The experience of life tells us if we are not currently dealing with storms, we will be in the near future. Storms are simply part of living. Some are like summer showers that disrupt a day at the beach. Others, however, are like tsunamis that devastate our lives.
Regardless of the storm, we can find great comfort in knowing our Savior is in the middle of it with us. We have a Savior who can sympathize with us because He suffered the greatest storm the world has ever seenwhile He was nailed to a cross atop the hill Golgotha.
About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)
From the 6th to the 9th hour Jesus was alone in a way that you and I simply cannot imagine. His Father could no longer look upon His Son because of His abhorrence of all things evil in this world. So for the first time ever, in all of eternity, the Father and the Son were separated. Why? Because the sins of all who have ever placed—or will ever place—their trust in Christ had been laid on God the Son (Isaiah 53:6), and the eyes of God the Father are too pure to even look upon evil (Habakkuk 1:13).
To be sure, Jesus enduredterrible pain at the hands of His executioners. Isaiah predicted that the Roman soldiers would beat the suffering Servant so savagely that He would no longer be recognizable (Isaiah 52:14).He was brutally flogged, a crown of thorns was jammed down into His brow, and his hands and feet were pierced through by nine-inch iron spikes.
But as dreadful as all that was, it amounted to little more than a mosquito bite compared to the unimaginable anguish of drinking the cup of God’s wrath for our sins. Our Lord’s despairing cry—“Why have you forsaken me?”—came after He had hung for three hours in darkness, a darkness caused by the darkness of our sin.
So we have a Savior who knows what it is to be in the middle of hurricane-force storm winds infinitely worse than any we will ever experience. And the encouragement in that for you and me is thatno matter what storm we are facing or ever will face, we will never face it alone.
[Jesus said] “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”(Hebrews 13:5)
So . . . what storms are you facing today? What waves of challenge have you come up against that are trying to drive you down to the bottom of your sea?
- ·Mistakes in your marriage?
- ·Stumble in your single walk with Christ?
- ·Pressures in your parenting?
- ·Passed over in your profession?
- ·Stagnant in your church service?
Someone once wisely said, “We are either heading into a storm, we are in the middle of a storm, or we are coming out of a storm . . . so be better get used to storms!”
One of the most comforting things Jesus ever said were two of His last words on the cross, uttered shortly before He gave up His spirit: “I thirst” (John 19:28).Remarkably, this was foreshadowed more than a thousand years previously by David’s Psalm 22:15—“My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.”
Why, you may wonder, would I comment on this seemingly insignificant detail of the crucifixion? Because it is so very significant! These details shout a great truthto us: at the center of Christianity is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and He is not remote from the difficulties of our human existence. He was not only fully God; He was fully man, and in His manhood He endured every kind of storm we will ever have to experience, yet without sin.
He was tried. He was tested. He was rejected by high society. He was tempted. He got tired, thirsty, and hungry. He wept. He was betrayed. He was falsely accused. He was abandoned. He cried out for His Father and got no answer. He walked where we walk and experienced what we experience (and much worse!) and He has promised to be right there with us in the middle of whatever storm winds blow our way.
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you . . . Because I live, you also will live. (John 14:18-19)
Do you believe that truth? Does that truth bring you comfort today in the middle of your storm? If you will let that truth drop from your head down into your heart . . . it will!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!