Pain reveals the deepest areas of our lives. It brings forth our true self: Our good, our bad, our indifference. It shows our areas of insecurity, and our areas of vulnerability and regrets.
It can cause us to say the most horrendous things in life, or the most life-giving things. And what you store inside your heart over the years is what will comes out in pain.
That’s why people say mean things when they fight!! We chose the harshest words towards someone else to explain the deep pain that is inside of us.
There are many stories of last words that people say when they are in pain and they all contain regret, fear, and abandonment.
What will we say in the midst of our pain?
What you reflect in life, God will reveal in death.
This sermon series will cover what the last words of Jesus revealed about his life and his purpose on the cross and what we can learn from it.
Just to give you context of Jesus first words in the cross, here’s what was going on:
“Above (Jesus’) head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 38 Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, "You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!" 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 "He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself! He's the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, 'I am the Son of God.'" Matt 27:37-43
The people who crucified Jesus were mocking him! Crucifixion was notoriously painful… In fact, the word crucifixion, at it’s root means excruciating. Jesus was not hanging on the cross like we see in movies with a relatively clean guy with a white diaper. No, the truth is that not only was there physical torture involved, but death was caused by drowning, as the person crucified was eventually unable to raise his or her body sufficiently to take a breath, so that the lungs filled with moisture. For the first three hours of his pain, Jesus hangs in view of the world that has rejected him. He had thorns in his head. He was flogged 39 times with a whip that had metal tips that caused pieces of flesh to come off. This often left his inside organs exposed.
They beat his face and kicked him and the truth was that he was unrecognizable when he was hanging on the cross with nails driven through his hands and feet.
The Crowd and Religious leaders mockingly asked, “Where’s is His God now… Isn’t he God? Doesn’t he trusts in God?”
The definition of trust is (peitho (pi'-tho); to convince, to rely on with inward certainty, have full confidence, or complete trust.
When someone questions your trust in God in the middle of the pain, know that they are personifying the devil himself.
From the very beginning of time, the devil’s job has been to question our trust for God.
Look at Adam and Eve when he said, “Did God really say that?” “Are you sure you could trust God at His word?”
It’s very easy to trust God when things go well in life but what about when life beats you up pretty bad?
It was in that moment that physical and spiritual darkness set-in on the world:
Matt 27:45-46 says, “From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. 46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"-which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Jesus spent 3 hours in darkness. It was midnight darkness at noon!
Many scholars believe that this time was when God withdrew himself away from His son. It was the time where all the sins of the world was being imputed on Jesus.
What is interesting is that all the other verses of the Gospel, Jesus refers to God as his father… Abba.[Term of endearment… Daddy]. But in this moment, He said… GOD, GOD…
This is a very sad verse and very confusing. A scholar asked, how can God forsake God?
Isn’t that how it is with us, though? We ask God where He is when it goes dark in our lives? This was a real human moment for Jesus. That though he was God in human form, at that moment he was a sacrifice for our sins. He had to exercise what we have to exercise today, and that is trust in God!
Jesus perspective at that moment of darkness was harsh, but he didn’t lose hope.
Don’t lose hope in God when things Go dark in our lives, because God is the only one that can shine light into the darkness.
A period of darkness is worth the hope of resurrection.
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 1 Cor 13:12
You may not understand it, but here is what you do when the world goes dark and you feel alone.
Lean on THE GOODNESS OF GOD
No one is good — except God alone. Mark 10:18
How can a good God, turn away in a moment of pain?
Author TIM KELLER in Walking with God through Pain & Suffering writes,
“Jesus lost all his glory so that we could be clothed in it. He was shut out so we could get access. He was bound, nailed, so that we could be free. He was cast out so we could approach. And Jesus took away the only kind of suffering that can really destroy you: that is being cast away from God. He took that so that now all suffering that comes into your life will only make you great. A lump of coal under pressure becomes a diamond. And the suffering of a person in Christ only turns you into somebody gorgeous.”
In other words, and in the words of Tim Keller, again, “Jesus lost all his glory so that we could be clothed in it.”
In that moment where Jesus was being forsaken, God was at work on your behalf. Pain was necessary because Jesus was a sacrifice.
Love = Sacrifice.
There’s goodness in pain. Even Paul said, “Consider pure joy when you are being test and persecuted, because your faith will be complete.”
The reason why we respect our soldiers is because their love of country is marked by their sacrifice to defend the values of our country.
The reason why we should respect Jesus is because His love of sinful people, was marked by the sacrifice he endured so we would be free from sin.
Because God is good he is also, reliable.
You can also lean on THE RELIABILITY OF GOD
“Suffering is unbearable if you aren’t certain that God is for you and with you.” – Time Keller
Two things make God reliable,
If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Rom 8:31-33
“...Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”Hebrews 13:5
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Prov 3:5-6
How you see things changes when you know God!
Look at the word, NOWHERE.
You can choose to read it a couple different ways...NOWHERE or NOWHERE.
The closer you get to Jesus, your NOWHERE will be turned into NOW HERE.
The closer we get to God the less we ask, why? And the more we ask, what? What do you want me to learn from this? What do you want me to do with this pain.
Jesus brought God glory through His pain:
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Cor 5:21
In your moment of pain, how will you respond? With fear, regret or abandonment? Or will you hang on to see the light of hope through your pain?
Jesus went through pain, but he hung in there to experience the resurrection.
Join us tomorrow for the next chapter of What He Said While in Pain and bring a friend!
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