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A Foundation for Living

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Rev. Reid
Rev. Reid
Rev. Reid

Expression in our Leap of Faith

Did you know apart from nature there is no “proof” beyond our faith that God exists? We usually do not pay real attention to God until we are in pain or really suffering. I mean really pay attention like our life depended on it, which is does. But just because we only cry out in a serious way in time of trouble does not mean we have lost our confidence in God. No matter the cause, belief in God requires a leap of faith.
There are two things we need to understand about our “leap of faith.” One, it is a leap of love and two our leap of faith requires a leap of trust. The Bible says, “About three o’clock (ninth hour) Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Elo-i, Elo-i, la-ma sa-bach-toha-ni? That is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” on the day of His Crucifixion. There are many interpretations of this passage. A few Bible scholars think Jesus became doubtful and was hoping for a miracle: that God would descend from Heaven and save Him and that miracle did not happen. He was put on the cross, and He uttered the expression, ‘Elo-i, Elo-I’ – My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ – What wrong have I done that you have forsaken me? Why have you left me alone? Why are you not doing something to save me? This interpretation is wrong. Let’s understand it. If we believe at the last moment, because He was about to die, Jesus stop loving God or trusting Him, we might as well give up our belief in God.  In Jesus’ passion, He was as human as you and me. He hurt like you and me. He was the Son of Man but not yet the Son of God in full glory. He was human but not yet totally divine. Much is pending on our understanding of this as it relates to this sentence and that understanding depends upon two things. First, it depends upon our understanding of unconditional love. Jesus’ message was very simple. Love over law. Anybody could have understood it, but nobody understood it. And people became so enraged that they killed Jesus over His love for us. He had not committed any sin or crime. He was not a criminal, but He was treated worse.
Three persons were to be killed that day: two thieves and Jesus. One man to be killed was named Barabbas. Pontius Pilate was hoping – because of tradition that he be allowed to free Jesus. But the Jews asked that Barabbas, a cold blooded criminal, be freed. They treated Jesus worse than a criminal. What was his crime?  The criminal had broken a couple of major laws; Jesus was breaking all the laws according to the Jews. He was not a criminal. In fact, He had not done anything wrong, but He was dangerous. The criminal was not dangerous; at the most he was a thief and murderer – but Jesus was standing against everything the Jews had been teaching. The Jewish way of life was at stake. Yes, to follow Jesus is dangerous. He had not done anything wrong, but attempting to fulfill the laws of Moses. He was for unconditional love alongside law. For that great sin He suffered, oh ‘Elo-i, Elo-I’ – My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’
When we love the way Jesus requires, we become dangerous. Our expressions of agony may not be the same because Jesus has paid the price for our sins, but our “leap of faith” will require an expression of unconditional love. Second, our understanding of Jesus’ words depends upon our trust in God through Jesus Christ. We can always trust God in Christ no matter the circumstance, situation, or condition. Even though we cry out to the Lord when faced with our dark night of the soul, we trust Him to see us through. Even though death may come at any moment, we do not feel forsaken. A second time Jesus cried, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ Why twice? First he cried; he must have hoped that there would be an answer, that there would be a response. Nothing happened. There was no answer. He cried once more – maybe He had not been heard? At that moment Jesus simply trembled and slipped away, with, according to Luke, our forgiveness on His lips. He was later resurrected and we now understand the answer. The answer is the resurrection. For Jesus and ourselves! We must die in Christ, and we too will be resurrected. This is God’s answer! God did not forsake Jesus nor will He forsake us! Christ is not dead! He is buried deep within us. God’s love never abandons us! As Christians we love unconditionally which enables our leap of faith. No matter the frustration, anguish, and pain, He has not brought us this far to leave us now. Jesus Christ will never depart our lives or leave us alone.