Christ – still thirsty!

Selwyn makes a good point when he says ‘that by their actions or indifference, people can hurt Him, just as He was hurt on Calvary.’

I don’t entirely agree with Selwyn in his application of the verses (especially verse 6) set for Reading and Meditation – these verses in Hebrews, Chapter 6:1-12, are referring to a particular group of people not the general population; from verse 4 to verse 6, we read: “It is impossible for those who once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the Word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to public disgrace.”

Yet, I’m sure that Selwyn is correct when he  says: ‘How it must hurt Him to look out on a world that is indifferent to His love.’ His extreme pain is for all those who will experience eternity separated from His love. Do you agree?

The second, good point Selwyn makes today is: ” … whenever we move out in loving service to others whenever we minister to the poor, whenever we do anything to relieve the hurt and suffering of those in pain, we are doing it unto Him. …”

It’s an amazing thing – is it not – that when we give a glass of water to someone who needs it – we are satisfying the thirst of our God – Jesus?

 

A spot of kindness

Selwyn continues to consider the act of kindness shown to Jesus when he called out: ‘I am thirsty.’

We are told in Mark 15:36; “One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink.”

I think we would all agree with Selwyn when he says:  ” … kindness and altruism will never earn anyone an entrance into heaven, but nevertheless we ought not to let an act of kindness go unrecognised or unappreciated … ”

I also like the prayer for today: “Lord Jesus Christ, when the weight of the world’s wickedness was almost too much for You to bear, I take comfort in the fact that someone did You an act of kindness. Help me to be alert to the need for kindness in all my relationships day by day. Amen.”

Good intent

We now move on to the fifth cry from the cross. John 19:28-29: “Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scriptue would be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I am thirsty.’ A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.” 

Selwyn discusses the point that Jesus had refused an earlier drink of drugged wine designed to take the edge off the pain of crucifixion – as ‘Our Lord intended to go into the physical, mental and spiritual pain of the cross with an unclouded mind’. He proposes that Jesus would have appreciated the intention behind it; and concludes: ‘Never think that there has been no value in something you have done with a good intention, even if what you did failed in its immediate object.’

It should be remembered that God sees the intention behind all our actions and in a very real sense that’s where its true worth is found. What do you think?

Did God forsake His Son?

I think it is a mystery that we will not fully understand this side of the grave. Did God really separate Himself from Jesus or was it that Jesus felt the separation because of the sin he took upon Himself. Some like Calvin think that unless Jesus’ soul shared in the punishment we would not have total redemption, that is, both body and soul.

Whatever the answer, we know that the outcome is perfect because it was a perfect sacrifice for all sin (we are told that in the Bible) – and; we can be sure that His sacrifice has paid the total penalty for sin – such that we will have a full and complete redemption. Do you agree?

The divine exchange

The verses set for Reading and Meditation are worth thinking about, especially the main verse: ‘God made him, who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.’

It’s important to be aware that our good deeds do not ‘balance out’ our sins – our good deeds can’t bridge the gulf between God and us – because of the alienation that occurred because of our rebellion.

As Selwyn says: “Sin is alienation from God by choice; hell is the utter realisation of that choice. … Whose sin is it that He was made, and for which He was forsaken by God? My sin. He was made my sin. If, when He endured the ultimate consequence of my sin, and bore its penalty, He created a benefit that He did not need for Himself, who did benefit? You and I!”

Earlier Selwyn writes: “No other being apart from Jesus has been completely forsaken by God in this life. By its own act humanity alienated itself from God, but God never left it.”  That’s why John 3:16 is quoted so often: ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’

Have you any comments on today’s study?

The consequences of sin

I like what Selwyn has to say about the consequences of sin: “Our Lord … not only saw the hideousness of sin and tasted it, but He experienced also the bitterness of its consequences. And what are the consequences of sin? Separation from God. The logical, irresistible, irrevocable, consequences of sin is to be God-forsaken.” Sin is the act of rebelling against God; and, by doing so, we choose to separate ourselves from God.

Hell is a ‘place’ God chooses not to go – it is a place we go when we choose to separate ourselves from God’s rule while on this earth. While here, we buy the ticket to our final destination – we choose hell when we separate ourselves from God by living a life which does not have God sitting in the driver’s seat. Do you agree?

Jesus tasted that separation from God – hell – he endured that isolation for you and me.

The taste of sin

Today, Selwyn considers Jesus’ spiritual pain. He says: “The first thing, I believe, that caused our Lord intense spiritual pain on the cross was the fact that He experienced the utter hideousness of sin. … Our Lord experienced sin at Calvary in a way He had never experienced it before. He had always been aware of sin’s presence and ugliness, but on the cross He tasted all its horror and bitterness – for you and me.”

We know from verses, such as the one highlighted in the Reading and Meditation Section, as follows: ‘He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree … ‘ 1 Peter 2:24. That Jesus took upon Himself – the sins of all those who were to live throughout the ages; and suffered the punishment due to each one of us. He Himself was sinless and therefore did not need to be punished for any personal sin. Therefore, we know that all His suffering was to pay the penalty for our sins – not His. What are your views?