Speaker(s): Renaldo Brown
Sermon 12268
7:00 PM on 3/16/2022

 

P. Renaldo Brown –

Let’s all stand. Turn with me to Mark. 15. The pastor that you heard [on the Eurocon video clip] was P.
Oktay and that was his wife. They’re Azeri missionaries to Ukraine. The reason why they got out
is because they are not Ukrainian men, so they allowed them to leave. Otherwise, all the other
men have to stay to fight. That was P. Oktay.

Mark. 15:33-34, you may be seated. Behind this verse we hear the heart and the words of a hurt
and wounded Messiah. It’s roughly between 1 and 3:00 in the afternoon. He’s quoting David
from a thousand years ago from Psalm 22:1,2. He’s going through the greatest challenge of his life,
the cross. At this moment, he is surrounded by what seems like a blanket of darkness. This
darkness seems to be so thick. It might be like the darkness in Exodus 10 during the plagues of
Egypt. Maybe perhaps he could even feel the weight of it. It was supernatural darkness.
When you read this portion of Scripture, the emphasis seems to be on the physical suffering of
Jesus Christ. It was grotesque.

It was uniquely violent, demonically orchestrated, this physical suffering. But beyond the physical suffering, there’s another layer of suffering here. There’s another layer of suffering he’s never experienced in his life before, but it’s expressed in this verse. This new level of suffering was new to him, and so new to him that even the people
around him misunderstood it. Mark. 15:36-37, they assumed he was crying out for help from the
prophet Elijah.

But as always was the case with Jesus Christ, they misunderstood his pain. They misunderstood
his life. They misunderstood his ministry, so why should it be different in his death than in his
life? They misunderstood him. Many times, in your life you’re misunderstood by your family,
your friends, other believers. Maybe most of your life you’ve been misunderstood. Christ was
no different. We live this life and nobody really knows what’s going on in somebody else’s life.
We don’t know. We really don’t know. They misunderstood him. They thought he was asking
for relief. But actually, he had a deeper need than relief.

Maybe you live your life and you think about I just want relief from this job, relief from this
situation, relief from this relationship, relief from this health issue. He wasn’t asking for relief
which is interesting. In this portion of Scripture, he’s not asking for relief. If he wanted relief, he
would have took the gall. He would have took the narcotic to numb the pain. He didn’t want
relief.

In this verse, he is crying out and asking for something deeper than relief. He’s crying out for
relationship. He’s crying out for relationship. At the heart of our walk with God is a relationship.
In the middle of our call, at the foundation of our journey with God, there’s relationship. The
reason why we’ve gathered here tonight is not because we like each other though we might.
But all of us have a connection through a relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s a relationship with Jesus Christ that makes us bend our knee. It is a relationship with Jesus Christ that makes us
open this book. It’s a relationship with Jesus Christ that makes us worship and sing. That’s what
he’s crying out for.

If you watch in this portion of Scripture and throughout the gospels, Christ would pray and he
was very intimate in how he prayed. Abba, Father. Father. My Father. And God the Father
doesn’t speak that often in the Gospels. When he speaks about the Son, he’s so personal. “This
is my beloved Son in whom I’m well pleased.” “This is my beloved Son; hear him.” Very
personal, intimate communication. But when you look at these words and you look at the way
Christ speaks to the Father here, he doesn’t call him Father. He says “My God.” It seems as if
the fellowship has changed. It’s not like an intimate conversation but it seems like simple
supplication now. Likened to the tabernacle, maybe he was in the holy of holies and now he’s in
the outer court. Something has changed here.

On the worst day of his life and the worst thing
to happen in his life, God the Son does not sense God the Father’s presence. Can you imagine?
His whole life, he always sensed his Father’s presence. Now here at the end, the most violent,
the most oppressive, he cannot sense his Father’s presence. You and I can go hours and not sense the Father’s presence and we’re okay. Imagine. Father,
where are you? Daddy, where are you? Why have you forsaken me? These are not the words of
a broken faith. These are the words of a broken fellowship. A broken fellowship. You can almost
hear the desperation in his voice. You can even hear the panic. He’s never had to deal with this
before.

The cross was small compared to this. There is no pain, no torture, no beating that could be like
this. You can hear the panic, the desperation. He kind of encapsulates it with one word:
forsaken. Mark here uses a powerful word. It’s a word that speaks about something or
someone being left behind, abandoned. But in the context, it’s not really a good meaning for it.
It’s better said this way, “left out.” For the first time in his life, Jesus Christ experientially was
left out. The Father and the Spirit are having fellowship and the Son experientially is left out.
Still connected, but not fellowshiping. Imagine that. Jesus Christ left out.

In Mt. 4 when he faces Satan face to face, fellowship was there. He was tired. He was hungry,
but fellowship was there. In Mt, 26, he’s in the Garden of Gethsemane. He’s sweating with so
much demonic oppression, that he literally sweats blood but fellowship was there. But here,
here, worse than the wilderness, worse than the garden – here, he cannot sense his Father. He
doesn’t say the pain is too much for me. He doesn’t say the cross is too much for me. He says
Father, where are you? This was his greatest pain. This was his greatest pain. Where are you?
I’m left out of the fellowship.

Do you remember when you were young and you were left out of the conversation, how you
felt when you were left out? Multiply that times eternity. Left out. And the way it says here in
Mark. 15 and Psalm 22, it doesn’t speak about a break in the relationship. It speaks about distancing
as if for a season, for a moment, God the Spirit and God the Father distanced themselves
experientially from the Son. He was left out.

This distancing had a reason. The reason was sin. This distancing had a purpose and the
purpose was redemption. It seems as if the Shepherd of John. 10 became the Lamb. Became the
Lamb, a sacrificial lamb. John. 1:29, “behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the
world.” The Lamb. “He who knew no sin,” 2 Corinthians 5:21 “became sin that we might be made the
righteousness of God.” He came “not to be ministered unto but to minister and give his life a
ransom for many” in Matthew 20:28. Wow. He would “bare our sins on his own body” in 1 Peter 2:24-
25.

Part of his punishment for our sins wasn’t just his death. Part of his punishment was separation
from fellowship with the Father for the first time and the only time in all of history for six hours.
Ever been in a relationship with someone that means so much to you and they stop talking to
you? One minute. Five minutes. It feels like an eternity. Imagine six hours. We’ve talked every
day for all of eternity. Six hours. Some observations from this verse. First of all, there’s great
value in the presence of God in my life. There’s great value in the presence of God in your life. If
Jesus Christ would be willing to go through this so that you would just have the option to
participate in the fellowship of God, his presence. How powerful, how important it is to have
the presence of God in my life.

Second thing. We can be so cavalier about having the presence of God in our life. The great
price that was paid for the presence of God to be in your life. You didn’t just walk through a line
and God handed you the presence of God. He sacrificed something he held dearest that we
would have the choice. What a price!

Then finally, the great need for the presence of God in my life. Great need. It’s as if Christ didn’t
need anything else on the cross. He asked for no water. He asked for no drugs. He asked for no
food. He asked for no relief. He said, Father, where are you? If I just have you, I have
everything. But for these sheep, for these people, I will sacrifice my everything so that they can
have what I have, fellowship.

Without the presence of God – if I live without the presence of God in my life for a long period
of time, I can experience something interesting called practical spiritual loneliness. Practical
spiritual loneliness. It’s this numbing awareness that something is missing in your life as a
believer. I jump into ministry. I jump into outreach. I jump into things but something is missing.
It’s the presence of God. It’s the presence of God. Something is missing in my marriage.

Something is missing in my family. Something is missing in my household. Something is missing
in my job. It’s the presence of God. The presence of God. The presence of God.
Solomon felt it, Ecclesiastes 2:11. He had everything and something was missing. The presence of God.
Jeremiah had so much to say but in Jeremiah 9:2, something was missing. David in Psalm 102, something
was missing. Have you felt that? Something is missing. I do my quiet time with God. Something
is missing in my daily life. Something is missing. Am I too busy for the presence of God? The
effect of the presence of God in my life calms me. It calms me. Imagine that.

There was a pastor who went to his home town. He decided to take a walk through town. At
the edge of the town, there was a cemetery and there were tombstones from the 19 th century.
He decided to walk through and just read what people wrote about their lives. And a specific
tombstone struck him. For the tombstone, the woman listed her husband too, but there was no
birth and no death mentioned. But the tombstone said this, “Sleeps, but rests not. Loved, but
was not loved. Tried to please, but pleased not. Died as she lived, alone.” Alone.

You can feel like that as a Christian. The absence of divine fellowship in my life, it devalues all
fellowship. The absence of divine fellowship, it will lower my standards for fellowship. The
absence of divine fellowship will infuse all the other relationships. The absence of divine
fellowship puts unreasonable expectations on all other fellowship. We were built to fellowship
with God. We were designed to fellowship with God. We were created to fellowship with God.
We were saved to fellowship with God.

I’ll close with this. In Luke 2:1-5, you have Joseph and Mary on their way to Bethlehem from
Nazareth. Mary very, very pregnant and they’re on their way and they’re fulfilling a prophecy in
Micah 5:2 but I’m not even sure they were even aware of it to be honest. Sometimes we honor
the will of God and we are not even aware of it. We’re just walking by faith. They’re tired
maybe. Hungry. They’re moving maybe a bit expectant. Okay, we’ll get to Jerusalem. We’ll find
a place. Mary will rest. I know you’re heavy laden. We’ll get there. I know it will be okay. They
arrive. It’s after dark. There’s no room. There’s no friends. There’s no greeting party. There’s no
nurse. There’s no room. There’s no help.

They are alone, but I want you to watch their life. Watch their life. Mary’s content and Joseph is
calm. Why? Cause God was with them. They knew it. In Mt. 1, when the angel came to Joseph
and let him know that God is involved in this and Mary in Luke 1 heard that she would be
carrying God. They both knew that God was with them. That’s the effect of the presence of God
in my life. In the crisis, in the storm, it is the presence of God that gives me peace in Philippians. 4:7
that passes understanding. It’s the presence of God that gives me rest. In his presence there is
fullness of joy. It doesn’t say in his presence that my circumstances are good. It doesn’t say in his presence that I get my way. It doesn’t say in his presence that everything works out the way
I want them to. But in the presence of God, I am stabilized. I am secure.
In this life, we kind of seek significance.

That is a trillion-dollar business on this planet. Significance. Why do you think social media is so big? It gives you a chance to be relevant, significant. Here’s the rub. In this world with everything that is happening, what did Andrew say
in John. 6? What are we among so many? To be relevant is a losing battle. To be significant is a
losing battle, but in Christ, in Christ in 1 Samuel 30:6 I can be enlarged in him. In Christ in Colossians 2:10,
I can be complete in him. In Christ, I can have fullness of him. I can be consoled by him. I can be
accepted by him. I’m never alone in the fellowship of God. I’m never empty in the fellowship of
God. God’s people and the world’s problems bring the presence of God.

When you bring God’s people into a crisis, when you bring God’s people into a situation, they
bring in the presence of God. And when they walk by faith and walk in the Spirit, they bring in
an anointing. So, a battlefield can be anointed. A war bunker can be anointed. A tank can be
anointed. When the presence of God is there, there are no boundaries.
So, I’ll say this. Our people are not soldiers. Some of them want to be. They’re just simple
sheep. But when they go across the water and our Spirit goes with them, they go in the
presence of God and that changes everything. Amen?

Amen.

 

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