Demonstrating the unique relationship of the Triune God in the death of Jesus Christ
Last week we learned that the triune God, consisting of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, were all present during the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. This week we look at the death of Jesus Christ. Nowhere is this demonstrated outside the gospels more beautifully than in Psalm 22:
1My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? – Psalm 22:1
Do you recognise the words at the beginning of the psalm? We suggest that you first read the entire psalm, and then return to continue here.
This very moving psalm by David was a prophecy of the death of Jesus Christ. Jesus quotes David on the cross. This is a stunning confirmation of the validity of the Old Testament for us today. David could never have imagined how the words he penned in this psalm would define history, right up to the point where we are today, and beyond. Just look at the vivid portrayal of the crucifixion:
- Verse 1 shows the words uttered by Jesus Himself, as found in Matthew 27:46; and Mark 15:34;
- Verse 8 is referred to in Mark 15:30;
- Verse 15 shows He was thirsty, in Matthew 27:34; and Mark 15:23. Note how this is also portrayed in Psalm 69:21;
- Verse 16 shows how He was crucified;
- Verse 18 shows they cast lots for His clothing, in Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24; and John 19:24;
- Verse 24 shows that God the Father did not hide his face (hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted), but when Jesus cried out to Him, He heard Him. He was there!
If we take the four gospels one by one, we see the triune God in action.
- He is described as being the Son of God in Matthew 27:40-43;
- He speaks to His Father in Matthew 27:46;
- The Holy Spirit is present when Jesus yields (lets go) of the Spirit in Matthew 27:50. This was necessary so that the work He set out to do could be completed. He alone was the sacrificial lamb, not the Father or the Holy Spirit;
- The centurion confirms that Jesus was the Son of God. If there was a son, then there had to be a father. Consider that these words were uttered by a presumably heathen Roman, in Matthew 27:54.
Mark reports the events in the same way as Matthew.
- Jesus addresses his Father, in Luke 23:34;
- Jesus addresses the Father again in Luke 23:46. Note the personal pronouns used. Jesus is not addressing an absent relationship with God in the third person, but an intimate first-person relationship using “thy”, “I” and “my”. God the Father was there, present when His Son paid for the sins of the world.
- John reports that Jesus gave up the ghost, thus the Holy Spirit, not in the sense that the Holy Spirit is was not omnipresent, but that this was a task Jesus had to complete himself. See John 19:30.
God never forsook (abandon, leave) His Son, as Jesus is God, but in terms of His work representing the Lamb, for which He became human. It is merely the communication that was broken for a time. It was the sin of mankind that was laid on Him (2 Corinthians 5:21) that separated Him from God, just as sin separates us from God.
Where was God at the cross? He was in Christ, He was with Christ, He was there. Read Psalm 22:24 again and see a picture not recorded in detail in the gospels. The Father suffered too, to see His Son dying for those He loved (the Father) but he denied, and still deny, Him.
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, never operated in isolation, even if it seems as if Jesus was deserted. His mission was His alone. It was on His shoulders to carry the sins of the world.
In your deepest hour of need you are not alone. Even when you feel you have been punished unfairly, God is there to hear your cry. When whatever you owned, the very clothes you wore, have been taken from you, God knows about it. If He could say:
6Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. – Deuteronomy 31:6
and these same words were reiterated by Paul:
5Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. – Hebrews 13:5
then know that He will do what He has promised, and not desert you.
The triune God never operated in isolation, not even in the death of Jesus Christ.