He Answers Your Cry
God won't always answer our questions. However, He will always answer our cry.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends, how in the world are you? Are you doing alright today? Oh, I trust so. I pray that God may have some loving word, some bit of eternal truth that may just exactly fit your need. As these precious moments go by I’m so keenly aware of the fact that those who listen to these broadcasts have very real needs. And the radio ministry doesn’t mean anything unless it meets a need. And so I pray every day that God may put something in the message that will just exactly meet your need. I pray that that may be so.
Well, let’s look now again at Mark Chapter 15. They’ve brought our Lord Jesus out of the palace of the high priest, they’ve bound him and now they’re bringing him to Pilate. Pilate asked Him, “Aren’t thou the King of the Jews?” And He said, “Thou sayest.” In other words, “Yes, I am.” And the chief priests accused Him of many things, but He answered nothing. Pilate asked Him again, saying, “Answerest thou nothing? Behold how many things they witness against thee.” Mark doesn’t record the comment that John puts in, “Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above. Therefore he that delivered me unto thee had the greater sin.” Remember that?
The necessity to answer does not rest with almighty God. He doesn’t have to answer for anything. When He does, it’s because He wants to reveal Himself to you. Let me just take a little detour here for the sake of somebody who needs encouragement along this line. Somebody listening has been praying earnestly about a matter, and you don’t seem to get anywhere and you feel like giving up. You say, “Oh, God doesn’t answer,” and that, “It doesn’t work,” and, “Prayer doesn’t work,” and, “What am I gonna do now?” And you’re really all upset because you haven’t really heard from Heaven. See, God isn’t obligated to answer our questions. He has obligated Himself to answer our cry. Do you know the difference?
Something happens to you and you look up bitterly and say, “God, why?” You’re not gonna hear from Heaven on the “why” angle. Job didn’t either. When everything hit him at once, Satan had planned it and God permitted it. Have you read the Book of Job? Satan had planned it and God permitted it. And so Job’s riches disappeared, overnight you may say. Job’s family was killed and all that was left was he and his wife. Then Job’s health was devastated and he was covered with boils from head to toe, a most painful and pitiful condition. And in the middle of all of that he still retained his faith, he said, “The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this it said, Job didn’t sin with his lips or accuse God falsely. But he asked why, he said, “Why? Why was I ever born? Why didn’t I die before I was born? Why didn’t I die before I grew up to become a man? Why did all this happen to me?” He never got an answer for that.
He did get, however, if you read the Book of Job recently, you’ll remember. He did get a new revelation of the holiness of God, and finally a restoration of all that he had lost before. He heard from Heaven, and what he heard was not an answer to the “why” questions, but a revelation of God Himself and His power and holiness. And you hear Job saying, “I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth Thee and I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes. I’ve said too much already,” he said, “I’m not gonna say any more.” So it is that I gave you this little Cookism, “God is not obligated to answer our “why” questions, W-H-Y questions. He has obligated Himself to answer our cry.” This poor man cried and the Lord heard him and delivered him out of all his troubles.
“Call unto me and I will answer thee.” This is God’s promise. “I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. I love the Lord because He hath heard my voice and my supplication.” See? God has promised and obligated Himself to answer your cry. My problem is so often I’m interested in the “why” angle and I don’t commit myself to God with the “cry” angle. A cry means, “I have to have you.” A cry means, “I can’t help myself.” A cry says, “I am helpless. You have to help me.” That’s what a cry says. And God says, “When I hear your cry, I’ll be there.”
Oh beloved, learn the difference, will you? So the Lord Jesus never answered all of these different questions they asked, He didn’t have to. Now, here’s the story of Barabbas. At that feast Pilate released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired. And here’s Barabbas who was bound with them that had made insurrection with him. He committed murder in the insurrection. The multitude began to desire Pilate to do as he had always done, and that is to release a prisoner. So Pilate says… And he’s sarcastic here, he knew what he was doing, “Well ye that I release unto the King of the Jews?” Because he knew that they had given him to him for envy. He knew there was no crime committed. But the Chief Priest moved the people that he should rather release Barabbas. And Pilate said, “What will ye do? What will ye then that I shall do with him whom ye call the King of the Jews?” And they said, “Crucify him.”
Now what he was doing there was building a little structure for himself to protect his own position, because as a representative of Rome, he was in honor bound to stamp out any insurrection that would try to mount Israel as a sovereign nation again. So this idea, the King of Jews, he seized on that, he said, “Ye call him that, now what do you want me to do with him?” And the unspoken part of that whole little dialogue there was, “You know that for anybody to proclaim himself a king here, under the dominion of Rome, is treason. So we have to deal with it. Now, what do you want me to do with him?” He was building a little platform for himself, you see?
There are lots of different reasons why people do things, aren’t there? And say things. [chuckle] I remember back in the 1940s, I suppose it was, I was sitting in the office of Midwest Bible Church in Chicago with the then pastor of the church, Torrey Johnson. And we were talking about something that someone had said, I don’t remember the substance of it anymore, I simply remember the answer he gave me. And I said, “Torrey, I wonder why he said that.” Well, he said, “Bob, there are different reasons why people say things. One is that you might know something, and two, that they want you to tell somebody else about it.” Well, I never forgot that. There are different reasons for saying and doing things. And Pilate had his own reasons here, he was building himself a little secure platform so that if the news ever got back to Caesar in Rome, it would be that Pilate did his job in stamping out a treasonous insurrection.
So they cried out the more exceedingly, “Crucify him!” And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas, delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him. Boy, just a few words there: When he had scourged Him. Five words and you know what that involves, do you? The scourge was a whip that had bits of metal and bone embedded in the end of the lashes, so that when a person was scourged, he ended up a bloody mass with open wounds across his back and other parts of his body, wherever the lash had hit. Prisoners frequently died under the lash of being scourged. When he had scourged Him, to be crucified.
Well, that wasn’t the end of it, of course. It says, “The soldiers then, led Him away into the Praetorium and they called the whole band, ‘We’re gonna have some fun fellas.’ And they clothed Him with purple and put a crown of thorns.” Have you ever seen the thorns that grow in that part of the world there? They run about between an inch and a half and two inches long and they’re needle sharp and if someone takes those thorn branches and plates them into a round circlet and then jams it on the head of the prisoner, you can see the streams of blood flowing down the face. Already misshapen because he had been beaten so severely by others, and now the blood is flowing down from the jagged tears in his scalp that the thorns had made. A crown of thorns. And put it on His head, began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews.” They smote Him on the head and did spit upon Him, bowing their knees, mocked Him. Finally, they took off the purple robe, put His own clothes on, led Him out to crucify Him.
Simon of Cyrene, who passed by, coming out of the country, father of Alexander and Rufus, was bearing His cross. And they brought Him to Golgotha. Now beloved, what of all of this? I’ve just sort of talked about it as I read along. But it just breaks our heart to think of the Lord Jesus Christ going through this, not one thing that happened to Him did He deserve. You know, a lot of the troubles that I’ve had, I’ve deserved. How about you? But not one thing that they did to Him did He ever deserve. And yet, there was no protest, no word of recrimination or of self-defense. He was quiet. Why? He was led as a lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not his mouth. Isaiah prophesied this hundreds of years before, that the Lord Jesus would be silent at his trial. Oh, and He did it for you and for me. The Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me. Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it.
“God hath made Him to be sin, He who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.” Oh, meditate and pray over the fact that Jesus died for you. Yes, He did. Had there been no one else in all the world, He would’ve died for you. And as you think on that, open your heart afresh to Him. And if you’ve never trusted Him as Lord and Savior, do it now. Say, “Lord Jesus, thank you for dying for me and thank you for rising again to be my living Savior. Take charge of my life. Fill me with Thy Spirit and take charge of my life.” Pray that prayer and let Him touch you afresh, beloved. Jesus died for you.
Dear Father, today help us to appreciate the death of Christ and help us to love Him and serve Him with all our hearts, our Lord, Jesus Christ. I pray in His name. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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