Loneliness, despair, fear…our country and the world is going through monumental changes all because of a virus. Are you lonely on this Good Friday? Within only a few months, the world has completely changed. We are seeing healthcare systems overloaded, economic uncertainty and potential collapse, and an extreme quarantine that is unprecedented in history. The average person may live with others and have some human connection, but many are completely alone. The ones who are infected and experiencing severe symptoms are treated in a fully isolated environment away from everyone and everything that they know and love—sometimes to die alone.
Today is Good Friday. I think about the loneliness and the fear that is running rampant through the world right now. I also think about the separation from our lifestyle and comfort. Jesus has been there. He understands what we are going through and how we feel.
But there’s more…
Have you ever been accused of something you didn’t do? It’s a helpless feeling to try to explain that you are innocent. The more you protest, the more guilty you seem. Even if exonerated, the stain of the accusation can follow you for years. If you need an example, I’ll give you one. A long time ago, my husband was interviewing a man for a job and did a background check. A sexual harassment charge was found that this man had been punished for years ago. Later, the woman recanted. Because of the stain on his record, he was too risky to hire. Again, I think about Jesus. He was not guilty and yet he didn’t fight the charges but chose to take the punishment. Can you imagine choosing to take the punishment for someone else?
But there’s still more…
The punishment Jesus endured was cruel and painful and lasted for hours. He was kept awake and dragged back and forth between leaders who berated and insulted him and then beaten within an inch of his life with a whip designed to inflict the most pain and damage. He was forced to carry his own death instrument through the city while people mocked and scorned him. Flesh hung from his body in shreds from the beating and his muscles and joints ached from the load. When he finally reached the hill, he was given a crown of thorns as a joke and then nailed to a cross, where he hung from the wounds around the nails to die a slow, terrible death between two thieves.
So let’s recap, Jesus was isolated and alone, away from all he knew and loved. He was accused when he was innocent, and then he was tormented and tortured for hours. He did this all for you and for me. Whether you love Him or not.
He did this willingly.
Good Friday is appropriate for us to remember that He completely understands how we feel right now. He will not leave us or forsake us. He has been alone and he has known isolation. He went further, though, all the way to the cross. I promise you that he is still there and He is still in control. Take some time today to remember what He has done and still does for you.