“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
The Trinity remained intact throughout the life, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was this Triune love of God that poured out over His lost creation to redeem it, most powerfully demonstrated through the work done at the cross.
At the cross Jesus was never separated from God. The Trinity remained intact as always. But He was separated from His Father for a time, because no sin could be in the presence of the Father. Doing the will of the Father, the Son became sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21), meaning, in our place, and instead of us being despised and rejected, He was despised and rejected, by His Father….forsaken…. in His innocence! We stood guilty; He was innocent.
In His innocence, Jesus cried out on the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” He fully and completely took our place. And where we could not have justifiably cried this out, He did. Why, oh God, am I being forsaken?
Because it was the will of the Father to deal with sin and evil in this way. God’s love was on display as He punished His own Son so that we could become children of God. Fatherhood was on hold as the Son became despised and rejected not only by men, but by His own Father — for our sake. This to destroy sin, and the instigator of evil — Satan. This too, was to bring us back into fellowship with the Father.
In obedience Jesus humbled Himself, Jesus emptied himself, and Jesus completely obeyed the will of His Father to take on the wrath of God against the sin of the whole world at the cross! To destroy sin and the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). This was done so that the world would have the capacity and availability to be redeemed from the entanglement of sin and Satan, and enjoy the gift of living with God eternally… beginning now, and onto the new heaven and new earth.
Jesus was despised and rejected by His Father for a time on the cross. In doing so, He made God’s Father-ship and love available to all who would believe in Him, to all whom the Father would call unto Him.
In the final moments of Jesus on the cross, He cried out, “It is finished!” His sacrificial saving work was done. He breathed out His last. He had completely fulfilled everything the Father wanted Him to do and once again enjoyed Fatherly fellowship as He gave up His spirit saying, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
His work was done. Sin was PAID IN FULL. God’s love was open to many.
Fellowship with His Father was restored. The sins of the human race were paid for. And fellowship with the Father was made available for so many more…for all who believe in this Jesus Christ who gave His life, sacrificially, for us, in our place, in obedience to the Father. So that we would not have to suffer the wrath of God eternally, against sin.
Where we once stood guilty, we now stand free and declared innocent. Justified by the blood of Christ poured out on the cross.
This is the beauty of the message of Good Friday at Easter. And Sunday came where Jesus rose from the dead — confirming payment of sin, and a sign of things to come.
But there is a catch. “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” says the apostle Paul (Romans 8:1), meaning that those outside of Jesus who do not believe in Him, still stand condemned. Or you could say, still stand guilty in their sin. The payment for sin that Jesus made on the cross is only effective when you believe in Him. And no sin can come in the presence of the Father…. you would be subject to the wrath of God. And no one can sustain the wrath of God, except the Son of God — who did so at the cross. Your fate would be… eternal condemnation… hell, and into the lake of fire.
So we either stand before God pardoned and forgiven in Jesus, or we stand guilty before Him as our sinful selves in our sin.
Free of condemnation believing in Him, or condemned believing in ourselves.
Free in Jesus, we can look forward to living with Him forever, or condemned, we are doomed to hell and the lake of fire.
The message of Easter is that serious.
What do you choose?
Photo by Duncan Sanchez on Unsplash