The Suffering Messiah 2 "Alone"
‘I thought I was the only one.”
I hear this statement time and again after I have shared the specific ways Jesus fulfilled prophecy as our “Suffering Messiah.”
Listen to the plea of a 56 year old divorcee sharing her pain of loneliness with a national study on loneliness:
“It can be overwhelming at times, a physical sensation. My doctors have
called it depression, but there is a difference. I read once, you are born
alone and you die alone.
But what about all the years in-between? Can you really belong to someone else? Can you ever resolve the inner feelings of being alone?
- Shopping won’t do it.
- Eating won’t do it.
- Random sex doesn’t make it go away.
If and when you find any answers, please write back and tell me.”[i]
How does Jesus help her with her plea for answers?
In the book of Acts, her Savior was identified as:
Why was it so important for Jesus to be the “Suffering Messiah?”
So He could:
- Experience everything she experiences, suffering (in principle) everything she suffers, including her loneliness (and ours)
- Earning the right to earn her trust as He identifies with her (and us)
- Fulfilling HIS mission statement to “heal her broken heart and set her free.”
How can He earn the right to heal her wounded heart?
Jesus begins His journey to Calvary in the garden, late at night, fulfilling prophecy as those closest to Him leave Him all alone. His three “best friends” are sleeping even while their master lies prostrate, agonizing while the crushing weight of sin pressed upon Him. The perfect Son of God was being made sin (2 Cor. 5:21).
He’d never failed them when they asked for help. And now, when He needs their comfort and support most, all He hears is soft breathing. All He can see through tear stained eyes are three bodies curled up on the ground. He realizes that He’s alone, even when they are so close to Him. He’s abandoned, after He has pleaded with them for their support in the midst of His suffering.
Isaiah prophesied that He would “trod the winepress alone,” with no one there to support Him. Jesus Himself told His disciples, “You will all leave me alone.” (John 16:32)
Why include the suffering of being alone – especially when He knew it would happen? Because all of us have had a sense of being alone, lonely, isolated or abandoned at some point in our lives – especially when we are born separated from God. Is there an experience in your life when you suffered the emotional pain of being left alone?
Jesus embraced ALL her loneliness, all the ways she has tried to medicate or numb her pain with shopping, food and random sex. He died for her sins – and for her suffering.
Jesus can connect His story to her story. In His humanity He was tempted to numb His pain of loneliness, but He always trusted in His Father. Because of this, in His divinity, He embraced all the loneliness of everyone in the world, including this 56 year old divorcee. If I could meet her today, I would offer her the opportunity to meet “This Jesus who must suffer” as we pray this sample prayer below.
“Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for fulfilling prophecy when You were lonely and abandoned so You could embrace all my loneliness, taking to death on the cross all the ways I’ve tried to numb my pain with food, shopping or sex. Thank You for rising again to heal my wounded heart, setting me free from loneliness as I receive my truest, deepest identity as Your son, Your daughter. In Your name, Jesus, Amen.”
* Disclaimer: This is a sample prayer, not a formula, not a quick-fix. Straight 2 the
Heart offers a discipleship process leading to deep healing and freedom that:
- takes place over a process of weeks or months
- as we spend quality time at the throne of grace
- in the context of a Christ-centered, cross-centered community of faith
[i] Page 1: Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection
ã 2008 John T. Cacioppo & William Patrick; W.W. Norton & Company
New York London