Bible Reading: Mark 15:27-47
At some point in life nearly all of us feel helpless.
- Something happens and we see no way out.
- Something happens and we feel alone.
- Something happens and we are powerless.
Much to our amazement…that happened to Jesus. There is no more mournful cry in all of the Bible than that of Jesus when He was on the cross and felt helpless…”My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” God crying out to God as if He wasn’t there. It’s almost beyond our comprehension. But it isn’t beyond our experience. Sometimes we feel like we have cried out to God…and He wasn’t there. There is a very good possibility that your children will have just such an experience. Teach them how Jesus continued to trust in the Father…even when He felt hopeless. Show them that they too can trust in the Father…even when they feel hopeless.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
Aaron Ralston had given up hope. He would not be rescued. It was Thursday, May 1, 2003…5 days after he had begun climbing in the Blue John Canyon, in Utah. He was an experienced climber and hiker and it should have been an 8-hour, 13-mile day hike. But along the way, in an area called the Maze, Aaron had tried scrambling through a narrow section between the rocks. When he did so…he dislodged an 800-pound boulder. It fell on top of his right hand and forearm…pinning it under the boulder. The pain was excruciating.
- For 5 days he tried to move the boulder.
- For 5 days he tried to pull his arm out.
- For 5 days he hoped that someone would find him.
But now, he had given up hope.
When Aaron had left his house for the hike he had broken one of his own basic rules…he had not told anyone where he was going. So, though he knew that he would be missed, no one had any idea where to start looking for him. No hope.
On top of that, he was out of food and water. When the incident happened he had two burritos and a little water. But they were gone within a few days. No hope.
Finally, he carved his name, date of birth, and the presumed date of his death into the sandstone boulder. He thought that he would die that night. Then, he made a final videotaped message for his family. No hope.
The next morning, when he woke up, he realized that due to the lack of blood flow in his arm…it was beginning to decompose. It was then that he had an idea. He could cut his arm off and escape. He made some initial cuts into the flesh…but then realized that he could not cut through the bones in his forearm with the small, 2-inch, dull knife that was on a multi-tool that he had. So, he turned to a position that put all of his body weight on the bones in his arm…and dropped…snapping both bones completely in half. Then, he quickly cut through the meat. Cutting his arm off between the wrist and elbow. He put a tourniquet on his arm and started climbing down.
His biggest fear now was that he would not make the long trip back. He was weak. He hadn’t eaten for days. He was in shock. And he was bleeding. Fortunately, while hiking out of the canyon, he ran into a family from the Netherlands who were camping in the area. They gave him food and sent for the authorities. By the time Aaron was rescued four hours had passed. During those 5 days he had lost 40 pounds. Including 25% of his blood volume.
Did you know that there was a time when Jesus lost hope? He lost hope that God, His Father, would save Him. It was when He was on the cross.
There is something very important that you need to know. Jesus was the God-man. He was totally, 100% God. And, He was totally, 100% man. If you can fully understand that…then Granddad needs to talk to you…because he can’t. Don’t get me wrong. I can understand the idea…that God can become man. For some reason that just doesn’t seem so difficult to me. After all, He is God. And, He is all-powerful, almighty, God. And if God decides to do something…well, it’s as good as done. What I don’t understand is how He did it. But then…I’m not God. So Jesus is both God and man…at the same time. He didn’t give up being God when He became man. But He did give up something…He gave up His right to exercise His power and authority as God…independently of the Father. Jesus, as a human being, lived like we do…by faith. Whatever He did…He did by faith in the Father. The Son of God…having faith in God the Father. I know, that’s where it gets a little sticky…hard to figure out. But once again…I’m not God. He is…and that is what the Bible says…and I believe it.
So, we come to the day when Jesus was on the cross…human Jesus…100% human Jesus…suffering, dying Jesus…living by faith in the Father Jesus. He’s been calling out to the Father to rescue Him. No answer. Finally, human Jesus has given up all hope that He will be saved. He calls out to His Father, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” At that point, everything that was human about Jesus was responding as we would…human. Even though He was God…and because He was God He knew that three days after He died He would rise from the dead…human Jesus was experiencing suffering and feeling of hopelessness in the face of suffering…just like we do. He had given up hope that He would be rescued. The word “forsaken” means to “abandon, leave, desert”. Jesus, human Jesus, felt like His Father had left Him alone, deserted Him there on the cross.
Why would God do that? Because when Jesus was there on the cross He was paying for my sin, and your sin…and get this…every sin of every person who has ever lived throughout all of history. Every sin ever committed. And the Bible says that sin separates us from God. That is what human Jesus was feeling. The separation of God the Father…from all of the sins of the world that were in Jesus at that moment. Never once, not one single time throughout all of history, all of eternity…had Jesus been separated from the Father. And now, at that moment, the Father was nowhere in sight. And Jesus felt forsaken…hopeless.
But again, why would God do that? Because God was judging our sins in Jesus. And to be separated from God is the worst judgment that there will ever be. God let Jesus bear the full weight of our sins on Himself.
But don’t worry…God wasn’t through. You see, He knew that while on Friday Jesus would suffer for our sins…and on Saturday Jesus would bear our sins in the grave…Sunday was coming! On Sunday, Jesus would rise from the dead…conquering the penalty of sin…separation from God. So, while on Friday, Jesus felt hopeless…on Sunday, Jesus would be victorious!
Have you ever felt hopeless? There was a problem…and you didn’t know what to do…you didn’t know who to turn to? At some time, or another, we all go through something that is too big for us to handle. We feel hopeless. When that happens…then trust God. Sometimes there are things that we just cannot figure out. But God can. He’s God. At some time in your life you may feel like Jesus did on Friday, hopeless. But never forget…God is still in control and your Sunday, your day of victory is coming. Trust God.
When do you give up hope?
Love you more than bunches and bunches,