Matthew 27: 23-54 Isaiah 52:13-15, 53: 12 Agony : Death : Defeat : Failure : Forsaken “I hate you! I could kill you! I’m starving! Life sucks! You suck! I wish I were never even born! Why do they get everything?!” The character of God, do you know what it is? Beyond clichés, beyond simple, empty, “God is Love,” answers, do you know the character of the living God? Too often the image of God in my own mind is “my god”. He thinks and exists typically in accordance with my mood, attitude and views at that particular point in my life. “my god,” is custom ordered to fit my situation, my ethics, and my belief system. “my god,” wouldn’t be seen nailed to a cross. He wouldn’t lie down in defeat. He would charge forward and defeat the army of evil with a single word. “my god,” is cool, nothing to be ashamed about, conformed to this world because, hey, he wants the people of the world to like him. He would love for me to have lots of money, women, fame, because, let’s be honest, I could handle it. A ten year old just walked by the church building and I could hear him screaming from inside with the door closed. I got up to see and at the door I could understand the words he was yelling into his cell phone, “*#$@ you! I’m *#$@&^! talking to you!” Ten years old and so full of anger, of hate, pissed off at the world for God knows what reason. (Excuse my adolescent theology) Jesus did not die from exhaustion on the cross that Friday evening. It wasn’t nails or whipping or lack of breathing that killed him. Jesus cries out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” My sin killed him. Your sin killed him. The hate, the pain, the deception that brews in the human heart was all at once thrust upon a human body, and it could not endure. But the act itself, the laying down of perfect life, perfect love, perfect justice, defeated that darkness. Following that example will rock your world, and don’t be surprised when your world lashes out back at you for doing so. Love is near impossible, that’s why Jesus is my crucified, and risen, Lord!