REJECTION AND ACCEPTANCE

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

            It is said that on the cross, the worst thing that could ever happen became the best thing that can ever happen. Let me explain…

            The cruelest aspect of the suffering of Christ was not the mockery he got from people, not the slaps and thorns, not the whip and nails. No. Rather, the most horrible moment for Jesus on the cross was when he cried out with a loud voice: “My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me?”

            Those words, according to Paul David Tripp, echo back through the centuries to another horrible moment. It was the moment when the sinful rebellion of Adam and Eve separated them from God who created them to know him, to love him, to serve him, and to commune with him forever. It was a moment of horror when God drove them out of the Garden and far away from his presence.

            The deepest need of all humanity from that point on was that somehow, some way communion with God would be restored. But thousand of years went by – each year being stained with the reality of that separation. As one gospel commentary puts it: “There was no way people could be what they were meant to be and do what they had been intended to do while they were separated from God.”

            Thus, Jesus was willing to come and live the life we could not live and die the death that we deserved. But that is not all he was willing to do. Jesus willingly endured the Father’s rejection so that we will know his acceptance. Jesus’ agonizing experience of being abandoned or forsaken by God was the price of our being reconciled to God. He suffered the pain of separation from God that our communion with God might be restored. His awful alienation from God met our deepest need. As Paul David Tripp puts it, “In Christ’s rejection came our acceptance. In Christ’s moment of horror, we were given eternal hope.” Because Christ was willing to endure the terrible pain of the Father’s rejection, you and I will never, ever be rejected by God – never, ever be abandoned or forsaken by God.

            No need to wonder what you have to do to get God’s acceptance. It was purchased once and for all by your suffering Savior. Christ paid for your acceptance before God on the cross.

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