Daily devotional

April 16 – Jesus’ fourth word on the cross

…”My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Matthew 27:46

Scripture reading: Matthew 27:45-56

I wonder if the onlookers at Jesus’ crucifixion were starting to get uncomfortable at this point. For three hours “there was darkness over all the land.” Were they starting to realize that something about this crucifixion was different from all the others they had witnessed? Then, out of the darkness they hear the agonizing voice of Jesus quoting Psalm 22:1 – “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”

The anguish He experienced while bearing the full wrath of God and being forsaken of God wrenched from Him those amazing words. But while this fourth word is a question, the Son of God knew precisely the answer. Jesus was not seeking some information that He lacked but, in fact, was making a remarkable statement.

He is saying: “I am the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies. Psalm 22 is about Me. Isaiah 53 is about Me.”

And He is saying: “I am forsaken by God.” The eternal Son of God, Who had always been in perfect fellowship with the Father, was now forsaken. That bond was broken. Jesus wanted the crowd, and us, to know this. Why? Because the only possible reason that the Father would ever forsake the Son is if the Son were bearing our sins. This is the fount of our joy! Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us. Jesus was forsaken of the Father so that you and I would NEVER be forsaken!

Suggestions for prayer

Give thanks that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. Pray that your pastor, and every pastor everywhere, would boldly preach the gospel of Christ’s atoning sacrifice.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Derrick Vander Meulen is the minister of Coram Deo Reformation Church(URC) in Littleton, Colorado.

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