My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?   What words of anguish we hear in our Lord Jesus’ cry on the cross! My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?  Surely our mind is filled with questions when we consider this cry of our Lord. For this very word forsaken is a word full of woe.  The word forsaken is defined as “To leave altogether; to desert; to abandon; to depart or withdraw from”.  Why would God forsake his loving, faithful, and righteous son?  Why would God abandon the one who has been most faithful to Him?  Surely, we could understand if God forsook the wicked, but why the Christ? What is the answer to Jesus’ question?  Why is God forsaking him?

Passage: Psalm 22; Matthew 27:27-54
Author: Rev. W. Reid Hankins, M.Div.
Sermon originally preached during the Good Friday Service at Trinity Presbyterian Church (OPC) on 03/21/2008 in Novato, CA.

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O Lord, Save Us! – A Palm Sunday Sermon

Our sermon for today is on Psalm 118, which was the psalm that was taken up on the lips of the Jews and applied to Jesus during the Triumphal Entry on Palm Sunday.  In our reading from Matthew we saw that the crowd of Jews exclaimed, “Hosanna,” meaning, “save” or “save now”.  They exclaimed “Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!  Hosanna in the highest!”  And so as we celebrate Palm Sunday today, and remember the start of what is often called the Passion Week or the Holy Week, it is quite fitting that we consider this psalm today.  This psalm was in the back of the minds of those who cried out to Jesus on that Palm Sunday some 2000 years ago.  And so as we look at this psalm, we’ll learn a little bit more about what may have been in the mind of those Jews who welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday.  But more importantly, as we analyze this psalm and understand its meaning, we’ll see how it ultimately finds its fulfillment in Christ and the cross.

Passage: Psalm 118
Author: Rev. W. Reid Hankins, M.Div.
Sermon originally preached during the Morning Service at Trinity Presbyterian Church (OPC) on 03/16/2008 in Novato, CA.
Other Scripture Readings: Matthew 21:1-17; 1 Peter 2:1-10

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Lord even of the Sabbath

In our passage for today, Jesus’ authority is again being questioned, this time with regards to the Sabbath. Our passage for today has two different scenes in it, both with opposition against Jesus, and both dealing with the question of his authority concerning the Sabbath. The question that is being raised is, “Who has authority to interpret God’s law on what is permissible to do on the Sabbath?” Who has authority to declare God’s purpose and intentions of the Sabbath? Is it the Pharisees with all their man-made laws which they had erected around the Sabbath?  No!  Mark shows us that Jesus is the authority even on the Sabbath.

Passage: Mark 2:23-3:6
Author: Rev. W. Reid Hankins, M.Div.
Sermon originally preached during the Morning Service at Trinity Presbyterian Church (OPC) on 03/09/2008 in Novato, CA.
Other Scripture Readings: 1 Sam 21:1-9; Revelation 7:9-17

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How is it that He Eats and Drinks?

What is appropriate behavior for the people of God and their leaders?  In our passage for today, we see Jesus and his disciples eating and drinking.  We see Jesus eating and drinking with tax collectors and others who were known as sinners.  And it is in the midst of his eating and drinking where we see more opposition rise up against Jesus.  In both of the scenes in this passage there is opposition against Jesus and both rounds of opposition are ultimately asking the same thing.  They are both questioning the appropriateness of Jesus’ conduct and his behavior in leading his disciples.  This passage wonderfully shows his Jesus actions are quite appropriate, and finds the basis of their appropriateness in the gospel.

Passage: Mark 2:13-22
Author: Rev. W. Reid Hankins, M.Div.
Sermon originally preached during the Morning Service at Trinity Presbyterian Church (OPC) on 03/02/2008 in Novato, CA.
Other Scripture Readings: Leviticus 23:26-32; Revelation 19:5-6

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