Sunday Summary, 13/4/14
Yesterday we heard parts three and four of our Seven Sayings of Jesus From The Cross series. Saying #3 was: “Behold you son, behold your mother” (Jn 19:26-27)… Check out the podcast at valleychurch.eu/messages to hear Andy speak on that.
Saying #4 was the perennially intriguing “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” from Matthew 27:46. Ps Ed spoke and began by explaining a little bit about what the disciples must have been expecting. We watched a video of our Bishop, David Roller explain that for the disciples, they were hoping against hope, right until Jesus’ last breath that he would spring from the cross and be the Messiah they were all expecting him to be: a political leader, a king that would once again rule just like David did. They did not expect their Messiah to die. And then what it must have felt like when Jesus took his last breath. Hope had died. The One they’d put their trust in had died. Their hope was lost.
Ps Ed then took us to Psalm 22, and the surrounding Psalms. Psalm 22:1 is the original scripture Jesus actually quotes when he says this fourth saying. This Psalm not only ends in a victory cry itself, but is surrounded by victory on all sides. Psalm 21 sets up what the King, the Messiah would actually be like: for example in verse 5, “His glory is great through your salvation; splendour and majesty you bestow on him.” Psalm 23, which most of us have heard before talks about the fact that in the midst of his enemies, God has set a table for Him… in other words, God is right there in the middle of persecution (Ps 23:5).
Even in Psalm 22 itself, Jesus is referring to the fact that he really is the one they were expecting, even if for them it looks like hope is dying. By quoting Ps 22:1, he would make the disciples and anyone who knew the Old Testament scripture think about the rest of that Psalm. Especially verses 16-18,
“For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet—I can count all my bones—they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.”
Jesus is showing that he is the One they were expecting. Hope hasn’t died. Although God has in some sense forsaken Him for our sake, it is only temporary. This is the only place in the Gospels where Jesus doesn’t refer to God as “Father”. God turns His face away from His own Son so that He can look on us as adopted sons and daughters. Hope didn’t die… hope had just begun!
And as we’ll see next week, Jesus’ forsakenness really was only temporary as he is about to say “Father into your hands, I commit my spirit.”