Sermon #73 Mark Sermons
Title: CHRIST FORSAKEN
Text: Mark 15:34
Subject: Christ’s Being Forsaken By The Father
Date: Sunday Morning - February 14, 1999
Tape # V-11b
Reading: Psalm 22:1-31
These are the words of the great Surety of sinners, as he hung upon the cursed tree. The more I study, meditate upon and pray over them, the more convinced I am that it is simply impossible for a mere earthling to expound them. Yet, I am certain that there is more contained in and expressed by these few, heavy, heavy words from our Savior’s afflicted soul than is contained in all the commentaries and theology books in my study.
I have preached many, many sermons from these words of lamentation and woe, and will probably preach many more, if I live a little longer. I make no apology for that. My only fear in preaching this message is that of taking this tremendous fact -- (THE FACT THAT GOD THE SON WAS FORSAKEN BY GOD THE FATHER, WHEN HE WAS MADE TO BE SIN FOR US) – and reducing it to a discussion about doctrine and theology.
I am here today to talk to you about the sufferings of the Son of God when he was made to be sin for us. “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” These are the very words of our Lord Jesus Christ when he engaged all the forces of hell and endured the indescribable wrath of almighty God as our Substitute.
The horrid load of all my sin
Was on my Savior laid.
With sin, and shame, and darkness He
For me was once arrayed!
While bearing all the wrath of God,
“Forgive,” He prayed for me,
In love embraced my wretched soul,
And gave His life for me!
Oh, love, amazing love I see
In Christ, God’s darling Son!
He freely gave His life for me,
A sinful wretch, undone!
I sing of that redeeming love,
With heart, and soul, and tongue!
That love shall be the subject of
My everlasting song!
“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Preach this I do, with gladness and joy. Explain it, I cannot. Believe it, I do. Understand it, I do not.
Illustration: Martin Luther – “God forsaken of God! My God, No man can understand that!”
Proposition: The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was forsaken by God the Father when he was made to be sin for us, so that his people might be forever accepted of God by the merits of his shed blood and imputed righteousness.
May God the Holy Spirit be our Teacher and graciously feed our souls upon Christ crucified this hour. I want to show you four things in this message.
I. The first thing that is obvious in these words of great lamentation, falling from the lips of our crucified Savior is THE EXCEEDING SINFULNESS OF SIN.
What an infinitely evil thing sin is! It is such a horrid thing that the holy Lord God cannot tolerate it, even when it was found upon his darling Son.
· We have all sinned.
· We are all sinners.
· Sin is the cause of all sickness, sorrow, suffering and sighing in this world.
A. Whenever God sees sin, he will punish it without mercy.
1. When the angels fell, God cast them out of heaven and holds them in chains of darkness until the day of judgment (II Pet. 2:4; Jude 6).
2. When Adam sinned, he was cursed of God and driven from the presence of the Lord (Gen. 3).
· Cursed with Spiritual Death.
· Cursed with Sickness!
· Cursed with Sorrow!
· Cursed in His Seed!
· Cursed Physical Death!
· Cursed with Eternal Death!
1. When God looked upon the wickedness of Noah’s generation, he destroyed the whole world in the flood of his wrath (Gen. 6).
2. Upon the twin cities of perverseness, Sodom and Gomorrah, God poured out fire and brimstone (Gen. 19).
3. And when God saw sin upon his darling Son, his only-begotten, well-beloved Son, he forsook him!
4. Be warned - If God finds sin on you, he will destroy you forever in hell, without mercy! Flee to Christ, who alone can cleanse you of all sin!
B. The only thing that could ever put away sin is the blood atonement and sin-atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ.
II. Second, as I hear these words fall from the lips of the Lord Jesus Christ, -- “My God, my God, Why hast thou forsaken me?” – I see The completeness of Christ's obedience.
I could never obey God perfectly. I could never do his will completely. I cannot fulfil the demands of God’s holy law. But the Son of God became my Surety in covenant grace and performed in my stead, as my federal head and representative, all that God required of me (Rom 5:19).
A. These are the words of the obedient Son of God in the zenith of his obedience. -- "My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me?."
He was obedient unto death. Our salvation was accomplished by the doing as well as the dying of the Son of God. Christ came here, not only to suffer all that we should have suffered, but to also obey all that we should have obeyed - not only to suffer the curse of the law, but also to obey the commands of the law.
When the thing was proposed to him in heaven, he said: "Lo, I come to do thy will, O my God!" - "Yea, thy law is within my heart.” This doing of the Father’s will required obedience unto death, even the death of the cross.
· The doing of Christ is imputed to us for righteousness (Rom. 5:19).
· The dying of Christ made atonement for our sins (Rom. 5:11).
Our Lord Jesus Christ suffered all that we should have suffered and obeyed all that we should have obeyed.
· Isaiah 50:4-7
· Hebrews 10:5-10
· Philippians 2:5-11
· John 10:16-18
Note: Even when he was totally forsaken by God, he remained completely obedient to God!
Note: Do you now trust the Lord Jesus Christ? If you do, if you trust him, all his perfect obedience is yours!
B. These words also express the great, perfect and complete faith of the God-man as our Substitute.
These are words of strong, perfect faith. "My God, my God, Why has thou forsaken me?" These words show the greatest faith that ever was in this world.
M’Cheyne said, Faith is believing the word of God, not because we see it to be true, or feel it to be true, but because God has said it.”
When our Lord Jesus Christ was forsaken. He did not see that God was his God - he did not feel that God, was his God; and yet he believed God's word, and cried: “My God, my God." May God give us such faith.
1. David showed great faith in Ps. 42:7-8. -- "Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life." He felt like one covered with a sea of troubles. He could see no light - no way of escape; yet he believed the word of God, and said: "Yet the Lord will." This is faith-believing when we do not see.
2. Jonah showed great faith. -- "All thy billows and thy waves passed over me; then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple." (Jonah 2:3-4). He was literally at the bottom of the sea. He knew no way of escape. He saw no light-he felt no safety; yet he believed the word of God. This was great faith.
3. But a greater than Jonah is here.
Here is greater faith than David's, greater faith than Jonah's, greater faith than there ever has been in this world, before or after. Christ was now beneath a deeper sea than that which covered Jonah. The tossing billows of God's anger roared over him. He was forsaken by his Father. He was in outer darkness. Here, the Lord Jesus Christ was in hell! Yet, he believed the word of God. He said, "Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell." He does not feel it - he does not see it - but he believes it, and cries: "My God, my God!" Like Job, he said, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him."
Child of God, this is your surety. We are often unbelieving, often distrustful of our God; behold our surety! He never distrusted. He always believed God! Cling to him! Trust him! We are complete in him! He is all our righteousness!
C. These words, “my God, my God,” are words of great, exemplary love and devotion.
Loving, devoted hearts sweetly surrender to the will of God, even when it is most adverse to nature.
· Job (Job 1:21)
· Eli (1 Sam. 3:18)
· The Shunamite - It is well with the child” (2 Kings 4:26).
But here is love and devotion unrivalled! Hanging upon the cursed tree, forsaken by God, without one smile from heaven, without one drop of mercy, without one comfort for his soul, with all the horrendous agonies of hell crushing his very soul, Christ loves the very God who forsakes him! He does not cry out, O cruel and merciless God!” No. He cries with utmost love and devotion - “MY GOD, MY GOD!”
· What an Example - (John 12:28-32)!
· What a Surety! - Again, I remind you, all the merit of his holy obedience is ours!
III. Third, these words are recorded upon the pages of Holy Scripture to teach us and impress upon our hearts and minds The infinity of Christ's sufferings AS OUR SUBSTITUTE. – “My God, my God, Why hast thou forsaken me?”
Of His sufferings so intense,
Angels have no perfect sense.
The more I think about the sufferings of Christ as our Substitute, the more I realize how little I know. The more I study what the Son of God endured to redeem me, the more compelled I am to speak of his sufferings as his unknown, infinite sufferings. When the Lord Jesus Christ was made to be sin for us, he suffered all the consequences of sin as our Substitute, to the full satisfaction of God’s infinite justice!
A. Christ suffered the wrath of God for us in all his mediatorial offices.
1. As A Prophet – “Who smote thee?”
2. As A Priest – They Laughed, Mocked Him, and Sacrificed Him!
3. As A King – The Crown, The Robe, The Reed Sceptre - “Hail King!”
4. As A Savior – “He saved others, himself he cannot save.”
B. Immanuel suffered in every part of his body
1. His Head
2. His Cheeks
3. His Back
4. His Hands
5. His Feet
6. His Side
C. Our great Redeemer suffered at the hands of the devil as well as the hands of wicked men. – “Save me from the lion’s mouth!”
From the moment he came forth from the Mary’s virgin womb, until he cried “It is finished,” and gave up the ghost, our Savior’s life was an unceasing warfare with hell.
D. The Lord Jesus suffered at the hands of all sorts of men.
1. Betrayed by Judas.
2. Denied by Peter.
3. Forsaken by all His Disciples.
4. Mocked and Beaten by the Soldiers.
5. The Song of Drunkards.
6. Slandered by False Witnesses.
7. Scorned by the Chief Priests, Scribes, and Pharisees.
8. Derided by the Thieves.
9. Many for whom he bled, many who dipped their hands in his blood joined in the hellish revelry!
E. But the depth, the infinite depth and immeasurable height of his agony was the agony of his soul and spirit, the sufferings heaped upon him by the hand of his Father. -- “My God, my God, Why hast thou forsaken me?”
Everything else he suffered was finite and measurable. This was infinite and immeasurable!
1. Who was forsaken? -“ME!
· One Who Is Infinitely Dear To The Father.
· One Who Is Infinitely Holy And Obedient.
· One Who Is Infinitely Equal With And In Union With The Father.
· One Who Is Infinitely Approved Of And Accepted By The Father.
2. Who forsook him? --“MY GOD, MY GOD!”
· The Infinite God!
· The Beloved Father!
· The One Whom He Perfectly Loved and Perfectly Obeyed!
3. What did the Lord God do to his darling Son? -- “WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?”
Oh, what an infinite abyss of hell the Lord Jesus Christ waded through to redeem us!
· Without Any Comfort From God!
· Without Any Mercy From God!
· Without Any Hint Of Acceptance With God!
· Without God!
IV. Now, in the last place, let me briefly, but reverently give you an answer from the Word of God to our Savior’s dying question - “WHY?” -- “WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?”
A. He agreed to it in the covenant (Heb. 10).
B. He set his face like a flint to endure it (Isa. 50:5-7; John 11).
C. He loved us (Eph. 5:25).
D. There was no other way under heaven for us to be saved (Rom. 3:24-26).
E. He was made to be sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21).
Once it was mine, the cup of wrath,
But Jesus drank it dry,
When on the cursed tree transfixed
He breathed His dying sigh.
No tongue can tell the wrath He bore,
The wrath so due to me.
Sin’s just desert, He bore it all,
To set this sinner free!
Now, not a single drop remains, --
“`Tis finished,” was His cry;
With one tremendous draft of love,
He drank damnation dry!