Jesus Knows Your Loneliness.
Do you feel lonley?
This Easter weekend, I expect to spend a lot of time with family. It is hard to be lonely when surrounded by friends and family; however I am sure we have all experienced loneliness to one degree or another at one point in our lives. Loneliness enters our lives in many different ways. We experience lonliness in grief, in the loss of a loved one. Perhaps you have moved to a new city, or a new country. Maybe your loved ones have moved away. We experience lonliness in separation from loved ones. In personal conflicts at work, at church, with family or with friends we find we can find ourselves alone.
How about you?
Are you lonesome?
Perhaps you are feel abandoned by your spouse, or parents, or children?
Perhaps you are a single mother raising your children all alone.
Maybe you are widower.
Perhaps you have never been married and long for the companionship of a spouse.
In our culture there seems to be a great emphasis on individualism, the power of the one, the dignity of solitude. Yet, even in the midst of this philosophy, the fear of being alone, the fear of being abandoned is still there. Regardless of what our culture says, no one wants to be alone, yet loneliness is something many of us experience right now, or will at some time in our lives.
The Bible often speaks of loneliness and anguish. Take a look at Adam. He felt abandoned by God. But why did he? Had he not forsaken God first? The Bible tells us God came to look for Adam, but Adam was trying to hide from the Lord. The Lord forsakes those who forsake Him. In Psalm 22 David writes of his anguish at feeling abandoned by God:
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.
At one point in my life I felt abandoned by God. But during this time of my life it was really when I turned my back on God, when I was just paying “lip-service” to the church, when I grudgingly dragged myself to church Sunday mornings and made excuses to skip the second service, when I was living a sinful, selfish life. It felt like God had abandoned me. But it was actually I who had abandoned God. God never left; He was right there with me. But why did He not abandon me? Why did he not leave me in my self-pity? It was only for the sake of Jesus. Think of the life Jesus lived; think of His position as the Son of God. He also cried out the words of Psalm 22 while hanging on the cross “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” It was not that He had forsaken God as Adam had, and perhaps David, and myself had
Jesus was God the Son who lived a perfect life of holiness.
He was, and is, one with the Father.
Jesus never turned His back on the Father; in fact he did everything according to the will of God – So how could he have been forsaken by God the Father? Jesus was forsaken that we might be accepted by God and nevermore be forsaken by Him.
Being condemned to death by hanging meant to be cursed by God. The Son of God, who lived a sinless life, endured the death of one who had been cursed by God. Did Jesus deserve to die, forsaken by God and hated by man?
But the only one capable of bearing God’s curse, and the punishment for the sins of the world, is God himself. So He took my curse, your curse, and the curse of all who might believe upon Himself. Jesus was abandoned by God. He suffered complete separation from the Father. Can you imagine what that must have been like? To be in complete communion with the Father, and living a sinless life and then being forsaken? I cannot fathom it. But I rejoice greatly in it! He not only endured our spiritual death in our place, He defeated death in doing so!
So, you may feel alone at times. Especially if your husband leaves, or your wife passes away, or your children abandon the Church. You might feel abandoned by people. You may even feel abandoned by God like I did. Perhaps you even cry out, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” You may, like me, have turned your back on God, blaming Him for your misery. “Why, God, have you done this? Why have you left me?”
He has given me an answer. He has given you an answer.
The answer which we celebrate this Easter. The answer of our redeemer, Jesus Christ: “I have not forsaken you, nor will I ever.” Jesus endured more loneliness, and more suffering than you or I will ever have to endure as he hung on the cross. He is there for you, and me, and for all who would call upon His name, confess, repent and believe.
Do you believe?
Romans 8:35-39 –” Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”