Another entry in her diary is as follows: “Where are the men with the flowers and champagne and music? Where are the men who call and ask for a genuine, actual date?... I would like to have in my life, once before I pass on, a loving relationship…I feel so old, unloved, unwanted, abandoned, used up. I want to cry and sleep forever.” (Her broken heart died before her broken body because of loneliness) Judith Bucknell felt completely forsaken. This is a vivid picture of lost mankind without redemption through Jesus Christ.
Forsaken is the saddest word in any language. The Greek word means, “To forsake someone in the state of helplessness in the midst of hostile circumstances.” Only God can heal a person who feels forsaken and lonely.
Loneliness is a terrible experience and yet it is all around us--
- The child abandoned by his/her parents.
- A wife abandoned by her husband.
- The widow or widower and the lonely bed.
- The quiet home and silent telephone.
- Being alone in a nursing home.
- The person in prison but not guilty.
- The one night stand.
- The innocent divorcee.
- The long night of sickness and pain.
- The fear of tomorrow.
- Being alone in death.
For many, loneliness is a way of life. It can happen to the rich or the poor, the educated or the uneducated, the married or the unmarried, the famous or the unknown. However, the greatest loneliness would be separation from God for eternity. Jesus experienced this kind of loneliness at Calvary, on a cross, and his holy heart was broken. During his life on the earth, his siblings had turned from him; his nation had rejected him; his hometown of Nazareth tried to kill him; his disciples had forsaken him but in all of these negative experiences he was not alone. His Father was always with him, but when Jesus became sin for us, God turned his head and Jesus suffered being forsaken for us. He suffered the wrath of God for us.
He had withstood the beating and the mockery of a trial. He had watched his followers run away and now he was being led to Calvary. He was crucified at 9 a.m. in the morning, “the third hour,” which was the hour of the morning sacrifice. At noon, the sun became suddenly dark until 3 p.m., which was the time of the evening sacrifice. He had suffered insults and endured the nails being pierced through his hands and feet but when God turned his face from him, it was more than he could stand. This is the moment when Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46, NIV).
This scene is a picture of the Old Testament scapegoat bearing the sins of Israel and then banished to wander the endless wastelands of the desert. The sins of Israel – the lusting, cheating, adultery, covetousness, etc. – were transferred to the innocent animal and thus the sins are forgiven, Yaweh is appeased and the sin bearing animal is left alone. Jesus came down from his glory in heaven to the outer darkness of being God-forsaken. (Phil. 2:5-8) “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21, NIV).
Jesus took our place on the cross and bore our sins. “…the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Is. 53:6, NIV). Think of all the sins which were placed upon Him – murder, hate, greed, lust, covetousness, idolatry, adultery, strife, jealousy, wrath, divisions, envy, drunkenness, etc. He was our Passover Lamb Who died for our sins. This Atonement is available for any person throughout the whole world who will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:31, NIV). “Whoever believes in Him (Jesus) is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s One and Only Son” (John 3:18, NIV).
On the cross, Jesus suffered that terrible feeling of loneliness and abandonment so that any person who believes in Him would never have to feel unloved, alone or abandoned. He was forsaken by the Father for us, that is, He suffered this experience as our substitute so that we believers would never be cast away from God’s presence. He suffered physical death (separation of spirit and body) for us and Spiritual death (separation from God) in that he was forsaken by God the Father for us. Jesus suffered the ultimate anguish for us, separation from God, and thus fulfilled the Scripture that he “was numbered with the transgressors” (Is. 53:12, NIV). He referred to this time of crucifixion as a time “when darkness reigns” (Lu. 22:53, NIV). Jesus took the sting out of death (1 Cor. 15:55) and made the way for us to experience Godly peace in life and in death. He now holds the “keys of death” (Rev. 1:18).
What a marvelous blessing to know that we will never be forsaken by our Father, Almighty God. Every person who has accepted Christ as Savior and Lord can say, “He was forsaken for me!”