I used to think that the more I got on planes and went places the easier it would get. Wrong! It always got tougher to be away from home.
I remember one major trip I took to South Africa. I knew I’d be gone for like two and a half weeks, and as the family took me to the airport, we said a quick goodbye. We figure quick goodbyes are the easiest. And I remember as I walked through the door and left them behind and I got out of their sight, I was choking back tears. And I said, “Boy, I’m not like this very often.” But honestly it hurt to leave them.
Now, I was really busy in South Africa. I was very blessed while I was there, but I was really lonely away from them. Frankly, it’s really hard to be away from someone you love, right? But there is a kind of away that I have never experienced, and I never will. You might, but you don’t have to.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Very Away and Very Alone.”
We’re going to turn for our word for today from the Word of God to Matthew 27:45-46. It will take us on a visit through the winding streets of Old Jerusalem, outside the city gate to a hill that’s a garbage dump. It’s also a place of execution. It’s a place to be avoided by anyone who lives inside the law. And there we will find on a cross, the carpenter from Nazareth – Jesus. He’s God’s only Son. Remember that as I read this to you.
God’s only Son – He has for all of eternity had an unbroken, uninterrupted relationship with God, the Father. But listen to His cry in Matthew 27. “From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” And in this moment, that eternally unbroken relationship between God the Father and God the Son is ripped apart and broken by my sin.
I said that’s a kind of away I’ve never been. Oh, I’ve missed the people I love when I’ve been away, but what an away this is – God the Father turning His back on His only Son. God the Son is totally cut off in this moment. This is the moment Jesus tried to avoid in the Garden of Gethsemane when He said, “Father, take this away from Me if it is possible.” But on that cross He is very away from God. He is very alone. Why?
The Old Testament prophet, Habakkuk, told us that God is of purer eyes than to look on sin. You say, “But Jesus didn’t commit any.” No, He didn’t; but I have, and you have. And voluntarily Jesus Christ is suffering the penalty you and I should pay. He is being cut off from God so you don’t ever have to be. See, that’s what hell would be. Everything good, pure, loving, and beautiful on earth is because of God. And hell is total “away-ness” from God with no party, no friends, no music, no money to drown out that awful emptiness. Jesus was suffering that hell for you and me on the cross.
You can’t pay your own bill to God or Jesus would never have gone through all that. If you know Him, live for Him with a new appreciation for what He paid for you. And if you’re not sure you know Him, if you’re not sure there’s been a time you began a relationship with Him, get to that cross. Give Him what He paid for; who He paid for. God turned His back on His own Son so He wouldn’t have to turn His back on you.
And now, maybe for our visit together, He’s come. He’s stirring your heart, and that tug in your heart is Jesus saying, “Let Me in.” And maybe for all your religion, there’s never been a moment you’ve done that. Would you do that today where you are? And say, “Jesus, I’m Yours. You died for me, You came out of Your grave – You’re alive! I’m not running things any more; I am Yours.”
Our website has been a big help to people who have wanted to be sure that they have begun this relationship with Jesus. I want to invite you to check it out as soon as you can today. I hope you meet us at that website. It’s ANewStory.com.
See, Jesus was on that cross very away and very alone so you don’t ever have to be again.