My GOD, my God, why have You forsaken me? Why are You so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning?

     The place of the skull was a place of doubt. My Son thought I had forsaken Him. In sadness, you feel you are in a God-forsaken place. When you need Me the most, you may sometimes conclude I am hiding. Skeptics are no help—they mockingly tell you I am a very absent help in trouble. Then you remember I have promised never to leave you alone.

     The place of the skull was a place of desperation. Golgotha meant groaning for Jesus. Cries for His Father’s help ascended from the cross. In times of sorrow, you feel a little like He did. Oppressed by the enemy, you mourn. Prayer seems pointless in pain. “Why bother?” you ask. When you reach the end of your rope, tie a prayer knot and hang on. When it is hardest to pray, pray your hardest. I bless desperation.

     The place of the skull was a place of derision. Calvary meant contempt for Christ. Carrying your cross will bring a similar response. Human scorn may lower your self-esteem to that of a worm! Sarcasm may hurt your heart. Enemies of righteousness will taunt you, “So where is this God of yours you claim is so helpful?” Unbelievers have no time for Me or you—uninterested in holiness, they take aim at anyone who is. The world is not a friend to grace, to help you get nearer Me. So keep your eyes on Jesus your Friend.

     The place of the skull was a place of death. Jesus died on His cross—die on yours. Discipleship means death to self. The cross crosses out “I.” Die to selfishness and find self-fulfillment. Shoulder your cross for My sake, and discover life’s truest meaning. Deny yourself, and come alive.

     The place of the skull was a place of deliverance. Rejection was not the end of Jesus’ story; I had a surprise for the world—resurrection! My love for you began before you were born and will continue infinitely beyond the day of your death. Eternal life will be yours—abundant life is yours you rise above moral corruption and spiritual death.

     Jesus was mocked so you could inherit a mansion. He was deserted so you could be delighted by the pleasure of My company. He was crucified so you could be changed. He went to hell for a while so you could go to heaven forever. He bore a gory cross so you could wear a glorious crown. Walk in His steps even though it hurts—total redemption is on the way!

© Pastor Johnny R. Almond, Day 199 Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Author: Johnny Almond

Johnny R. Almond earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey and a Diploma in Religious Studies from the University of Cambridge. After pastoring churches for a decade, he served the Air Force as a military chaplain in worldwide assignments. After retiring from the military in 2000, he began serving as pastor in Virginia. He currently serves as pastor of Hull's Memorial Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He and his wife, Beverly, have four sons, three grandsons, and three granddaughters.

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