All of us understand the pain of rejection. It hurts terribly to be rejected, especially by someone you love.
By the eternal plan and purpose of God, Jesus came into Jerusalem two thousand years ago on “Good Friday” to give His life to die on the cross. The reason why He did this is because there was no other way for man to be forgiven. The biblical message is that all sin against God, all sin demands judgment, and all men are sinners. Thus, from birth, all men stand under God’s judgment (John 3:36: “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him”).
The Bible also shows us that the only price that that could satisfy the holy anger of God was the sacrifice of a perfect man (Rom. 3:21-26), and the only man who has ever qualified for this task was Jesus Himself. As Peter puts, when Christ died on the cross it was “the just for the unjust” (1 Pet. 3:18). On the cross, the fury of God’s righteous anger against all sin was laid on the sinless Son of God, and the price was paid in full (John 19:30: “It is finished!”). God’s wonderful promise is that all who trust in His Son find complete and eternal forgiveness (John 3:16).
Another aspect of this judgment that fell upon Christ is the mysterious reality that Jesus Christ was rejected by the Father in this process of bearing our sin. In Matthew 27 we read the following: “45 Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. 46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” (Matt. 27:45-46).” For three agonizing hours in the middle of the day, the sky in Jerusalem went dark. Why did this happen? It was because for the first time in all eternity, God the Son was being rejected by the God the Father. It was for this reason that Jesus cried out in agony, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” God rejected His Son, and the Son agonized over this painful rejection from the Father whom He loved dearly.
The wonderful news of the gospel is that even though every one of us deserves to be eternally rejected by God, His promise to us is that if we trust in His Son, God will forgive us and we will never experience the rejection every one of us deserves (Rom. 8:31-39). Yes, as Christians we are still sinners, and we sill commit sin, but even here God tells us that He will not reject us (Heb. 13:5: “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you”). As a matter of fact, it is just the opposite. The Book of Hebrews tells us, “We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:15-16). What an amazing statement, God tells us to draw near with confidence. Why? The answer is because Jesus, our Great High Priest has paid the price of our sin, and He continues to intercede for us so that can continually draw near to God (Heb. 7:23-28).
In closing, you and I need to understand that when fail and commit sin (and sadly we will at times), God will never turn His back against us in anger if we come to Him with repentance and a broken heart. Praise God, we never have to fear that God will reject us and turn His back on us, for Jesus was rejected once for all time in our place on Good Friday. What a wonderful truth!
Love, Pastor Tim