“Why Have You Forsaken Me?”
April 18, 2014 (Good Friday Communion Service)
How do you estimate something’s value?
If you own a home, you can have a property evaluator or insurance adjuster come to your home and give you and estimate of your property’s value. If you own a car, you can take it to a car dealer and he will tell you what he will give you for it in trade for another car. If your cell phone breaks, you can go to the phone store and you will discover how much it will cost to replace that phone. If you are considering further education, you can evaluate job possibilities for your chosen profession and see how salaries compare with and without a degree.
But how will you evaluate the cost of your sin?
You might consider the financial implications of that sin — what will that addiction to alcohol cost you in monthly and annual purchases and lost wages? Or you might consider what relationships you will lose if you engage in a pattern of unrepentant sin — what is the cost of a child living in another state? Or you might consider the weight of shame you will have to endure in your community and with your friends if you don’t repent.
Or, to really understand the cost of sin, you might consider what it cost Christ to redeem you from that sin. Now the answer to that question seems simple and apparent. It cost Christ the cross. It cost Christ death. But for us who are finite, it is impossible to weigh those values for an infinite Savior. What is the cost of death to the One who is eternal?
There is a sense in which we cannot ever know the fullness of that cost; but there is one declaration by Christ that perhaps more than any other statement in Scripture reveals the cost and weight of sin. It is uttered in Mark 15:33-34:
When the sixth hour came, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour. At the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” which is translated, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?”
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” This is a word of deep anguish.