Mark 15:33-34 “And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
Often times when this word is preached, we focus on the question that Jesus is asking during this, his time of agony, this His time of bearing the full weight of the sins of all of mankind throughout all of time.
It is a profound question. My God why have you forsaken me? But it is one that I believe Jesus already knew the answer to. In the Gospel of John, just after the story of Christs’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem and the waving of the Palms and the crying of Hosanna, we hear Jesus have this conversation with Andrew and Philip in John 12 verse 23 Jesus says “The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” Then in verse 27 He says: “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour? but for this cause came I unto this hour.”
So here is Jesus, in the hour.
And He knows full well that death is coming. But being that never in the untold millions of years of His eternal life, has He ever had to wear a garment of flesh, this kind of pain is new to Him. It hurts.
He signed up for this – it’s true. He said in John 6:38 “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” Jesus knew all the scriptures that had been written about Him and foretold this day, come to think of it, He’d written the scriptures about Him that foretold this day, He was The Word made flesh, He told Isaiah to write in chapter 53 verse 4 “ Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. … and I can imagine Jesus thinking of this very moment on the cross when He told the prophet Isaiah to pick up his pen and write verse 10 “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put [him] to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, and in verse 11: He shall see of the travail of his soul, [and] shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.”
So when Jesus asks the question, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? I believe He already knows the answer. This was the will of God. This was the price for sin, that had to be paid. But What’s more intriguing to me at this moment, is the answer God got from Heaven, which was silence. No words of encouragement, No whisper of love from the Father, nothing?
How many of us have ever been there?
Many times when we face a trial or a difficult situation in our lives, the first question is, Why am I going through this? Is this God punishing me? Is it the Devil attacking me? Why must it hurt so badly, why must this trial last so long, why won’t this pain go away? And because we don’t know the answer or don’t recognize the answer, we spend to much time in deep distress waiting to hear something from God.
We want to have a “move it” experience. Just move the trouble Jesus. Destroy the yoke, tear down the wall, bind up the enemy, let’s get this over with and do it quickly. Because we know that God is a master of “Moving it.” In fact most of the time, can’t nobody move it but Jesus. Only the name and the blood of Jesus have the power to completely stop the enemy in his tracks and orchestrate a complete, sudden and total deliverance for you. How many testimonies have we heard of people who got up the next morning and the taste for drugs or alcohol was completely gone from their mouth, or that the Lord touched somebody and totally lifted every burden. I believe we all have had “Move it” experiences and that’s a good thing.
But in every life, there must also be some “through it” experiences as well. And as hard as it is, we need to learn to cherish those too. Because “Move it” experiences make you better, but I think somebody here can be a witness that “through it” experiences make you stronger.
So my message to you in the next five minutes, is the same message I believe God spoke to Christ, through that silence on the cross, which is: “Some things you just have to go through.”
The “Through it” experience:
When I think of a “through it” experience, I think about the apostle Paul, Paul had a Ph. D in “through it” experiences. He got to the point where he began to get happy when he was going through, because he knew God was strengthening him: In 2 Corinthians 12:7 Paul shares his testimony with us, he says: “there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Paul was so happy about that he said: “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
When I think of a “through it” experience, I can’t help but also think about Shadrach. Meshach and Abednego. King Nebuchadnezzar told them that if they didn’t bow down to the idol, they would be thrown in a fiery furnace, and those Hebrew boys uttered some of the most courageous words – I think, in all of scripture. Those words were so courageous because they didn’t know if God was going to move it, or if they were going to have to go through it. I’m sure they asked God to help them in their situation, but obviously when it came down to the question of, are you going to deliver us or not, the Hebrew boys heard silence. How many of us have been there ?– we’re about to face a challenge, and we’re asking God for help and we don’t have any kind of clear word on what to do? So here these boys are the most faithful boys in all of Babylon, I mean, they had a relationship with God, Daniel was a prophet, he could hear God talking through dreams and visions and read the writing on the wall – Daniel knew how to hear God’s voice – but here they were facing death by fire, and none of them had gotten a word about whether God was going to deliver them or let them die??? Shadrach Meshach and Abednego looked at that king and said: “[Dan 3:17-18 KJV] 17 “If it be [so], our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver [us] out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not (because we really haven’t heard from God about this matter so we don’t know what’s about to happen!), be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”
In other words King, I don’t know how, or if we will even make it out of this situation alive – but I want you to know, if we have to go through, we will go through. Put us in the firey furnace. Even if we don’t come out, we’re still willing to go through. Can you say that today – even if I don’t know what’s about to happen, even if I don’t get what I want, – even if I don’t like what’s about to happen – I’m still willing to go through with a praise on my lips?
Jesus Goes Through
Last but certainly not least, Jesus gives us an example of the most powerful “though it” experience.
Just like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, Jesus was a man who knew how to hear from God. Jesus was God, you can’t get any closer to God then that. And yet, when Jesus was in the middle of His “through it” experience, He could get no answer from Heaven. In John 12 when Jesus prayer to the Father and said “ 28 Father, glorify thy name.” Scripture says there there was an immediate response from Heaven: (28) “Then came there a voice from heaven, [saying], I have both glorified [it], and will glorify [it] again.” When Jesus got baptised, as soon as He came up put of the water there was a voice that came from Heaven saying “[Mat 3:17) “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” When Peter James and John were up on the mountain of transfiguration, and they were getting ready to start building tabernacles for Moses and Eijah a voice came from Heaven and said “[Mat 17:5 This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.”
But when Jesus was on His way to the cross – when all His disciples had turned away and His friends were no where to be found, and the priests and scribes and pharisees had all judged him and betrayed him there is no voice from Heaven? More than once, He calls out to God in the Garden of Gethsemane. He asks God, can you move this – or do I have to go through it. Jesus says: [Mat 26:39 KJV] 39 “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” In other words God – is there any other way we could do this? Could you just move this, bind up the enemy, call down fire, deliver me immediately and completely from this situation? And the scriptures record that the response was silence. And then on the cross, in the scripture we just read, at the height of Christ’s anguish when the blood was draining from His body and suffocation was setting in and the pain from the whipping and the nails and the thorns was too much to bear and He cried out Father – why have you left me hear all alone? Why have you abandoned me? Why can’t I feel you any more? Why can’t I touch you any more? And still, there’s no answer from Heaven?? And still there’s silence??
Rejoice for the Silent Answer
I want you to know this evening that a prayer answered by silence, is still a prayer answered. And the answer is: “Some things you just have to go through.” Tonight, and this may sound strange but, I want you to rejoice over the silence! If you’ve asked God to “move it,” and it’s still there, just praise God, because the answer is, you are going to have to go through it. If you’ve been crying out to Heaven like Paul did and nothing has changed, keep on praising God because you are going to go through it. If you’re in front of a fiery furnace, and you don’t know what is going to happen, just begin to declare that no matter what happens, God is able, and you are going to go through it. I want you to begin to thank God for the silence, because, when Heaven is quiet it doesn’t mean God didn’t hear you and it doesn’t mean He doesn’t care, I want you to start to see that silence as a vote of confidence from God Himself: and it means “you can make it through this.”
I can see God looking down from Heaven at the Hebrew boys standing before King Nebuchadnezzar and saying, “Those are my boys, they believe in me, they know I got this, they’re going to have to go through it, but as soon as they get in that furnace I’m going to walk right up in the fire with them and help them make it through.” I can see God looking down at Paul with that thorn in his flesh and saying, “Praise Him Paul! – Because you’re going to be stronger after this!” And I can see God in Heaven as His Son was on the cross, saying “I hear you Son, but right now … I just need you to go through this.” Can you hear God from Heaven, speaking to you in your situation? Can you hear Him – speaking through the silence and saying “I know you’re hurting right now, but some things you just have to go through.” I hear God saying “Listen, this situation’s not going to change —- but you are.”
Just like Jesus – when your three days are over, you’re going to be glorified. I don’t know how long your three days are going to be, some time three days is 5 years, and sometimes your three days is 3 hours, but when your three days are over, you’re gong to have the victory. When your three days are over, you’re going to rise again. If you’ve been crying out, and Heaven is quiet, get your praise on, because that means you’re going to have to go through this thing, but in the end you’re going to get through this thing – and when you come out on the other side you’re going to be stronger than every devil that tried to hurt you — You’re going to be stronger than every fear that tried to discourage you. You are going to be stronger!