With Christ to the Cross Matthew 27:33-46

As we journey with Christ to the cross, we read that Jesus was spat on, punched and slapped by the chief priests and elders of the Sanhedrin Council (Matthew 26:67). He was pierced by a crown of thorns; mocked, spat on, beaten on the head by the Roman soldiers (Matthew 27:29-31) even insulted by robbers who were crucified with Him (Matthew 27:44). However, these pale in comparison to being abandoned by His disciples and denied by Peter (Matthew 26:56, 69-75) Ė those whom He had invested so much of Himself.

But the most painful was not the physical torture nor the emotional disappointment but the dreaded separation from the Father. It is hard to explain the unity of the Godhead but it is clearly taught in the Bible. The unity of Jesus and the Father existed before the world began (John 17:5). Jesus and the Father are one, the Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father (John 17:21).

On the cross, Jesus bore the judgment on man's sins. He died not only physically but spiritually (experiencing separation from the Father).

Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour.
About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying,

Three hours of darkness came over all the land. I believe that this darkness also represents separation because of Jesusí cry in Matthew 27:46 and because the wages of sin is death (spiritual separation).

Jesus, who had never before experienced anything but intimate fellowship with His Father, was then separated from the Father for three hours. Jesus drank the dreaded cup of Godís wrath for you and me.

The veil of the temple which separated the holy place from the holy of holies was torn in two from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51) thus signifying that we all as believers now have access to God. A great privilege obtained by the unthinkable sacrifice of the Son of God (Hebrews 10:19-22).

Spiritual Exercise: When you pray, remember the cost of access into Godís presence.

Prayer: Sing this hymn aloud as praise to God.
In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
a wondrous beauty I see,
for 'twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
to pardon and sanctify me.

So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
and exchange it some day for a crown.

Alan's Gleanings | Copyright © January 2010 by Alan S.L. Wong

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