Monday Reverb – 03April2023


The theme for this week is having the mind of Christ

The selected readings are … Psalm 31:9-16; Isaiah 50:4-9a; Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 26:14-27:66

  • In Psalm 31:9-16, we find the psalmist in sorrow and grief, yet confident God is aware of his suffering.
  • Isaiah 50:4-9a is the third of four servant songs that speak about having hope and courage in the midst of suffering.
  • In Matthew 26-27, we can read the story of Judas’s betrayal, the first Communion ritual, and Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane.
  • Our sermon text is Philippians 2:5-11, where we’ll explore what having a mindset like Christ means for us.

Yesterday, in our interactive sermon, we looked at a few additional, but related, passages

  • Philippians 2:1-4 … for context … to see what Paul may have been concerned about
  • Deut.21:22-23 and Galatians 3:13 … to see why Paul may have said “even death on a cross”
  • Isaiah 42:8 and Psalm 83:18 … re: the “name that is above every name”

Our main takeaway was that Paul was concerned about unity in the church and was making the point that one of the keys to unity is humility … so we must strive to be humble, just as Jesus Christ was humble.



  • Title:  Always At Your Side
  • Presenter:  Michelle Fleming
  • Keynote Passage:  Isaiah 50:4-9

From the transcript . . . 





Great Minds Think Alike

Philippians 2:5-11 NRSV

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.  And being found in human form, 8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death — even death on a cross.  

Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  

If you think back over your life, can you remember your best friend from high school or college? You know, someone who knew you inside and out and still liked you. You might have used sayings like “we’re on the same page” when you referred to your friendship. It may have meant you had similar interests, goals, or ways of seeing the world. The two of you were in sync, much like two gymnasts doing a routine or the figure skating couples you may have watched during the Olympics. When one of you came up with an idea that the other had also just thought of, you may have said something like this: “Great minds think alike.”

Today we’re going to study what was probably an early Christian hymn found in Philippians 2, and we’ll explore what verse 5 in this passage means when it suggests that we should have the same mind as Jesus. Let’s read Philippians 2:5-11.

Let the same mind be in you that was[a] in Christ Jesus,

who, though he was in the form of God,
    did not regard equality with God
    as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
    taking the form of a slave,
    being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
    he humbled himself
    and became obedient to the point of death—
    even death on a cross.

Therefore God also highly exalted him
    and gave him the name
    that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus
    every knee should bend,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue should confess
    that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

Let’s set the context for the passage by looking to earlier verses in the letter to the Philippians.


  • There was concern about dissension among members: Paul talks about his concern regarding those “opponents” who are emphasizing circumcision and law keeping as a means of living righteously (Philippians 1:28, 3:2, 7-11, 18-19).  It is Paul’s desire that the believers in Philippi are unified, “standing firm in one spirit” (Philippians 1:27 NRSV).
  • Unity doesn’t mean there won’t be differences of opinion: Paul understands human nature, and he urges the congregation to be united in love (Philippians 2:3-4). It is possible to disagree with another’s opinion and hold that tension in love, without attempting to persuade, manipulate, or change another’s mind. Melody Stanford Martin asks an important question in Psychology Today: “What would happen if instead of trying to change or control each other, we focus on seeing and understanding each other?”  Martin suggests that when we “suspend our need to convert [or persuade someone], we make space to learn.”   It’s in this space of learning that love exists.

Suspending our desire to change or control others requires a big dose of humility, and that starts with kenosisKenosis is a Greek word that means self-emptying, but it doesn’t mean we completely lose ourselves and become doormats.  Let’s look at Jesus’s example as described in Philippians 2:5-11 to understand how our Triune God approaches the idea of kenosis.

The triune God and kenosis

Kenosis, or self-emptying, is the way the Father, Son, and Spirit live.  Franciscan theologian and philosopher, Bonaventure, who lived in 1221-1274, talks about the relationship of the Trinity as a fountain full of love.  The Father holds nothing back but empties into Jesus, the Son. Jesus then empties all into the Spirit, and the Spirit empties back into the Father, no withholding.  The fountain represents the infinite love that is at the center of everything, and the Father, Son, and Spirit don’t fear emptying themselves completely because the fountain of love will never run dry.

We can see the self-emptying attitude in Jesus, his willingness to let go of meeting others’ expectations and cultural norms, and his gift of loving people where they are, without judgment (Philippians 2:6).  Kenosis forms the central feature of the mind of Christ, and in the hymn in Philippians,  Paul makes plain that everything Jesus did came from his self-emptying mindset.  First, he became a human, emptying himself of his divine privilege and putting on our flesh (Philippians 2:7).  By Jesus becoming fully human, humanity is bestowed with dignity and fellowship with the Divine.  In everything he did during his thirty-three years on earth, Jesus descended, chose humility, and emptied himself of any rights or privileges, ultimately allowing himself to bear the hatred of the world by dying on a cross so that hatred could be dissolved in God’s love for their creation (Philippians 2:8).

Kenosis and us

Human beings are put off by the idea of emptying ourselves.  First, Jesus’ teachings tell us that the way to winning is by losing, and that goes against cultural rules and expectations.  But we can see it is true by observing Jesus’ life and interactions with people.  Why does kenosis, having the mind of Christ, work?

  • It meets our deepest need.  Emptying ourselves of our egotistic tendencies to be important, right, or perfect makes space for God in us.  Our hearts long for deep communion and being at one with God, even as Jesus was of one mind and heart with God.  What initially seems to be a great loss, giving up our own notions of rightness and perfection, becomes an opportunity to be filled with the Spirit of God.
  • It’s the path of transformation.  Jesus did not avoid death.  Instead, he transformed it into resurrection.  If we don’t believe that infinite love is at the center, we will behave as if there isn’t enough.  We will feel like we must protect ourselves, not trusting in our inherent worth as children of God.  On the path of transformation, we must let go of our human shortcomings, guilt, and shame, as well as our biases that are rooted in our desire to be right or protect ourselves.  By letting go, emptying ourselves of the weights that hold us hostage, we can find our truest selves, grounded in the steadfast, infinite love of God (Philippians 2:9-11).

Moving toward kenosis

Kenosis does not come naturally to us, but life presents opportunities for letting go, often through experiences of great love or great suffering.  However, there are practices we can incorporate to make us aware of habitual thoughts and feelings that keep us stuck.

  • Contemplative (or centering) prayer:  This practice of prayer doesn’t focus on a laundry list of wants or suggestions for God to act upon.  Instead, contemplative or centering prayer incorporates silence and a focus on a chosen word or phrase that communicates your intention or consent to God’s presence.  You rest in God’s presence, and when you notice your mind becoming distracted, you return to your chosen word or phrase.
  • Silence:  Similar to centering prayer, silence allows you to focus on your breath and an openness to God’s nearness.  Sitting in silence is not comfortable, but it affords an opportunity to notice the types of thoughts and feelings that arise, and then consider their truth and helpfulness.
  • Lectio Divina:  The Latin phrase, “Lectio Divina,” refers to a close reading of scripture to notice what God might be saying to you.  It is not a theological or doctrinal study, but a careful listening to what God wants us to know about ourselves and our relationship with God, not about anyone else.  Though you can find helpful information online about Lectio Divina, the basic steps are as follows: 1) read the passage slowly, out loud if possible; 2) identify a word or phrase that catches your attention; 3) read the passage again slowly, perhaps from another translation; 4) identify how the passage or the word/phrase relates to your life right now and what feelings have arisen in your heart; 5) read the passage again and ask God, “What are you saying to me?” 6) Journal or sit quietly with what comes up.

Great minds do think alike, and Philippians 2:5-11 challenges us to develop the mind of Christ by understanding kenosis and how it can be part of our mindset, too.   As we close, let’s read together a poem prayer written by Pastor Steve Garnaas-Holmes from the Unfolding Light website:


Your deepest humility and self-emptying
is not of rank or status or even suffering, but of love;
your greatest miracle is this:
that you loved the people who are impossible to love.

My Chief, my Beloved,
here is my salvation, and my calling.

I love you and entrust myself to you.
May your heart be in me,
that with all my life
I may thank you,
I may worship you,
I may follow you.



Matthew 26:14-27:66 NKJV

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

14 Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, ‘What will you give me if I betray him to you?’ They paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.  


The Passover with the Disciples

17 On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?’ 18 He said, ‘Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, “The Teacher says, My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.”’ 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover meal.

20 When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve;[a]21 and while they were eating, he said, ‘Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.’ 22 And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another, ‘Surely not I, Lord?’ 23 He answered, ‘The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.’ 25 Judas, who betrayed him, said, ‘Surely not I, Rabbi?’ He replied, ‘You have said so.’

The Institution of the Lord’s Supper

26 While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ 27 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is my blood of the[b] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.’

30 When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Peter’s Denial Foretold

31 Then Jesus said to them, ‘You will all become deserters because of me this night; for it is written,

“I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.”

32 But after I am raised up, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.’ 33 Peter said to him, ‘Though all become deserters because of you, I will never desert you.’ 34 Jesus said to him, ‘Truly I tell you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.’ 35 Peter said to him, ‘Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.’ And so said all the disciples.

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane

36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’ 37 He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. 38 Then he said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.’ 39 And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.’ 40 Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, ‘So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? 41 Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial;[c] the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ 42 Again he went away for the second time and prayed, ‘My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.’ 43 Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.’

The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; with him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him.’ 49 At once he came up to Jesus and said, ‘Greetings, Rabbi!’ and kissed him. 50 Jesus said to him, ‘Friend, do what you are here to do.’ Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. 51 Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, ‘Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?’ 55 At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, ‘Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56 But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.’ Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

Jesus before the High Priest

57 Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, in whose house the scribes and the elders had gathered. 58 But Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest; and going inside, he sat with the guards in order to see how this would end. 59 Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they might put him to death, 60 but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward 61 and said, ‘This fellow said, “I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.”’ 62 The high priest stood up and said, ‘Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?’ 63 But Jesus was silent. Then the high priest said to him, ‘I put you under oath before the living God, tell us if you are the Messiah,[d] the Son of God.’ 64 Jesus said to him, ‘You have said so. But I tell you,

From now on you will see the Son of Man
seated at the right hand of Power
and coming on the clouds of heaven.’

65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, ‘He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your verdict?’ They answered, ‘He deserves death.’ 67 Then they spat in his face and struck him; and some slapped him, 68 saying, ‘Prophesy to us, you Messiah![e] Who is it that struck you?’

Peter’s Denial of Jesus

69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant-girl came to him and said, ‘You also were with Jesus the Galilean.’ 70 But he denied it before all of them, saying, ‘I do not know what you are talking about.’ 71 When he went out to the porch, another servant-girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, ‘This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.’[f]72 Again he denied it with an oath, ‘I do not know the man.’ 73 After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, ‘Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you.’ 74 Then he began to curse, and he swore an oath, ‘I do not know the man!’ At that moment the cock crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said: ‘Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly. 



Jesus Brought before Pilate

27 When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus in order to bring about his death. They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate the governor.

The Suicide of Judas

When Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus[g] was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. He said, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent[h] blood.’ But they said, ‘What is that to us? See to it yourself.’ Throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed; and he went and hanged himself. But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, ‘It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since they are blood money.’ After conferring together, they used them to buy the potter’s field as a place to bury foreigners. For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah,[i] ‘And they took[j] the thirty pieces of silver, the price of the one on whom a price had been set,[k] on whom some of the people of Israel had set a price, 10 and they gave[l] them for the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.’

Pilate Questions Jesus

11 Now Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus said, ‘You say so.’ 12 But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he did not answer. 13 Then Pilate said to him, ‘Do you not hear how many accusations they make against you?’ 14 But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

Barabbas or Jesus?

15 Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted. 16 At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Jesus[m] Barabbas. 17 So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, ‘Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus[n] Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?’[o]18 For he realized that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over. 19 While he was sitting on the judgement seat, his wife sent word to him, ‘Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him.’ 20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. 21 The governor again said to them, ‘Which of the two do you want me to release for you?’ And they said, ‘Barabbas.’ 22 Pilate said to them, ‘Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?’[p] All of them said, ‘Let him be crucified!’ 23 Then he asked, ‘Why, what evil has he done?’ But they shouted all the more, ‘Let him be crucified!’

Pilate Hands Jesus over to Be Crucified

24 So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood;[q] see to it yourselves.’ 25 Then the people as a whole answered, ‘His blood be on us and on our children!’ 26 So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.

The Soldiers Mock Jesus

27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters,[r] and they gathered the whole cohort around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ 30 They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31 After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

32 As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross. 33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34 they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35 And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots;[s]36 then they sat down there and kept watch over him. 37 Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, ‘This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.’

38 Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by derided[t] him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, ‘You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.’ 41 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, 42 ‘He saved others; he cannot save himself.[u] He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, “I am God’s Son.”’ 44 The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way.

The Death of Jesus

45 From noon on, darkness came over the whole land[v] until three in the afternoon. 46 And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ 47 When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, ‘This man is calling for Elijah.’ 48 At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.’[w]50 Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last.[x]51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. 53 After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. 54 Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, ‘Truly this man was God’s Son!’[y]

55 Many women were also there, looking on from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and had provided for him. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

The Burial of Jesus

57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59 So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.

The Guard at the Tomb

62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, ‘Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, “After three days I will rise again.” 64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, “He has been raised from the dead”, and the last deception would be worse than the first.’ 65 Pilate said to them, ‘You have a guard[z] of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.’[aa]66 So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.






Did God forsake Jesus on the Cross?

(based, almost entirely, on an article entitled Q & R: Did God the Father Forsake Jesus on Good Friday? by Brad Jersak … posted April 1, 2021 on the CWR website.)


QUESTION:  In the movie, The Shack, Papa says that God never forsook Jesus.  But that appears to be exactly what Jesus says in the Bible.  When Jesus says this, is he (the man) talking to himself (the God part)?  We are told that Christ is fully God and fully man even though apparently there were things that he did not know, but the Father did (e.g., the time of his return).     


RESPONSE:  That’s a common belief for sure, but where does it come from?  We developed a whole doctrine of God-forsakenness from one verse!  “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” and we took off from there.
What we fail to remember is that Jesus is quoting the first verse of Psalm 22 but he also is referring to the whole of Psalm 22, which speaks of the death and resurrection in great detail.  There, you’ll see the prophecies of his hands and feet being pierced (Psalm 22:16), dividing his garments by lots (Psalm 22:18) and even Christ’s glorious resurrection, return and eternal reign (Psalm 22:28-31).
Now, Psalm 22:1 reflects Christ’s entering into our experience of despair … as does Psalm 22:2, where he says God does NOT HEAR HIM … and Psalm 22:6, where he also says, ‘I am a worm and not a man.’   ​
Shall we take that as the last word or our theology?  Many have.   But no, we read it in the broader biblical context instead, as Christ stepping into the human condition to heal the human condition, by the power of his supplication and the Father’s firm answer.
And what is the Father’s answer?  Keep reading.  We get to Psalm 22:22-24:
22 I will declare Your name to My brethren;  [why?]
In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.  [why?]
23  You who fear the Lord, praise Him!  [why?]
All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him,
And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel!  [why?]
24  For He has NOT despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
He has NOT hidden His face from Him; but when He cried to Him, He HEARD.  
​We see this again when Christ cries out, “Into your hands I commit my spirit.”  Again, he is quoting the Psalmist, who says, Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God (Psalm 31:5).
He doesn’t sound very forsaken there.  Why not?  Again, he’s aware of the whole Psalm, including Psalm 31:22:
I had said in my alarm, ​’I am cut off [forsaken]​ from your sight.’  BUT YOU HEARD the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cried to you for help.”
Hebrews 5:7 affirms this same truth:  In Jesus’ vicarious humanity, he cries out on behalf of all who despair, then listens for and receives the answer:
“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of his reverent submission.”
So Christ indeed undergoes the darkness of God’s ‘felt absence,’ even while trusting in God’s real presence (for the Father has not left, nor is He standing by as an idle observer.  He is ever with the Son and in the Son (along with the Holy Spirit), because “all the fulness of the Godhead dwelled in Christ bodily” (Colossians 2:9).
That’s why Yahweh can say, “You will look on ME, the One you have pierced” (Zechariah 12:10) … and why Paul can say, “God was IN Christ, reconciling the world to himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19) and that the rulers of the age had “crucified the Lord of glory“ (1 Corinthians 2:8).
​And even in his humanity, Christ knew exactly this.  Listen to him say so …
“A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home.  You will leave me all alone.  Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.” (John 16:32).​
​Now, I mentioned the Father’s answer.  What was the Father’s answer?
1. First, his answer was NOT, “I have turned from you in my wrath to punish you in their place.”
2. Second, his answer is NOT, ​”Okay Son, I have heard you and will take you down from the Cross.”
​Then what is the Father’s answer?
1. First, that the mission Christ came to fulfill was fulfilled, complete, “accomplished!” (John 19:30).
2. That Christ was not abandoned by Him, or turned from by Him, even for a moment (Psalm 22:24).
3. That God would not abandon Christ in Hades, but raise him from the dead (Acts 2:27-28).
4. And in fact, the Son will be raised from death AND given the keys of death and hades​ (Revelation 1:18).
​So, as above, Christ is crying out to the Father vicariously for all humanity, in faith that his cry will be heard and establish the salvation of all.
While the Father had not revealed to the Son (in his humanity) the time of the parousia, the Son did have a specific revelation ​prior to the Cross that he would in fact be arrested, die and rise from the dead on the third day (Luke 18:33) … and on this he did not waver.  In working through (again, for us) the painful reality that we endure and he will bear, Christ prays to the Father in Gethsemane.  He naturally resists (as we all should) death taking the God-given gift of life from us … but he sees the greater gift for which he came: by death, rescuing (from death) those who all their lives feared death (see Hebrews 2:14-15).
A final note: the idea that God the Father actually forsakes the Son imports one of two formal heresies identified by the ancient church.
  • Either the One God (Father, Son and Spirit) is temporarily divided, as if they were three beings — this is tritheism — 
  • or the one Person (Jesus Christ, the one God-man) is temporarily divided into two persons — this is Nestorianism.   
Both these notions are foreign to the New Testament and rejected by the same church fathers who gathered and gave us the New Testament and established the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation.  Not that they composed these truths – (but) rather, they simply settled them as the ‘faith once delivered’ (Jude 3) by Christ, through the Apostles.









  • Wednesday evening … 6:30 p.m.


  • Holy Thursday service
  • Good Friday service


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