory, He sent us the Holy Ghost to comfort, encourage, and empower us to be victorious in times of trouble.
The second reason I’ve never felt forsaken by God is because there are a lot more words and promises that Jesus spoke during his time on earth. Some of those words can be found in Deut. 31:6 and again repeated in Heb. 12:6.
“NEVER WILL I LEAVE YOU. NEVER WILL I FORSAKE YOU.”
With this thought in mind, my cry is:
“MY GOD, MY GOD, THANK YOU FOR NOT FORSAKING ME”
“Jesus answered and said unto them, Verify I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.” Matthew 21:21