The Word of Separation

March 12, 2023 Preacher: Gareth Franks Series: 7 Last Words of Jesus on the Cross

Topic: The Gospel, Christian Living Scripture: Mark 15:33–41

Jesus fourth saying from the cross is found in the gospel of Matthew as well as Mark. After Jesus had been hanging on the cross for no less than three hours, with His hands and feet nailed to the wooden beams he cried out “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 

For the first time in all eternity, Jesus was separated from-forsaken by-His Father. Jesus knew what it was like to be abandoned-forsaken by people. But up until this point Jesus had always had GOD! When trouble came, He would slip away to the mountainside to pray. He would talk with God for hours and God would talk with Him. But Jesus cried out this agonizing cry of separation and loneliness as He hung on that cross: "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"

In our text, there are 3 important lessons we can learn:

  1. Jesus Died in Darkness. (v.33)
  2. Jesus Died Alone. (v.34-36)
  3. Jesus Died to Reconcile us to God (v.37-39)

Jesus was our Substitute. He went through darkness so that we might have light. Jesus was cursed so that we might be blessed. He was condemned so that we might be able to say with the apostle Paul in Romans 8:1, "Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Arthur Pink writes, "Jesus entered that awful darkness that I might walk in the Light; He drank the cup of woe that I might drink the cup of joy; He was forsaken that I might be forgiven."

Getting Started                         

  1. Are you afraid of the dark? Have you ever been caught alone, at night, when the lights went off in your house or office? Share your most memorable story.

Read Mark 15:33-41

  1. What insight, principle, or observation from Sunday’s sermon did you find to be the most helpful, eye-opening, or troubling?

 Digging Deeper

  1. Setting the context - Who are the main characters in this section? (How does Mark describe them? How do they describe themselves? What else do we know about them?)
  1. Sunday’s sermon emphasized three key details that reveal the meaning of Jesus’ death: 1) the darkness, 2) the cry of forsakenness, and 3) the torn curtain. Discuss how each one of those helps us to better understand what Jesus’ death is all about.
  1. Below are two additional New Testament passages that draw direct application from the death of Jesus. Read them and talk through the application to your own life.
  • Hebrews 10:19-25
  • Romans 8:31-39

The Heart of the Matter

  1. When might you have to face loneliness as a part of following Christ this week?
  1. How does having an assurance of faith (meaning we don’t constantly have to worry that we are not saved because Jesus’ death has secured our salvation) enable us to live out our obedience to God more freely and joyfully?
  1. How does this passage help you to love, trust, and worship Jesus more fully?

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