NextLevel Online: The Way of the Cross

Session 4: My God, My God: From Abandonment to Confidence

This session will cover what silence can do. It’s adding insult to injury but Jesus gives us confidence that He is participating with us in our suffering which we also need to do for one another.



Classroom

Classroom Instructions

Lesson
Materials: Lesson Outline
Leader
  • In most visual depictions I’ve seen of the cross, the scene always seems to be very serene — quiet, almost peaceful. You’ve seen pictures of the silhouette of 3 crosses on a hill against the sky.

    • And yet, I can’t imagine the scene would have been very calm.
  • And yet, there’s a disturbing quiet in the mind of Christ. A quiet He’s never before experienced, even from eternity past. In that noisy scene, He’s experiencing for the first time what’s like to not hear the voice of God.

  • That’s what silence does. It’s adding insult to injury. It’s bad enough that we have to suffer, but at least you, God, could show up and tell us that everything is going to be alright.

  • But it’s that question that makes this scene so incredible. Because, when you think about it, God is saying this to God.

    • You realize that Jesus isn’t the first person to use these words. He’s quoting David, who for being a “man after God’s own heart” had a lot of painful days and seasons in his life. And during one of those he writes Psalm 22.
    • Isn’t it incredible that not only is God experiencing what we experience, He’s using our words (David’s words) to describe it?
      • So for all those who question God’s power and God’s love in the midst of their own feelings of abandonment — here is God’s power (taking your sin and guilt and the claims of death on you). Here is God’s love (forgiving you, making you holy and blameless in His sight, reconciling you to Him, giving you a hope beyond all hopes).
  • Jesus suffers our fear, our doubt, our abandonment — and in return He gives us His confidence.

    • Jesus gives us confidence when we should be afraid because He is participating with us in our suffering — this is how God is showing His power and love
  • So how do we practice this truth?

    • Jesus is participating in our suffering — we need to do that for one another.
    • I want you to think about intercessory prayer — where we prayer for one another needs — as an act of participating in their suffering.
    • So maybe we should stop praying for people and start praying with people.
      • Make prayer an act of participating with them in their struggle, as Christ is participating with us.
      • Use their words (or words you would think they would use) in your prayers for them. Pray with that kind of fervor — if we’re going to love our neighbors as ourselves, we should pray with that kind of passion, that kind of boldness.

About NextLevel Online

The vision of Ozark Christian College is to glorify God by evangelizing the lost and edifying Christians worldwide. The mission of Ozark Christian College is to train men and women for Christian service as a degree-granting institution of biblical higher education.