When have you been scared of being alone?
Being all alone can be a scary thing can’t it? Have you ever been lost? Have you ever been all by yourself and felt lonely? As we grow up there might be times when we feel this way. There may be times when others choose to not be our friend. There might even be times when we feel like God isn’t with us.
In Psalm 22 King David feels this way. Listen to how this psalm begins:
Psalm 22:1. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
We don’t know exactly what David was going through when he wrote this psalm, but we know that people were against him and wanted to hurt him. We know that David felt all alone. He felt like everyone had rejected him. He even felt “forsaken” by God. Do you know what forsaken means? It means abandoned and left alone.
Yesterday we learned from Psalm 16 that being with God is the greatest of all joys and pleasures. So we can imagine that being away from God must be the greatest of all sadnesses and hurts.
But why would anyone have to be away from God? Why would God have to “forsake” or leave someone alone? The answer is because of sin. God is so pure, and so perfect that he can’t live forever with those who won’t forsake, or turn away from, their sin. And God loves us all so much that he could never have those who love their sin, and reject his love and grace living with us in Heaven forever. Those people who hate God would make Heaven miserable for everyone else.
So here’s the truth – if anyone doesn’t go to Heaven, it’s not because God chose to forsake them, it’s because they chose to forsake God.
How do I know this? Because we know that there’s only been one person who God chose to forsake and turn away from – Jesus.
When Jesus died on the cross for our sins he quoted Psalm 22:1. Here’s how Matthew records it for us in the New Testament:
Matthew 27:46. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
On the cross Jesus took our place as a sinner. He carried all our selfishness, all our disobedience, all our meanness, all our failures, and he suffered the punishment for all these sins for us. What is the punishment for sin? The Bible says that the punishment for sin is death. Because of sin we die physically and we die spiritually. That means that we are not allowed to be with God, in his presence. And that is what happened to Jesus on the cross. His body died physically. And he was removed from God’s presence. And it was terrible.
But it didn’t stay terrible. Three days later God raised Jesus from the dead. He reversed the punishment. Jesus was alive and allowed back into the presence of God. Why? Because he was actually perfect. And his perfect life and his perfect love were stronger than your sins and my sins.
And now the good news for us is that because Jesus died for us, and because Jesus was forsaken for us, and because Jesus was made alive again, we will never be forsaken by God. Never, ever, ever! The only way for you to not live with God and Jesus forever in Heaven is for you to forsake him. But when you receive Jesus you can know that you will never, ever, ever be forsaken by God. He will never leave you all alone. He will never turn his back on you, or run away from you. He will always be with you wherever you go. Forever.
Because of Jesus we will never be forsaken by God.
With Jesus I am never, ever, ever, alone.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Play a game of “Hide and Seek.” In this game we are separated from each other and alone until someone finds us. Talk about how once we were all alone, but God found us and stayed with us. And now he will never leave us.
Memorize this verse: Hebrews 13:5b – ‘For Jesus has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you’.” Practice saying it together. Post it where you can see it often.
Thank you for taking my punishment on the cross. Now I know I will never be forsaken by God because you were forsaken in my place.
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