Forsaken

Have you ever been forsaken? Have you ever had all your friends and family abandon you? Have you ever been “left out” or “excluded” from a group? It is not a good feeling. It is a very lonely experience. And Jesus experienced it too.

The major characteristic of Christ’s ministry on earth was His oneness with His Father. He was always slipping away from the disciples to a quiet place where He could meditate, pray and be alone with His Father. In the gospel of John, chapters 14 – 17, Jesus is trying to prepare His disciples for the biggest change in their life – His presence with them, to His presence in them.

In chapter 14, Philip asked Jesus to “show us the Father”. Jesus responded by saying, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?” Jesus and the Father were one. Later in chapter 17, Jesus was praying for the disciples and He said, “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.” They were One!

I believe that when Jesus was on the cross, and the sins of the world were laid on His shoulders, that the enormity of the sin was more than a Holy God could look at, so He turned His face away. And in that moment Jesus felt their Oneness was broken and He cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Now, that is a “forsaken” that no one has ever experienced. I can’t imagine His agony.

Furthermore, when Jesus was in the garden the night before His crucifixion, He prayed and asked His Father, “If it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.” (Matt. 26:39). I don’t believe that Jesus was asking for the pain and agony of the cross to be removed. I believe He was asking that the loss of Oneness and the “forsakenness” could be removed from Him. Jesus then went on to say, “Yet not as I will, but as You will.”

What then does this mean?  Jesus was willing to be forsaken and forfeit His oneness with his Father for me! And, of course, for you!

So, the next time you feel forsaken, take comfort that Jesus knows how you feel and He will never leave or forsake you!

Blessings,

Steve