Yet while none of its suffering can be exaggerated, the fact remains that the cross’ greatest cause of anguish may not have been the nails impaling the hands and feet. The greater cause may have been its shame. —D. Bruce Lockerbie
Jesus Christ was a human being with emotion. The Bible says He suffered from loneliness (Matthew 26:40), frustration (Mark 8:21), anger (Mark 3:5), and He experienced the feeling of abandonment (Mark 15:34).
However, when He was on the cross, He shared in the most painful of all human emotions: Rejection.
- He was rejected for who He was by the authorities, who scoffed at His claim to be the Son of God. (Matthew 26:63-66)
- He was rejected by those who loved Him when the disciples abandoned Him in His time of need—when Peter denied Him three times. (Matthew 26:73-74)
- He was regarded as worthless by those in charge. At the insistence of the crowds, Pilate released a notorious prisoner, Barabbas. For the sake of political convenience, he gave into the crowd’s demands to “Crucify Him!” (Matthew 27:15-22)
In the end, only a few women and John stayed by Him. When He was finally recognized and received for who He was, it was too late.
Are you experiencing the agony of rejection? Rejection is yet another aspect of suffering that can draw you into deeper intimacy and unity with Christ. Christ can sympathize with you, and this shared suffering can be a major point of contact between the two of you because not only has He been there, but He promises to always be here with you and never ever leave you or forsake you.
So yes, when it comes to rejection, Jesus “gets it.” He understands big-time. And He’s with you and in you right now, ready to walk through it together.
Jesus, honestly, I really desire that the people around me would fully accept me and unconditionally love me. But that’s never going to be a reality, is it? I thank You for using this desire to draw me into a more intimate relationship with You, who will never reject me and never leave me! Thanks for using the suffering of rejection to lead me to You, the true source of love and acceptance. Amen.