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Friday, April 18, 2014

The Father who never abandoned His Son

(WARNING:  Following images are graphic.
  Taken from Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ")

"Be strong and courageous. 
Do not be afraid or terrified because of them,
 for the Lord your God goes with you; 
he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
[Deuteronomy 31:6(NIV)]

"No one will be able to stand against you 
all the days of your life.
 As I was with Moses, 
so I will be with you;
 I will never leave you nor forsake you." 
[Joshua 1:5(NIV)]

Jesus grew up reading the Torah.  Jesus had read the words that both Moses and Joshua heard before the nation of Israel crossed over the Jordan into Caanan.  Jesus read these words, even wrote them down as he transcribed his own Torah. 

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Jesus, the Son that eternally dwelt with his Father before his time on Earth.  Jesus, the Son who was there when his Father spoke those words to Moses and then again to Joshua.  

Those words that the Father gave Moses and Joshua, would He not also have given them to His Son?  The Son that was to lay down his Heavenly Glory to come to Earth.

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

 It was Jesus who told Phillip:

“Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves."
[John 14:10-11(NIV)]


That thought that just popped into your mind.
  Does it go something like this?  

What about “Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani”? 
Weren’t those Jesus’ very words on the cross.
"My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?" 

Here’s the thing.  How many times have people taken one verse in scripture and written doctrine, laws and “truth” around it.  I don’t have that many fingers, toes and minutes in my life to count that high. Some humans have a gift of embellishing  a verse or two of scripture to match their own theology. And personally, I don’t believe that gift is from the Author.  

I used to buy into the abandonment doctrine for years.  It's what I was taught and I didn't dare dispute it... until now. 

 God, the Father turned away from His Son in that moment that the sin of the world was placed on Jesus, because He couldn’t look on our sin.

 And then a book came across my path... “The Shack”  

The author dared portray a picture of Papa (God the Father) with nail scars in his wrists. If you haven’t read the book.  I highly recommend it.  If you have the book... the reference to this is in the “A Piece of π” chapter.  

From the words of Papa  (“The Shack” by W. Paul Young  ) 

“Don’t ever think that what my son chose to do didn’t cost us dearly.  Love always leaves a significant mark... we were there together...  You misunderstand the mystery there.  Regardless of what he felt at that moment. I never left him”

That started me thinking about the words Moses and Joshua heard. 

God promised Moses and Joshua that He wouldn't leave them or forsake them.  So why would He forsake and leave His own Son?

" Because God can't look on sin." is what I have heard at a lot of pulpits.  Well... according to Jesus own words...The Father abandoning His Son isn't even possible. 

"I pray that they will all be one, just as You and I are one - as You are in Me, Father and I am in You. And may they be in Us so that the world will believe You sent me."
[John 17:21 ( NLT)]

Put this picture in your mind.
Jesus on the cross

The Father wasn't looking at His Son...
 He was IN his Son.
 He was IN His Son as the ugliness of sin rained down on him. 

Don't believe me yet?  The Apostle Paul saw it.  He saw the same picture and this is what he wrote to the believers in Corinth. 

 All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:  that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”
(2 Corinthians 5:18-20 (NIV))

It was also Paul Young that shared this when he was at Breakforth Conference a few years ago. 

Where was God reconciling the world?  It was at the cross.  And it was at the cross and on the cross where He... God the Father was IN HIS SON reconciling the world to himself.  

I hope you're getting the picture.  King David did.  He was the first one in the record of scripture to cry out to God with the same words Jesus cried on the cross. David also felt abandoned by God... but as most people know, feelings rarely paint the truth. 

 I read Psalm 22 and posted it here for you to read.  He opens up the psalm with --

"My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?  But if you read on, he comes to a much different conclusion.  

And I'm also believing that Jesus did to.  His Father wasn't looking away in his most painful moment.  He was right where He has always been. 

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from saving me,
    so far from my cries of anguish?
 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
    by night, but I find no rest.

 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
    you are the one Israel praises.
 In you our ancestors put their trust;
    they trusted and you delivered them.
 To you they cried out and were saved;
    in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

 But I am a worm and not a man,
    scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
 All who see me mock me;
    they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
 “He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “Let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”

 Yet you brought me out of the womb;
    you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
 From birth I was cast on you;
    from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

 Do not be far from me,
    for trouble is near
    and there is no one to help.

 Many bulls surround me;
    strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
 Roaring lions that tear their prey
    open their mouths wide against me

I am poured out like water, 
and all my bones are out of joint. 
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted within me. 

My mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
    and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
    you lay me in the dust of death

Dogs surround me,
    a pack of villains encircles me;
    they pierce my hands and my feet.
All my bones are on display;
    people stare and gloat over me.
 They divide my clothes among them
    and cast lots for my garment.

 But you, Lord, do not be far from me.
    You are my strength; come quickly to help me.

 Deliver me from the sword,
    my precious life from the power of the dogs.

 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
    save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

 I will declare your name to my people;
    in the assembly I will praise you.
 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
    All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
    Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
 For He has not despised or scorned
    the suffering of the afflicted one;

He has not hidden His face from him
    but has listened to his cry for help.

 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
    before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows.

 The poor will eat and be satisfied;
    those who seek the Lord will praise him—
    may your hearts live forever

All the ends of the earth
    will remember and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
    will bow down before him,

 for dominion belongs to the Lord
    and he rules over the nations.

 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
    all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
    those who cannot keep themselves alive.

Posterity will serve him;
    future generations will be told about the Lord.

 They will proclaim his righteousness,
    declaring to a people yet unborn:
    He has done it!

Psalm 22 (NIV) 

 (crucifixion pictures taken from...) 

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