Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim

A THEOLOGY FOR QUESTIONING GOD (Word # 5)
MATT 27:46

46 And 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?" NKJV  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?" NASU 
46 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?" NIV  46 About three o'clock, Jesus shouted, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" TLB 

INTRODUCTION:
Is It Wrong To Question God? Generally I think most of us would say "yes". But specifically many time we need to question God because He is the only one who has the answers.

In the text Jesus ask God a question. All the ramifications of the question has baffled theologian for centuries. Luther said "God forsaking God who can understand that?
Spurgeon said "Fully understand it, who can?" (1)

It was nothing new for the Lord to find Himself forsaken by mankind.
His own brothers neither believed in nor followed Him. His fellow citizens at Nazareth had tried to kill Him. The nation to which He came would not receive Him. Many of His disciples went back and walked no more with Him. Judas betrayed Him. Peter denied Him. Many forsook Him and fled.

On the other hand; God Did Not Forsake The Repentant Sinner. Angels attended Jesus Birth, and Temptation. I have heard it said "The New Testament tell of 50 occasions of a union of the Father, and Son."

But in this cry, it is as though He said, "I can understand My kinsmen and fellow-citizens and the nation forsaking Me, for darkness has no fellowship with the light. Painful though it be, I can understand even My own disciples forsaking Me, but this is My agonizing problem,

"Why have you forsaken Me?" Up till now, when forsaken by men, He had been able to cast Himself upon His Father, but now this refuge is denied Him and He is ALONE! Who can plumb the depths of His anguish?

I have a collection of sermon books, and studies on these sayings of Christ, and a variety of opinions are offered in explanation of these particular words. Most come to a final agreement that Christ suffers separation from God so we will not. I want to look at the Theological truth contained in this saying. Please follow closely.

A THEOLOGY FOR QUESTIONING GOD; CORRECTS WRONG THEOLOGY.

A THEOLOGY FOR QUESTIONING GOD; QUESTIONS IN FAITH.

A THEOLOGY FOR QUESTIONING GOD; QUESTIONS IN HONESTY.

A THEOLOGY FOR QUESTIONING GOD; QUESTIONS IN OBEDIENCE.
 
 
 

1.    A  Theology for Questioning God;   Corrects Wrong Theology.


A.    The Cross Corrects A Theology that says you can not Question God
        1.    Jesus questioned God.
 

B.    The Cross Corrects A Theology that says Sin Is Not So Bad.
        1. It causes the death of Christ.

C.    The Cross Corrects A Theology that says God Will Not Punish Sin.
        1. He punishes sin through His Son, and He will allow us to be punished.

C.    The Cross Corrects A Theology that says Jesus Is NOT the Only Way of Salvation.
        1. Would God allow Jesus to die if there is another way?

        Spurgeon said
        "I do not think that the records of time or even of eternity, contain a sentence more full
        of anguish. Here the wormwood and the gall, and all the other bitternesses, are outdone." (2)

D.    The Cross Corrects A Theology that says There is NOT a Triune God.
        1.    Is this Jesus on the Cross? To whom does He Cry if not to God the Father?
 

APPLICATION:

These Words From the cross by Jesus Correct Wrong Theology.
 
 
 

2.    A  Theology for Questioning God;. . QUESTIONS IN FAITH.


A.    The Faith that God Is ........... On His Throne.
                "My God, My God"

        Spurgeon said "Oh, the mighty double grip of his unhesitating faith! He seems to say,
        Even if thou hast forsaken me, I have not forsaken thee." Faith triumphs, and there is
        no sign of any faintness of heart towards the living God. (3)

        " He believes that God is still his God. He uses the possessive particle twice,
        "My God, my God." (4 )

        "You know that in the text our Lord calls God in the original his "strong one"--"Eli, Eli"--"my
        strong one, my mighty one. . . . that he is God all sufficient, " (5)

B.    The Faith that God Is ........... Available.
            "My God, My God"
        1.    "The Savior's outcry is not against God, but to God. " (6)
        2.    Feeling Forsaken He Rushes To God.
                a. Always Before He Said "Father"

ILLUSTRATION:
Many Of Us Have Had The Experience Of Helping As A Child Of Ours Went Through Some Medical Procedure. On One Occasion I Helped To Hold My Daughter As A Doctor Stitched Up Her Wound. She Looked At Me As If To Say Daddy Why Are You Letting Them Do This To Me? I Knew It Was For Her Good, She Would Benefit From The Procedure. She Held My Hand And In Faith Believed Her Daddy Knew Best.
 

APPLICATION:

Jesus Ask "My God Why" Knowing It Was Not For His Benefit But For Ours.

He Suffered So We Might Not Have To Suffer In Hell.

Jesus Set An Example As He Questioned In Faith.

    "If God Is Angry;  Why, is not it better to trust in an angry God than not to trust in God at all? (7)
 
 
 

3.    A  Theology for Questioning God;. . QUESTIONS IN HONESTY.


A.    Honesty to Ask .... What You Want To Know.
            "Why"
        1.    If Your Thinking It; God Knows what your thinking.
                a.    It Will Be Therapeutic to ask.

        "Why, my God? Why? Why?" Now this is a lesson to us, because we ought to
        endeavor to find out why it is that God hides himself from us. No Christian
        ought to be content to live without full assurance of faith." (8)

B.    Honesty to Ask Concerning ..... Who You Want To Answer.
            "Have YOU forsaken Me"
        1.    Jesus Understood Why Men Had Forsaken Him; But Why God?
        2.    This Is Difficult To Understand.

        "Now the present smile of God may go, but God's promise does not go; and if you
        believe upon God's promise, that is just as true when God frowns as when he smiles.
        If you are resting upon the covenant, that covenant is as true in the dark as in the light." (9)

        3.    Jesus Was Forsaken So We Will Never Be Forsaken.

        Ps 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken,
        nor his seed begging bread. (KJV)

        Ps 9:10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not
        forsaken them that seek thee. (KJV)

        My Thought. Scapegoat Taken Outside The Camp Rejoicing Starts.
        Jesus was thinking the rejoicing should have started.

ILLUSTRATION:
GEN 18:25 "Far be it from Thee to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are {treated} alike. Far be it from Thee! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?"

God did righteously; because it is the only way for mankind to be forgiven.
 

APPLICATION:

The Lord Questioned In Honesty. He Teaches Us To Come To God Honestly.
 
 
 

4.    A  Theology for Questioning God;. . QUESTIONS IN OBEDIENCE.


A.    Jesus Questioned From The . . Cross Of Obedience.
        1.    Jesus Ask The Question In The Midst Of Obedience.
                a.    If We Are Going To Question We Must Question While Being Obedient.
                b.    Dear Lord As I Am Busy In Your Work I Want To Ask Why This Happens?

2 CO 12:8-10 8 Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
 

B. Jesus Questioned From The . . Course Of Obedience.
        1. Jesus Had Never Sinned. He Had Been Obedient The Entire Course Of His Life.
 
        PHI 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming
        obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

ILLUSTRATION:
A church member went to his pastor, Phillips Brooks, to tell him he was going to the Holy Land. He said that it was his intended to also visit Mount Sinai. "In fact," the man told the minister,

"I plan to climb to the top of that mountain and when I get there read aloud the Ten Commandments."

Thinking this would please Dr. Brooks, the church member was surprised to hear his pastor say, "You know, I can think of something even better than that." The man responded, "You can, Pastor? And what might that be?" Brooks replied rather bluntly, "Just this. Instead of traveling thousands of miles to read the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, why not stay right here at home and keep them?" Why Not Be Obedient?

"Christianity does not so much offer solutions to the problem of suffering, but rather provides the promise of a God who is completely present with us in suffering. Only Christians believe in a God who says, 'Here I am alongside you, I have experienced the same suffering you have. I know what it is like.' No other religion even begins to offer that assurance." - Tim Keller Leadership, Winter 2002

CONCLUSION:

Jesus Set An Example For Questioning In Obedience.
 

When Through The Deep Waters I Call You To Go,
The Rivers Of Sorrow Will Not Overflow,
For I Will Be With Thee, Thy Trials To Bless
And Sanctify To Thee Thy Deepest Distress

The Soul That On Jesus Hath Leaned For Repose
I Will Not, I Will Not Desert To His Foes
That Soul, Though All Hell Endeavor To Shake
I'll Never, No Never Forsake.


 
 

Footnotes

(1) Internet sermon by Charles Spurgeon. http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/3507.htm

(2) Internet sermon by Charles Spurgeon. http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/2133.htm

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