God has never promised that his children will be wealthy in this life but he has promised that we will have everything we need.

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (Hebrews 13:5)

Because he has promised never to forsake us we don’t need to be concerned about how much money we have.  He will give us what we need when we need it.  If we don’t have something we would like to have it means we don’t need it so we can be content with what we have, no matter how little that is.

God’s promises don’t mean we will never suffer.  Like any good father God wants his children to become mature and maturity requires discipline.

 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?  (Hebrews 12:7)

The discipline we endure doesn’t mean that God has forsaken us but shows that he is actively involved in our lives.  Whatever pain we suffer now will be made up for by the effects it has on us in the future.  (If everything always goes smoothly for you and you don’t ever suffer, perhaps you should examine yourself to make sure you are really saved.  Satan sometimes tricks people into thinking they are saved when they aren’t.  I was once a victim of this deception.  I was an active member of a church but I was still lost.)

In view of these facts, Jesus made a statement while he was being crucified that is puzzling to some.

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  (Matthew 27:46)

God has promised never to forsake us.  How could he forsake is own Son?

Psalm 22 begins with the words Jesus said.  Some have tried to explain his words by saying that he was quoting that psalm.  But if you read the psalm you will see that it is a prophecy of how the Messiah would die.

For dogs encompass me;
a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my hands and feet—
I can count all my bones—
they stare and gloat over me;
they divide my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.  (Psalm 22:16-18)

Jesus wasn’t quoting Psalm 22; the psalm was prophesying what he would say.

His being forsaken by the Father makes sense when we look at why Jesus died in the first place.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  (2 Corinthians 5:21)

All death, both physical and spiritual, is the result of sin.  Jesus never sinned so he didn’t have to die.  He chose to die in our place so that we could be reconciled to God and receive eternal life.  Since our sins have separated us from God he had to experience this same separation.

None of us can conceive of how painful this separation was for Jesus.  We are born in a state of spiritual death so separation is our default position.  Jesus was God as well as man and had always known perfect fellowship with God.  When he was rejected he couldn’t even address God as “Father” as he normally did.  The suffering of being rejected was probably worse than the physical pain he experienced.  When he asked if God could allow this cup to pass from him, I think he was referring more to this separation than to the pain of crucifixion.

It won’t be until we get to Heaven that we will have some idea of the price Jesus paid.  When we experience perfect fellowship without any sin to distract us we will finally understand the sacrifice he made.  Those who reject him will also begin to understand rejection when they are condemned to Hell and no longer receive any of the good things God gives them in this life.

It is only during this life that we have the opportunity to choose whether to repent and trust in Jesus so that his death will pay for our sins.  If you aren’t sure whether you have done this I recommend that you check this site: Jesus Saves

Posted on April 22, 2020, in Bible study, salvation and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Forsaken.

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