Friday, February 19, 2010

"The Dark Road"

When all earthly hope is gone, there is someone who knows what we are feeling more than do we ourselves.

From the vantage point of an unshadowed eternity and earthly lifetime, the Lord Jesus Christ was smitten on the cross of Calvary by the Father who had forever declared Him to be His beloved (Isaiah 53:4; John 17:24). He was smitten primarily with the very worst thing that could have happened to Him. The Father abandoned the Lord Jesus to die alone for our sakes, and to experience the keenest pain any conscious being will ever know.

"My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46).

As terrible as they were, the physical sufferings of the Lamb of God on the cross pale in comparison to the abject loneliness our Lord knew when the love of the Father and the Holy Spirit was torn from His heart. The Lord Jesus was made "to be sin" for us, and all the fury of God against the blackness of unrighteousness was unleashed in full measure against Him (II Corinthians 5:21). Again, such forsakenness was experienced by a heart that heretofore known only perfect love and its holy fulfillment. Of no other can this be said. Our pains and losses, while often grievously keen, are known in the context of imperfect happiness and possessions, and our limited capacity to experience them. Our Lord therefore suffered far more than any other because He had far more to lose. He is a "man of sorrows" because He is the man of sorrows, being "acquainted with grief" in a way that we will cannot fathom (Isaiah 53:3).

When all hope is gone, and every good thing seems to be fading into oblivion, the Lord Jesus Christ stands before us and dwells within us if we have believed. His hands, feet, and heart are marred with the prints of nails, and perhaps His soul bears an even deeper scar carved out when God and man left Him to die utterly alone. That scar is there for you and for me, and it calls to us with the promise and assurance of hope. The Savior has been many miles further down that dark road than we will be called to travel, and nothing we will experience is unfamiliar to Him. Thus, He can be whatever we will need Him to be. Even more, it is the deepest yearning of His heart to administer the comfort He alone can provide. There is hope if we will commit our souls unto the wounded One who is Himself our hope. On the dark road, no one has ever trusted the Lord Jesus and been disappointed for doing so. And no one ever will.

"They looked unto Him, and were lightened."
(Psalm 34:5)
"We have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."
(Hebrews 4:15)

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