By Ricky Chelette, Executive Director
Utterly alone. It is a feeling of isolation and abandonment. It is often frightening and always sobering. It is a condition in which few humans do well. But it is often how many of us feel.
Jesus knows that feeling. We see it demonstrated most vividly in the week we call “The Passion.”
Passion week should be a time of sober reflection for all those who claim to know Jesus. In these seven days between “Palm Sunday” and “Easter” we see some of the most detailed descriptions of the ministry of Jesus. However, in the middle of the week, on that Wednesday, all of the Gospel accounts are quiet. We don’t know what Jesus did or said on that day. We don’t have any record of His activity, but I can’t help but think it was an overwhelming day. A day when, even among friends, Jesus felt utterly alone.
On Tuesday Jesus met with His disciples in the upper room for what would be their last supper together (Matt 14:12-25). There, He fellowshipped and laughed, and told of the Kingdom and His impending death. That very night, Judas, one of the twelve, would make a deal to betray Him (John 13:21-30).
He knew on Thursday, Peter, James and John, His beloved friends and disciples, would be unable to keep watch and pray with Him in the garden of Gethsemane (Matt 26:36-45). Judas would visit Him again, only this time with a kiss of betrayal that would set in motion His arrest, trial, and crucifixion (Matt 26:47-49).
He knew He would be led through trials before the Sanhedrin (Mark 14:61-64) and the Romans (Mark 15:2-15), and His closest friends — twelve men in whom Jesus poured out His life — would all leave Him. Alone. One would betray Him (John 13:21-30). One would deny he knew Him (Luke 22:31-34). All would run at His hour of need (Mark 14:51-52).
He knew he would be hung on a cross between two strangers who did not know Him, for sins He did not commit (Mark 15:22-32). He knew His last words would be “why have you forsaken me?” (Matt 27:46)
Jesus knew what it feels like to be utterly alone. He knew the pain of total betrayal by those to whom He was most connected. He felt the desperation, the agony, and the pain that aloneness brings. He felt the distance from even His Father as the weight of the sins of the world was upon Him. He felt what we feel and more.
But Jesus knew the Father and that gave Him hope; not in the faithfulness of man or even the love of friends, but in the goodness of God to redeem and restore. In Jesus’ darkest moments on earth, He knew the Father was with Him even when He felt alone. He knew the work He was doing for our redemption would make a way to perfectly reconcile man to God.
In that moment of utter aloneness, He alone accomplished what only He alone could do. He made a way for those who believe to never be alone again. He adopted us into His family (Eph. 1:5) and became our High Priest always making intercession on our behalf so we would never, ever, ever, be alone again (Rom. 8:31; Heb. 6:2; Matt 28:20).
The reality of Christ’s resurrection is a story of reconciliation and hope for our restless and rebellious heart. It is the promise of God that we will never be alone.
Are you lonely? Have you considered the work of Christ on your behalf to reconcile you with God and make you a part of the family of faith? Do you know the Father and His son, Jesus? Have you neglected the reality of your adoption as the son/daughter of God?
I pray you will look at the work of Jesus with new eyes and know you never have to be alone.