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Thinking of God - Pastor Larry Sheehy
Lord, help us understand completely — and be more thankful
Larry Sheehy

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). There are many passages in the Bible which I’m not sure I fully understand. There are quite a lot I am sure I don’t understand, some of them not at all! This is one of which I have no doubt — I know I don’t completely comprehend its significance!

But, after studying it in the light of the full revelation about Jesus’ death, one thing is certain. it should only deepen our awareness of the love Jesus showed on the cross for every man, woman and child who would grow to maturity.

Certainly there are few passages in the holy word of God, if any, which relate as much to Jesus’ tormented cry as do the words from the prophet Isaiah: Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. .... Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand (Isaiah 53:4-5, 10). What is abundantly clear from these painful but comforting words is that Jesus’ suffering was the loving will of his father, and its intent was our salvation. What selfless sacrifice! What faithfulness to his father’s will! What love for us!! No wonder Paul says “... but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 ESV).

In absolute contrast to what some men might be willing to do — that is, “... die for a righteous person ...” (verse 7) — Christ died for the evil, wicked and impure. He did what none of us would even think of doing. He gave his life for those totally unworthy of it.

And that last phrase in Isaiah 53:10 is so reassuring. “... the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.” Because of the humble faithfulness of the son of God, his father’s eternal plan for our redemption will finally be successful! Hallelujah!!

Our national day of Thanksgiving is intended to help us remember the blessings of God and the sacrifices of all those who’ve gone before us, as well as those today who give “themselves first to the Lord” continue to give themselves that we might enjoy the freedom and prosperity of our country (Note 2 Corinthians 8:5).

Most of all, may we come to understand more completely the sacrifice God and his “only son” made that we might know the eternal blessings found only in and through his son, Jesus. Amen!

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