45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[c] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”
48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.
62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”
65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
– Matthew 27:45-50, 55-66
Saturday April 08, 2023
The Easter season and the long holiday that comes with it avail us an opportunity to press into the rest of God. This is not just by physical relaxation or social activities but much more by reflecting on the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection in order to get a fresh revelation and insight into our salvation with the hope that we will receive a fresh impetus to take this good news to the ends of the earth.
Yesterday we started our reflections by meditating on three of the last words of Jesus on the cross. Today, we will be meditating on two other words of His on the cross and see what we can learn about life and what to do to press into purpose and make a good success of our journey of life as heirs of salvation.
The fourth word
“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46 & Mark 15:34
By now, it has been several hours of agony, anguish, and pain on the cross. The blood, the life in Him was draining away unto the ground. The lamb of God on the altar experienced the full weight of the assignment. It must have been gruesome. He that knew no sin has become sin.
God, our Father, cannot, will not, and does not dwell with sin. Even if Jesus, the only begotten son is the one involved. This is a lesson we must never forget. Sin and God don’t mingle together. However, the ear of God is forever open to us if we acknowledge Him in our state.
Don’t let sin, injustice, contrary situations, or whatever condition make you deny God as your God. His silence is not absence, sin inhibits His acts but a cry for His help will change everything.
In your hour of crisis, don’t turn away to personal, call out to God and He will save you. Don’t bother too much about sounding proper or rehearsed words. Don’t pretend to God that you have it all together when you don’t. Express to him exactly how you feel. If you feel forsaken, tell God so. If you feel like crying, weep and cry. If you feel like dancing, go ahead.
No matter what you express, recognize Him as God and never turn away from Him.
The fifth word
“I thirst.” John 19:28
The Psalmist wrote… ‘As the deer pants for water so my soul longs after you, you alone are my heart’s desire and I long to be with you.’
These words reveal the humanity of Jesus on the cross. He was tired and weak, frail and dehydrated. Beloved, your salvation was purchased on the altar of sacrifice. It was not by waving a magic wand or the snap of a finger, it was the death of a whole person on the cross. It was purchased by bloodshed.
In this age of technology, a transformation like salvation may seem like robotics or artificial intelligence but it is much deeper than that. Salvation is deeply spiritual and eternal in consequence.
Furthermore, Jesus thirsts to satisfy the longings of man. Love desires to be expressed. Be that soul that embraces this love and leads other souls to the spring of life so that Christ may find fulfillment and satisfaction in their homecoming.
LET US PRAY:
Dear Heavenly Father, there is none like you. Thank you for sending your only son to die for the sins of the world and including me in it.
Father, I often get discouraged because of the pressures of life. Help me to stay focused, inspired, and encouraged in the face of persecution, contradictions, and challenges of life. Father, cause me to be strengthened with power through your spirit in my inner-man that I may become all you want me to be indeed.
Today, I ask for a fresh hunger and thirst for righteousness to be awakened in me. I ask for fresh fire in my bones to share the good news of salvation with boldness, power, and consistency.
In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.