SERIES: Good Friday Messages
MESSAGE: Forsaken - Good Friday Service 2014
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 22:1-31; Ephesians 3:17-19

In Psalm 22, we read an account of death and suffering like no other, but that was exactly what Christ endured on the cross for us, experiencing the separation from God that we should have. The cross points to God's great love for us, and in it we see the depth of our sin, the height of God's love, the width of our salvation, and the length God will go to bring us to Himself.


  1. Introduction
    1. Blood saves lives; 1 John 1:7; 4:11
    2. The blood truck is here because our blood could also save someone else's life long enough for them to hear how God and His blood saves lives
      1. It's our tangible testimony to the community
      2. We love them because God loves them
  2. Psalm 22:1
    1. The theme of this Good Friday is Forsaken
      1. Psalm 22 begins with the fourth saying Jesus uttered from the cross: "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me?" (v. 1)
      2. Jesus was put on the cross at 9 am; He gave three statements over the next three hours, all focused on other people
        1. "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do" (Luke 23:34)
        2. "Today you will be with Me in Paradise" (Luke 23:43)
        3. "Woman, behold your son! ... Behold your mother!" (John 19:26-27)
      3. From noon to around 3 pm, there was darkness and silence
      4. Jesus broke the silence with this statement: "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Matt. 27:46)
    2. Psalm 22 is a messianic psalm
      1. Though written by David, it doesn't describe anything we know about David's life; it describes death and suffering at the end of one's life
      2. The details written in it have been noted by scholars as perfectly describing crucifixion, even more so than the four Gospels
      3. All four gospel writers pointed to Psalm 22 as something Jesus fulfilled
    3. What a statement!
      1. Some of us know what it's like to be forsaken or abandoned
      2. None of us know what it's like to be forsaken by God
      3. This statement is the only time in the Gospels that Jesus didn't call God His Father
      4. Jesus depersonalized it; there was no intimacy
      5. Jesus had already experienced what it was like to be abandoned
        1. He was abandoned by His disciples (John 16:32)
        2. Judas betrayed Him (Luke 22:47-48)
        3. Peter denied Him (Luke 22:54-62)
        4. The alienation of Jesus was progressive throughout His suffering
    4. What was this statement all about?
      1. Jesus felt the full wrath of God upon sin
      2. 2 Corinthians 5:21
      3. He was feeling ultimate separation
      4. This was the summit of His suffering; this was the pinnacle of His pain
    5. Think of this statement, and you see what sin does
      1. Sin separates families, friendships, and churches
      2. Sin always brings separation—here, between Jesus and the Father
    6. "Surely this is a cry that ought to melt the hardest heart!" —Arthur W. Pink
      1. Perhaps some of you are not believers
      2. If your heart isn't moved by this statement, then it's a good time to examine your heart
    7. Jesus became forsaken so that you and I would never have to be forsaken
      1. Deuteronomy 31:6
      2. "The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose I will not, I will not desert to his foes; that soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake, I will never, no never, no never forsake" —John Rippon, "How Firm a Foundation"
      3. As Jesus took the wrath for our sin, He could then say to us, "You'll never be forsaken, because the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses you from all sin"
  3. Ephesians 3:17-19
    1. Paul was saying, "I'm praying that you can comprehend something that is incomprehensible, that passes knowledge. I want you to know something that's impossible for you to know"
    2. The only way we get the revelation of this knowledge is in the cross
      1. Width and length go horizontally
      2. Depth and height go vertically
      3. It's a picture of the love of God in the cross of Jesus Christ
    3. As we look at the cross, we see the depth of man's sin, the height of God's love, the width of our salvation, and the length God will go through to get us there
    4. The depth of man's sin
      1. You can tell how bad sin is by looking at what it cost God to rescue us from it
        1. If you want to know the badness of our sin, look at the bleeding of our Savior
        2. Most people don't realize how bad their sin is; it is so offensive to a perfect, holy God that it required a death sentence
        3. But God lowered the rope so low that the one act of the cross is enough to save a person who trusts in Jesus Christ
      2. When Adam sinned, he infected the whole human race; Romans 5:12; 3:23
        1. You can't do anything good to account for the depth of your sin
        2. "No clever arrangement of bad eggs ever made a good omelet" —C.S. Lewis
        3. We're all bad eggs, and what Jesus cooked up is better than any raunchy omelet we could do by our own works
    5. The height of God's love
      1. Jesus left the heights of heaven and came down to this earth
      2. Philippians 2:6-8
      3. John 15:13
      4. If you are ever tempted to doubt God's love for you, just look at the cross
      5. Romans 5:8
      6. "Could we with ink the oceans fill, and were the skies of parchment made, were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade; to write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry; nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky" —Frederick Lehman, "The Love of God"
    6. The width of our salvation
      1. Jesus' arms stretched out on the cross was His big embrace to the world
      2. It's open to everyone, but there's only one way; it's open to all, but the way is narrow
      3. His embrace and reach is wide, but there's only one way
      4. Whosoever will, let him come (see Revelation 22:17)—but you have to will, to come His way
      5. John 14:6
      6. Acts 4:12
      7. You can't use the name "Catholic," "Protestant," "evangelical," or your parents' names
      8. It's open; it's wide; but there's only one way
      9. It's no longer a sin question; it's a Son question
        1. We're all sinners, but Jesus, the Son, paid for our sin
        2. Have you received the Son of God?
    7. The length God will go through to get a hold of you
      1. John 3:16
      2. The dumbest thing you could do is brag about your own goodness in the presence of almighty God
      3. The smartest thing you could ever do is receive His perfect righteousness that He will clothe you with so that you might be saved
  4. Closing
    1. "But I am a worm, and no man" (Psalm 22:6)
    2. Worm refers to the crimson crocus, which had a red dye to it
      1. In ancient times, they would extract the color from this worm and use it to dye the robes that kings would wear in their royal courts
      2. How suggestive is that: we are clothed in royal robes by the blood of Jesus Christ; we are made royalty because of His sacrifice
    3. We're royalty because Jesus took our badness and clothed us
    4. It's over; it's done; it's finished

Figures referenced: Arthur W. Pink, John Rippon, C.S. Lewis, Frederick Lehman
Cross references: Deuteronomy 31:6; Psalm 22:1, 6; Luke 22:47-48, 54-62; 23:34, 43; John 3:16; 14:6; 15:13; 16:32; 19:26-27; Acts 4:12; Romans 3:23; 5:8, 12; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 3:17-19; Philippians 2:6-8; 1 John 1:7; 4:11; Revelation 22:17

Topic: Cross

Keywords: forsaken, blood, the cross, messianic, messiah, psalm, crucifixion, separation, sin, suffering, love, salvation, one way, royalty

Forsaken - Good Friday Service 2014 - Psalm 22:1-31; Ephesians 3:17-19 |
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