“O LORD, why do You stand so far away? Why do You hide when I am in trouble?” (Psalm 10:1)
"How long wilt Thou forget me, O LORD? Forever? how long wilt Thou hide Thy face from me? (Psalm 13:1-6)
The book of Psalms is a wonderful place to begin a search for an answer to the questions asked by the Psalmists. The Psalmists were unwavering as they sorted out their pain before God. Whenever trouble or suffering surfaced, humankind asked God the same question, “Why do you hide your face from me?”
Since day one, we humans have continually sinned and rebelled against our Creator since we thought we knew better than God did. When our choices turned out disastrous, we continued to plea with God to overlook our rebellion and fix our mistakes. As long as the rebellion continued, the pleas and questions carried on and sacrifices offered as an attempt to pacify God. However, the question remained. "O LORD, why do You hide when I am in trouble?"
The answer to the question is, the Cross…
The last hours before the cross, everyone around Jesus failed him. They fell asleep, turned their back, denied, betrayed, humiliated, and dehumanized Him. The story of Jesus’s crucifixion in all four gospels was a lesson for future generations. Therefore, if we can imagine ourselves at the cross on that fateful day maybe we will see ourselves shouting amongst the crowd, “crucify"! Maybe we will see ourselves in the crowd, spiting, mocking, or even denying Jesus. Have you ever asked yourself this painful question? "How could we have done this to Jesus?" In doing so, we may be so moved by the tragedy done to Jesus and realize that what happened to Him is an indictment against all of us. We are all broken, flawed, self-centered, and weak. We are all in need of God’s forgiveness.
Jesus prayed for those who crucified Him while He suffered on the cross, "Father forgive them". Jesus was pleading for God's mercy for the entire human race as though we were all there at the cross. He willingly took on the full experience of pain to show what it cost God to show mercy to us. Jesus paid the ultimate ransom price while the human race stood trial. He took the judgement meant for us and offered as the atonement for our sin. The crucifixion of Jesus was a tragedy, but it was not the end...
Every year as Easter comes and goes; I see my part in Jesus’s suffering as I confront my humanity. When I look at the cross, I recognize my own sin. I am no longer blind to my own brokenness. I see the truth of God's grace and mercy through Jesus's sacrifice. Without Jesus's suffering and sacrifice, I am truly alone with no hope of redemption. Jesus willingly chose to be the final sacrificial lamb for you and me because He loves us so much!
"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
The moment Jesus died; the temple curtain tore in two revealing the end of the separation of God and humankind because of sin. In that moment, Jesus became our priest and our intermediary with God. Jesus Christ is our redeemer. This is God's triumph!
The empty cross and tomb is the reminder of our Savior defying death! He is alive and He is the victor. Blessed is the day when earth and heaven join in reconciliation. Until then, the battle between good and evil will continue. I pray that the light of Jesus will shine continually in my heart to drive away darkness and reflect His love through me as I reach out to others.
May God's peace be with you,
I sense a need for something greater than self. So, I am led by Christ's love to be an encourager as I share about His faithfulness and grace.