His Malediction for Our Benediction
“My God My God why have You forsaken Me?” Do you understand? Of course, you do. If you’re a Christian, you understand all too well. But Jesus utters these words so that you and I—in union and communion with the Lord Jesus—will never have to utter those words ever, ever, ever! But on that day of judgment, the wrath of God will never alight upon me because my sin has been dealt with, justice has been met and met to the full—it has been satisfied in the obedience and substitution of the Son. “There is a green hill far away, outside the city wall, where my dear Lord was crucified, who died to save us all.” And the ‘us’ there I think, is those of us who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s the treasure of it, that’s the comfort of it—He died for me. He died in my room. He died in my place. He took the wrath so that I can receive grace.
At the end of a service of worship there’s a benediction—if you don’t have a benediction at the end of your worship service, find another one. It’s vitally important theologically and experientially. “The Lord bless you and keep you, make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you, lift up the light of His countenance upon you and give you Shalom”—peace, wholeness, integration, a sense of purpose because that’s not what Jesus heard here. At three o’clock on that Friday afternoon, He heard something else: “The Lord crush you and push you away, the frown of God’s holiness come down upon you and give you hell.” That’s what He heard. He got hell so that we get Shalom, and peace, and benediction. That’s the assurance at the end of every worship service, we go forth with a Shalom of God protecting us—the substitutionary atoning work of the Lord Jesus that satisfies divine justice surrounds me every moment of the day now and forever throughout all eternity.