The Only Time the Son of God Ever Called His Father ‘God’

In Uncategorized on July 28, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Here are some highlights I’ve excerpted from a sermon today entitled “Have You Claimed Your Full Birthright?” by Pastor Zac Poonen, given at Abundant Life Christian Fellowship in Mountain View, California:

The Only Time the Son of God Ever Called His Father ‘God’
“And we need to see the seriousness of sin on the cross, when Christ died for us on the cross. What happened in those three hours when Jesus said ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’ It’s the only time in history, in the history of the universe, in the history of God Himself, that the Son ever called the Father ‘God’. He always called Him ‘Father’, ‘Father’, ‘Father’, ‘Father’, ‘Father’, but once in His life He said ‘My God, My God’. You know why? Because at that moment He was standing before the judge of the universe, representing us and taking our sin, the punishment of our sin. And the punishment of our sin, you know, is not physical death; it’s more than physical death. It’s eternal separation from God in hell, and that’s the only place in the universe that is God-forsaken, hell. There’s no place like that in the world. And I don’t think any of us could ever understand the agony of being completely forsaken by God, cut off, without any mercy. And that’s what Jesus experienced for three hours on the cross. The concentrated punishment of hell for eternity was concentrated for three hours, and that’s what He faced. He could face it because He was an infinite being as God. He could face it but the agony of it we’ll never understand.


And that’s why in the Garden of Gethsemane He prayed ‘Father, can You please take away this cup?’ He was not afraid of physical death or the mocking or the scourging, but what He wanted to stay away from was this separation from His Father. That’s what He valued from all eternity. We haven’t valued that enough. We value such a lot of earthly pleasures, more than fellowship with the Father. Jesus loved fellowship with the Father more than anything else, and that’s the way we hate sin. That’s why He wanted to avoid sin, because He knew the smallest little sin would break fellowship with His Father. He stayed away from sin for thirty-three years because He loved fellowship with the Father. And if you love fellowship with the Father you will also be strengthened to stay away from sin. And because He loved that fellowship with the father He said ‘Father, isn’t there any way, isn’t there any other way that I can avoid that break of fellowship with you?’ And I can imagine a–it’s an imaginary conversation–the Father saying
‘Well, You don’t have to have that break, You can come straight up from Gethsemane to heaven. You’ve never sinned. But if You come up, Zac will go to hell.’
‘Zac will go to hell?’
And then Jesus saying ‘Oh, in that case I’ll go.’
Put your name there. That’s why He was willing to go through the greatest agony that He wanted to avoid at any cost because that is the only way your sin could be forgiven, and mine. That’s the only way we could be saved from an eternal hell. I remember the first time I saw it, I wept. I said ‘Lord I never knew how much You loved me. I saw it at Gethsemane, how terrible a thing sin is. Lord, I want to never sin again in my life.’ I never want to sin. It changed my complete attitude when I saw what Jesus went through on the cross. …”

Here are links to audio and video of this sermon.


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