Abandoned at Death's Door
Left to die alone! No one to comfort, no one to encourage, no one to pray with him.
Death usually brings family and friends together. They cry, pray, reminisce, hug, and offer support in any way possible.
Not so with this man. Scriptures described him as despised and rejected, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. (Isaiah 53:3 KJV)
He spent 40 days fasting and praying alone in the wilderness while Satan tempted him. He spoke in his hometown and the crowd attempted to throw him off a cliff.
One of his 12 most loyal disciples betrayed him. Jesus prayed before his most dangerous confrontation and sweat drops of blood. His disciples fell asleep instead of praying. The soldiers came to arrest him, and his disciples forsook him and fled.
His enemies brought Jesus to trial before the Jewish Sanhedrin. No defense lawyer. No close friend to defend him. The apostle John was there but had no opportunity to speak for Jesus. Outside that courtroom, his most loyal and outspoken disciple denied knowing Jesus.
Jesus went to trial alone before Pilate, Herod, and then Pilate again. Finally, Pilate surrendered to the demands of Jesus’ enemies and condemned him to death.
The soldiers scourged him with a whip over his bare back, which became one mangled mass of raw flesh. Soldiers jammed a crown of thorns down on his head. Blood flowed. They struck him on the head and his body. He carried his cross on the way to the crucifixion site.
They drove nails through his hands and feet, fastening him to the cross. The soldiers picked up the cross and dropped it into the prepared hole, thus jarring and tearing his many wounds. Jesus gasped and struggled for breath. The crowds jeered and hurled insults at him. John the apostle, Mary, the mother of Jesus, and some other women witnessed the horrible execution but were powerless to do anything.
But the physical and emotional pain of the cross was minuscule compared to the spiritual suffering. Jesus was sinless, but II Corinthians 5:21 says He was made sin for us. Isaiah 53:5-6 states that He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities. The Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all. He took upon himself our guilt and the sins of all humanity before and after the cross.
In Psalm 32, David speaks of his terrible guilt after his sin against Bathsheba and her husband, Uriah. He said in Ps. 32:4, “For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me.” Jesus felt the massive weight of blame, and the horror of all the murders, adulteries, and mental, emotional, verbal, and physical abuse sinners had committed through the ages. His emotional agony spiked, and his loving heart broke. He was accepting upon Himself the judgment for all those sins. Yet, even on the cross, He still loved the sinner and demonstrated that by helping the repentant, dying thief on the nearby cross.
But the physical, spiritual, and emotional suffering for sin and human aloneness was merely the first part of the suffering. The worst was yet to come.
Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Jesus, at this time, was the embodiment of all sin and guilt. In His holiness, God could not look upon sin and turned His back on Jesus. God, the Father, had forsaken His only begotten Son. The sinless Jesus, who had maintained the closest possible relationship with God every moment of every day of His physical life, was crushed by this loss of communion with the One dearest to Him. This loss was similar to losing your beloved spouse – only innumerable times worse.
But this is not the end of the story! Jesus offered His blood for the sins of all, and God the Father accepted that payment. Jesus arose victorious from the dead! He gives salvation to all that will receive Him. “But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12)
Have you trusted the risen Jesus as your own personal Lord and Savior? By himself and abandoned, Christ paid the ultimate penalty for man’s sin. He died in our place so we could live eternally in heaven with Him.