Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Matthew 27:45-56 "The Final Sacrifice"

Read Matthew 27:45-56.

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" NIV

As He hangs on a cross, we see another example of Jesus living out the same feelings we have all had at one time or another. Why has God left me alone here in this mess? Why do I have to hurt so when He can take it away with one word? Why me? I don't deserve this....

Of course the pain we suffer is nothing compared to what He endured. Not only was He going through one of the most excruciating forms of execution, but He was suffering spiritually by carrying the weight of the world's sin. It's no wonder He felt abandoned. No one should have to endure that agony. But He loved us too much not to.

And look at the result. The curtain in the temple was torn in two symbolizing the end exclusivism in approaching the throne of God. We are all now given access to the Almighty through the final high priest, Jesus Christ. People were raised from the dead. His own tormentors recognized Him for who He was. The world was changed forever!

We grieve for the pain Christ endured. Even the physical earth shook at His death. But His suffering was for a purpose far beyond His physical pain. He did it for our eternal salvation. The results were worth the trials.

Our suffering in this life, whether real or perceived, is for such a short time. And if we just persevere and learn from our trials, the results could impact the world. There still may be times that we feel like God has forsaken us. But that is simply the enemy's lie. He will never leave us or forsake us. He may allow certain trials to come into our life, but only so we will be stronger and more in line with who He is and His will. We will be led to rely on Him, trust Him in a greater way than ever before. But if I succumb to the enemy's lies and stop believing in the Truths of God, then Jesus' sacrifice was for nothing.

Lord, thank You for the sacrifice You made in taking my sins. Use me as a testimony to Your grace and mercy. Help me to always keep my heart focused on Your Truths in every trial I face. I never want to forsake You.

Further Thoughts:
  1. Read the accounts of Christ's death in the other gospels.
  2. Watch the movie, The Passion of the Christ.
  3. Read James 1:2-18. List how we are to handle trials and temptations.
  4. Spend some time today thanking Jesus for the sacrifice He made for us. Express your thanks in your own unique way -- write or sing a song, write a poem, dance around the room, kneel in silence, shout for joy.

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