Add another name to the large roster of talented musical artists here at Gospel Light. At this Sunday morning’s service, we were delighted and blessed by the singing and piano playing of Dan Prosser. Julia G. and Iris Faggart then sang harmony to the singing and piano playing of Michael G. So moving was the music, that many came forward in prayer and worship; Pastor Giardino asked for additional verses from the trio.
Pastor Jeff Faggart, representing the Baptist History Preservation Society, was our preacher this morning. He took the pulpit, and with his clear deep voice, provided a sermon with not only a message, but a surprise at the end. Laying the foundation for his message, Pastor Faggart read John 8:21-30. Jesus was speaking to the religious leaders of Jerusalem, with the key passage being “When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he” John 8:28. Jesus was telling them that when they lift Him up on the cross, at that moment, they will realize who He really was. The next passages were read from Matt 27:33-50, with the key passage here being, “Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Matt 27:46-47.
Quoting many scriptures, Pastor Faggart showed how the Jesus’ crucifixion was prophesied. Citing Psalms 22, 23, and 24 as the trilogy of Psalms prophesying about Jesus, he focused on Psalm 22, which he called “the psalm of the cross”. No place in the Old Testament gives more details on what would happen at the crucifixion than in Psalm 22, we were told. Pastor Faggart then spoke of the many martyrs whose deaths were, in many details, similar to that of Jesus. But in all those stories, never did a martyr ask God, “Why hast thou forsaken me?” This is because God does not forsake his own, our preacher explained. Neither did God forsake Jesus on the cross. God was pleased with the offering of his Son. When Jesus cried out, God heard.
So why did Jesus cry on the cross, “why hast thou forsaken me?” The surprise in our sermon was that Jesus was quoting the scriptures. He was quoting Psalm 22:1, when David cried those words. Jesus, as He was “lifted up” on the cross, was pointing to the prophecy that spoke of who He was. This was His way of pointedly showing the pharisees and scribes that He was who He said He was; as Jesus had told them, “When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he”. They knew then that they had crucified their Messiah.