Chapter 36 The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer by O.S. Hawkins.
This week’s question: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27.46).
Today’s question contains some of the last words of our Savior as He hung dying on the cross. He spoke seven times from the time the soldiers dropped that cross into a hole on Calvary until He died.
The first was a prayer, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23.24). Jesus lived out what He preached in Matthew 5 when He commanded us to “love our enemies” and “pray for those who persecute [us].”
He next statement was a promise to another dying man, one of the thieves who hung on either side of Him. “Today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23.43). That man had come to understand what we all must, if we are to spend eternity with Jesus:
- That we are sinners who deserve to die.
- That Jesus was without sin and who He claimed to be.
- That the penalty for sin is death.
- That God alone can offer us forgiveness and grace.
His next words were a pronouncement. “Woman, behold your son” (John 19.26). The author:
Seeing His mother, Mary, standing alongside His disciple John, Jesus commended her into John’s care. Yes, Jesus died taking care of others. Significantly, He referred to her as “Woman,” an indication that He was now severing all earthly ties. He would no longer be her son; now He would be her Savior.
Then came the darkness that, after three hours, was pierced with the haunting words of a prophecy: “My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Psalm 22:1). And after the darkness, three quick words. First, a plea: “I thirst!” (John 19: 28), revealing the human side of our Lord. Next came the proclamation: “It is finished!” (John 19: 30). The Greek word means “to be paid in full.” Jesus didn’t go to the cross to make a small down payment for our sin; He paid our sin debt in full. Finally came His last word, a profession: “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit” (Luke 23: 46). And Jesus died.
But why was Jesus forsaken by His Father when we know that God does not forsake His people?
We are reminded in Habakkuk 1: 13 that God the Father is so holy that He cannot even look upon sin. This truth is why, on the cross, the words of Isaiah 53: 6 became reality: “All we like sheep have gone astray . . . and the LORD has laid on Him [Christ] the iniquity of us all.” The apostle Paul put it like this: “[ God] made [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5: 21). On the cross Jesus took our sin in His own body, suffering shame, hurt, humiliation, pain, agony, and death— the consequences that we deserved. God the Father could not look upon the sin His Son was bearing, so He turned away. Darkness enveloped the earth as Jesus fought our battle with Satan on the cross. His words “My God, why have You forsaken Me?” come directly from Psalm 22: 1, as though Jesus, quoting this prophecy, was saying, “I will endure this separation so that any and all who come to Me will never have to be separated from God and will never experience the pain of being forsaken by their heavenly Father.”
Is it any wonder the Bible says, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9: 15)?
Famous and not so famous men and women have spoken on their death beds. The words of some were profound and others profoundly sad, but none more profound that those of our Lord.
Next week’s question: “Who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10.29).
Last week’s question: “Could you not watch with me one hour?” (Matthew 26.40). Read it here.
I have been pulling a few thoughts out of each chapter, but I cannot cover all the nuggets Hawkins shares in this little gem of a book. I hope these excerpts whet your appetite to purchase the book for yourself. Just click on one of the links below.
You can get a copy of The Jesus Code and follow along with these 52 vital questions. The chapters are short and can easily be read in one sitting. If you do, I’d love your feedback. Click here to get the book or HERE for Kindle.
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