As I was finishing up the last few chapters of Matthew, I reflected some on my notes of Jesus’ experience. You want to talk about loneliness, check out Matthew 26:31-27:55:
- Thursday night, Jesus tells all his best friends that one of them will betray Him, and the rest of them will desert Him.
- As Jesus prays His most emotional prayers at Gethsemane (Luke mentions that in such stress and fear, Jesus even sweat blood!), the remaining 11 couldn’t even stay awake to pray with Him.
- Once arrested, the remaining 11 dispersed and scattered
- Simon Peter follows closely behind, only to deny (3 times) knowing or having anything to do with Jesus.
- Jesus is put on trial (illegally), where He was mocked, falsely accused, beaten, and early that Friday morning, sentenced to death…nobody there to defend Him.
- In front of Pilate, the same crowds that only a week previously were praising God concerning Him, yelling Hosanna, and wanting to make Jesus a political/military leader and king, are now yelling “Crucify Him” and “His blood be on our heads and the heads of our children”, and chose to have Jesus take the place of a notorious thief place on a cross (there’s a sermon in that event alone).
- Jesus was once again mocked and beaten senseless
- People who walked by shook their heads at Him and mocked Him
- High Priests and Elders mocked Him at His most vulnerable and emotional moment
- Soldiers stripped Him and gambled away His clothes
- The women among the 12 watched, but only from a distance
- Even the 2 on the crosses at either side of Jesus (and in the same situation as Him) insulted Him.
- Nobody Jesus knew personally was there…they had all abandoned Him. Nobody to stand up for Him, nobody to defend Him when passersby’s mocked, nobody to rescue Him, nobody to comfort Him…Jesus was TOTALLY alone.
Only God was present.
Scripture says that at noon, darkness fell on the whole world for 3 hours. At about 3:00 pm, Jesus cries out (translated), “My God, My God! Why have you abandoned me?” Then, Jesus cried out again, released His spirit into the Father’s hands. At that moment:
- The curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple tore in 2, from top to bottom.
- The earth shook
- Rocks split apart
- Tombs opened
- Bodies of Godly people who’d died, were raised from the dead (and 3 days later, went into Jerusalem and appeared to many people).
Theology tells us that at this moment, God was re-creating…a new beginning – creation – was taking place.
Have you ever felt alone, abandoned, or like nobody’s there? Have you ever been in the position where everybody seemed to be against you, and there’s nobody to defend you, or rescue, or fight for you? Nobody to go to; nobody who cares; have you ever wanted to cry out, “God! Why have you abandoned me!?”?
Even with all His faith, knowledge, theology, and power, Jesus still cried out, “My God, My God! Why have you abandoned me?” Now, we know that God never actually left Jesus, but the fact that Jesus cried out to Him like this, is good evidence that even Jesus felt like He had at that moment. Have you ever felt like that too?
If you have, then I would like to invite you to do what Jesus did…”give up your spirit to God. Now, I don’t mean die, or not physically anyway, but to give up everything to Him. All your fears, frustrations, anger, pain, feelings of abandonment – everything – EVERY-thing, into the Father’s hands.
Why? Because only then can He create in you a new beginning…you’re in darkness now. You give up your spirit to the Lord. He takes hold of you, and though you may not experience an earthquake at that moment, or rocks and tombs splitting apart, a re-creation…a new beginning…is taking place in you. And mass resurrections, may not occur at that moment, but through you, Jesus will bring many others, just like you, from the spiritually dead.
As do you, Jesus also had every reason to feel alone…but He wasn’t, and neither are you, for even though all others had abandoned Him, God was always present. God is ALWAYS present! In Christ, you will NEVER be TOTALLY ALONE, but always in the comfort of your Heavenly Father’s strong embrace.