Good morning! I’m glad to welcome you to worship today at Hillcrest Baptist Church.
How many years have you come to worship on Palm Sunday, the day that commemorates when Jesus entered Jerusalem for His final Passover? It was on that day that the multitudes were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9) Just a few days later the same crowd would shout, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” (Luke 23:21) We read the first cry of the crowds and we say, “Yes! Yes!”, but when we come to the later cry it is just hard to understand. To go from “Hail, hail Him” to “nail Him” is hard for us to digest from this side of the whole story of the Gospel.
As we looked at the word “FORSAKEN” last week we definitely discovered that we don’t always have detailed and perfect answers to make us feel comfortable, just like 2 Corinthians 5:21—“for He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” How can that be? It just doesn’t seem right. It seems so wrong. That is precisely the point, to say that Jesus “was made sin for us” is scandalous to us.
The same can be said of our text this morning, Matthew 27:50-61, when JESUS DIED. How can the words “Jesus” and “died” even be uttered together in the same breath, because there is nothing about Jesus’ death that seems fair, right, just or understandable? Yet that was God’s plan, and His death is at the very heart of the Gospel, the Good News. The Gospel is that through Jesus’ undeserving death He offered undeserving grace for us.
So, as we come to the end of Christ’s suffering and death on the cross, we should be consumed with two emotions: horror and hope. Horror because of His undeserved suffering and death, and hope because it was through His suffering and death that we can now be forgiven and reconciled to God.