Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 April 2019 Matthew 27:46.

Matthew 27:46.   And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?
 
Home…Home…Home at last! But home sick! Steups! Ah friends, it’s great to be home, but when you come home from vacation sick with an annoying cold it doesn’t help matters at all. You’re already tired from all the vacationing, (smile) and you just want to rest, to put sickness on top of it isn’t the greatest feeling in the world. 

After the long flight and the hassle to get through the airport, I got home around eleven and expected to have a good night’s rest…Hn! What a pipe dream! I was up several times during the night bringing up stuff, my throat was raw, still is, making swallowing a tad difficult. But if one has to be sick, I guess the best place for that to happen is home. 

Home where the heart is! Home where you’re most comfortable and relaxed, be it a humble hovel or a majestic mansion! Something about home just gives one a li’l more assurance in times of trouble or illness. But enough about my woes, (smile) it’s Friday and the workingman is waiting to sing his song. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Good Friday…that means the long Easter weekend! Mama Yo! Party fuh so! And the weather should be good! Good thing that Easter fall so late this year yes, so it happen in springtime and not in winter! So many things to do, and places to go, and people to see! Chuh! Don’t know where to start nuh! But as they say, the best place to start is at the beginning! So ah guess we going to start with some eating and drinking and carousing! 

Brother! Who knows whether we going to be alive come next week Tuesday when we have to go back to the slave master slave labour? One thing ah know though; when we go back, we not killing we self over the work nuh. Leh him fire we, see how long his business going last nuh! But forget he now yes! Is time for me to do my own thing! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Yes mih people, the workingman is a party animal if nothing else! But unfortunately, or should I say fortunately, as believers in Christ Jesus, we can’t afford to let our hair down like he can for fear of allowing the evil enemy to invade our righteous souls. But as I keep saying, that doesn’t preclude us from having a good time, we just don’t go to the extremes that the ordinary workingman does. 

And we have our own Friday Chant, which chronicles our thankfulness and wishes. So please, let’s chant it now nuh, in true sincerity and mucho enthusiasm. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Now, to the unbeliever, that might not sound like much, but to us believers, it’s short, sweet and to the point! (smile) And today, Good Friday, our hearts are heavy, filled with sadness as we commemorate the crucifixion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And some will ask why call it Good Friday when such a heinous, illegal crime was committed against an innocent person? 

That’s a good question my brethren. But the long and short of the story is that if Jesus had not died in place of us, our sins would not have been paid for, and we would not have been forgiven, redeemed, made clean and washed white as snow! Yes, it was a rough, unjust situation, but from the beginning of time the Father had decreed it to be the Son’s job to die for the abominable sins of His disobedient and rebellious creation called mankind. 

And yuh better believe it was no easy job that! The pain and agony, the ‘sufferation’ He had to endure was immense, seemingly unbearable, but He withstood it, all for our sakes, at the behest of the Father, who LOVED us so much that He didn’t want to lose even one of us to the evil enemy, Satan. 

That’s the most beautiful and compelling picture of LOVE that exists; sacrificing your only Son for a bunch of ingrates! Some people will call it crazy or stupid, but our heavenly Father called it LOVE! And since He’s the eternal Creator, He should know what He’s talking about. 

But I don’t know how Jesus handled all that unjust ‘sufferation’ nuh, without much complaining too. I guess He knew His role, and could not even consider disobedience to the Father’s wishes. As He told Peter on the night of His arrest, after Peter had cut off the high priest’s right ear. ‘Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?’ (John 18:11) Yes friends, I wonder how many of us put such a high priority on being obedient to the Father’s wishes eh? 

And what I greatly admire about Jesus are some statements He made from His painful and agonizing perch on the cross. The first one is ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ (Luke 23:34) Even on the cross, His modus operandi was LOVE and forgiveness! 

Note His words to the criminal crucified with Him, who saw the light and sincerely pleaded: ‘Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.’ (Luke 23:42-43) 

But the most touching and heart-rending words of Jesus on the cross are contained in this verse. ‘And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ 

Yes friends, what seemed to hurt Jesus the most was not the physical pain inflicted on His body, but the spiritual separation from His Father, the first time that had ever happened. And it had to be so since He was then the sin-bearer of the world, and the Father could not associate with sin. As the scholars explain: ‘Here we have the high cost to Christ of His atonement for our sins, who was accursed of God as our sin-bearer (cf. 2 Cor.5:21; Gal.3:13) and suffered the agony of spiritual death for us.’ 

And finally, the Good Book tells us: ‘And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost (breathed his last).’ (Luke 23:46) And the scholars explain: ‘He cried with a loud voice, as a shout of triumph, and yielded up His Spirit. In other words, having borne the wrath of God’s judgement against sin, He knew He had triumphed over Satan and the curse of sin.’ 

Oh what a blessed day that was for us my people, as Jesus gave us such a wonderful example to follow, showing LOVE and compassion and obedience even in His last agonizing moments on that old wooden cross on Calvary! Please, please, I implore us to do a better job, to improve in our own showing of LOVE, compassion and obedience, because that’s all He asks of us! Much LOVE!

…Good Friday…the darkest hour…just before the breathtaking dawn…of Easter Sunday…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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