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No Greater Story

My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?
Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalm 22:8-9,17-20,23-24; Philippians 2:6-11; Matthew 26:14-27:66

Sermon Week Passion Sunday Cycle A

Scripture Summary Matthew 27:46

Jesus’ cry, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" is one of the most poignant moments in the gospels, or in any work of ancient literature. It is important for us to note that read in its entirety, Psalm 22 is a journey from despair to hope. Perhaps you are aware that these are the first lines of the Twenty-second Psalm, which, if read all the way through, ends with an affirmation of faith. In recent times, many persons have learned to gloss over these words of Jesus by saying that all He is doing is quoting a Psalm and reaffirming His faith in God. But that's too easy an answer. Of all the Psalms Jesus might have recited, why this one? Why these words of utter desolation from the beginning of that Psalm? Why not the words of affirmation at the end? The answer is that this is precisely what He was feeling.

We follow our Lord to the foot of the Cross and find ourselves standing on the edge of darkness -- the darkness of the Crucifixion. It is a darkness so deep that even nature cries out in a kind of convulsive protest. It is a darkness so deep that the Man who lived closer to God than anyone else who ever lived, the Man who loved God more than any other man who ever lived, this Man at this moment cried out, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" Why have You abandoned Me? Why have You left Me? How do we explain this word of anguish, this word of desolation, from that someone who loved God so intensely? This is the task we have before us if we want to enrich our understanding of the Crucifixion event.

We need to realize, as we try to live our way through the Crucifixion Event, that God was never closer to Jesus than He was at this moment. Never! Jesus is hurting here. He is suffering deep hurt -- physical, emotional and spiritual. His whole being is racked with pain. And He is crying [...]

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