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Lenten Sermon Series: What So Good about Good Friday?
The Fourth Word: Forsaken by God

Matthew 27:45-46, NRSV


To speak of sin by itself…is to forget the resolve of God…. Human sin is stubborn, but not as stubborn as the grace of God and half so persistent, not half so ready to suffer to win its way. Moreover, to speak of sin by itself is to misunderstand its nature: sin is only a parasite, a vandal, a spoiler. Sinful life is a partly depressing, partly ludicrous caricature of genuine human life. To concentrate on our rebellion, defection, and folly–to say to the world “I have some bad news and I have some bad news”–is to forget that the center of the Christian religion is not our sin but our Savior. To speak of sin without grace is to minimize the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the fruit of the Spirit, and the hope of shalom.
But to speak of grace without sin is surely no better. To do this is to trivialize the cross of Jesus Christ…. What had we thought the ripping and writhing on Golgotha were all about? … In short, for the Christian church…to ignore, euphemize, or otherwise mute the lethal reality of sin is to cut the nerve of the gospel. For the sober truth is that without full disclosure on sin, the gospel of grace becomes impertinent, unnecessary, and finally uninteresting.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.
Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be

  • Model of Humanity
    • It’s lament, it’s authentic prayer, Psalm 36
    • It’s human, in the middle of darkness, with absence of God
    • All the doubts, anguish, questions to God, a model of lament
  • Model of Discipleship
    • Place of scripture in our lives; not pick and choose parts of scripture
  • Model of Self-sacrifice
    • So that we don’t have to “earn” it
    • Contrary to the ending of the movie Saving Private Ryan, where Private Ryan feels the need to “earn it” for others’ sacrifice
    • Sometimes we value more on things we earn, rather than things that were freely given

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