The Choice

"At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o'clock. At about three o'clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, 'Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani,' which means, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'......."Then Jesus shouted out again, and He gave up His Spirit." Matthew 27:45-46. 50

 

There is a very harsh truth to be faced in a walk with the Lord; there are going to be times when we feel, when it seems certain, that He has forsaken and abandoned us. There is no sign or sense of His Presence. There is no hint of His help. Everything is wrong and nothing seems right. We look for Him, but He gives us no awareness of His Presence. We cry out for help, but no help comes. We want His comfort, but we feel none. We want to hope in Him, but all our surroundings and circumstances scream into our heart and mind that there is no hope. What do we do then? What are our choices?  Our choices and directions come down to just two, and they couldn't be more black and white.

When Christ hung on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin, He also took all of our sin, not just yours and mine, but the totality of it all for the human race, upon Himself. The horror and depravity of an entire race's sin was upon one God/Man, and His Father, who sent Him for this very thing, could not look upon Him. Sin separates us from Him, and we could do, can do, nothing to make it right. So He gave His Son to do what we couldn't and can't. God hates sin, and all that it costs and does to destroy the very race He created. In that moment He had to look away, and in that moment, Christ, who had never experienced any kind of break in His relationship with His Father, felt in the very center of His being, the disconnect. His pain was beyond description. He felt forsaken.

You and I have been born into a fallen world, where sin and depravity are on full display. We are not immune to it. Even in Christ, it can touch us, hurt and wound us, seemingly crush us. Death still comes about, Injustice still abounds. Betrayal, failure, loss, they are still present, and at times, they can seem to be all that is present. In our humanity, we want to know where He is in all of it. There are times when He doesn't give any answer to it all. There are times when He is totally silent. Indeed, if we are truly committed to a relationship with Him, such times will come upon us all. And this is where the choice before us comes in, and that choice is seen in those last words of Jesus Christ upon the cross. Will we choose to believe the Father has forsaken us, or will we, as did Christ, choose to commit ourselves fully into His hands? For the exact understanding of His giving up His Spirit was that He was committing His Spirit fully into the hands of His Father. That is our choice, and it's a choice between life....and death.

When we come to that place of His seeming abandonment of us, will we dare to still trust Him.....completely trust Him. Will we, as did our Lord Christ, surrender all, commit all, to Him? When it seems He is nowhere to be found, will we believe He is still there, still with us? Will we put our hope fully in Him, or will we lose all hope in Him? That's our choice. It's the choice Joshua put before the the people of Israel when he called upon them to decide who it is they would follow and trust. Would they choose life...or would they choose death? It's the choice that is always going to be before us, in some form or another. Choose to believe that He is absent, unconcerned, unavailable or uncaring, and so has left us to our own devices. Or, choose to believe His promise to always be with us, regardless of the appearance of things....and surrender all, commit all, to Him...in trust. The choice. How do you choose?

Blessings,
Pastor O

 

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