Friday, August 29, 2014

August 29 - Never Forsaken

Today's Reading: 
Malachi 1:1-2:17 
Mark 15:1-47 
Proverbs 31:10-20
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Focus Verses:

Mark 15:33-34

33 At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

When Jesus cried out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me," he was quoting the opening lines of Psalm 22, a psalm of David. He must have known, recited, and pondered over this song many times, especially as he knew the time of his death was drawing near. I think he was quoting or alluding to the last words of this Psalm ("he has done it") when he said, "It is finished." The account of the crucifixion in Mark 15 and the words of Psalm 22 are amazingly interconnected considering the Psalm was written hundreds of years before the time of Christ.

I don't believe that Jesus was forsaken by God, or thought he had been forsaken by God. His reference to Psalm 22 is actually a way for him to declare his absolute faith that God would not forsake him. He knew the last verse as well as the first verse. While others mocked and treated him as though he had been forsaken by God, Jesus quoted a song that declared his faith and hope that God would vindicate him, and his expectation to be victorious over death.

Response and Action: I will trust in God's promises, even in the face of adversity and the threat of death. I believe that God is able to save. When it looks like I have been forsaken, I will, like Jesus, cling to the belief that God will save and restore me. I believe that nothing can separate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus.

O God, thank you for the hope of salvation. Lead me away from temptation. Deliver me from evil. Provide for my needs today. Protect me from discouragement, and encourage me by your Spirit through your word, your people, your promises, and all that is beautiful and true. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses:
Psalm 22:1-5 
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? 2 O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent. 3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel. 4 In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. 5 They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed.
Praying the Psalms of Jesus by James Sire

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