Over 500 times the word “why?” is used in the Bible. We ask “why” a lot. God doesn’t get angry when we do.
Jesus asks “why” on the cross. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”[i]
Hanging on the cross, “Those who passed by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “Save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!”[ii]
The next three words really hit the heart of their mockery when they said: “He trusted God.”[iii]
They were saying, “Where is your God? You’re trusting him?
Now admittedly, if you were there looking on at Jesus hanging on the cross, you might say something like they did as well. He trusts in God? Where is his God now? Because if you would have seen Him, you would have been deeply disturbed, because Scripture tells us very clearly what they did to Jesus. They beat Him and abused Him so severely, that He didn’t even look like a human being.[iv] There He is, looking more like an animal than a man, hanging naked on the cross, and they were saying, “You still trust in God? Where is He now? Where is He now?”
You see, it’s very easy to trust in God when things are going well, but it’s difficult to trust in God, for many of us, when bad things happen.
That’s where we all live at some time or another and you ask why? I don’t understand. And the reality is, we have to understand that we are not always going to understand. That’s truth, because we only see part of the story. We can’t understand everything from God’s perspective.
But the good news is that God’s Word gives us 4 things that we need to remember when we don’t understand our circumstances and ask “why?”.
1. God is good. [v] We tend to project our present situation on God. When bad things happen we think God. But, our God transcends circumstances. That’s what we hold onto. Cancer is bad, but God is good. Abuse is bad, but God is good. War is bad, but God is still good; forever, and it will never change. He is always good.
2. God is for me.[vi] Just think about how ridiculous this is. God made everything. He breathed the stars into space, and yet Scripture says He is for you. What circumstance could dare phase you? The all powerful God is your supporter; He believes in you, He has a dream and a purpose that is beyond the confusion of today.
3. God is with me.[vii] There are over 365 promises of God, one for every day of the year. Do you know what the most repeated promise is? I will be with you. Jesus reminded his disciples of this after his resurrection, “And be sure of this, even until the end, I am with you.” Matthew 28:20
4. God has a purpose.[viii] In all things God has a purpose. Now back to the cross, the purpose that many failed to see:
When Jesus said, “My God, why have you forsaken me” He was quoting Psalm 22:1. Psalm 22 is messianic prophecy that says the messiah will have his hands and feet pierced, people will mock him and cast lots for his clothes. By saying, “My God why…” he was showing all who were there (they would have known the Old Testament well) to see that Psalm 22 had been fulfilled before their very eyes!
When everyone around the cross didn’t understand, the cross had purpose: “He was pierced for our transgressions, the punishment that was upon him brought us peace.” [ix] God made him sin, so that we can become the righteousness of God in Christ.[x]
So, no matter what you’re going through; never, ever forget that God is good. He is for you, and He will never, ever leave you. There is a purpose behind everything. Jesus is there when you ask why.
For more about the series, “Jesus Can” go to www.ridgefellowship.com
[i] Matthew 27:46
[ii] Matthew 27:39-42
[iii] Matthew 27:43
[iv] Isaiah 52:14
[v] Mark 10:18
[vi] Romans 8:31
[vii] Hebrews 13:5
[viii] Romans 8:28
[ix] Isaiah 53:5
[x] Isaiah 53:11