August 4, 2022
I am not alone, because the Father is with Me (John 16:32).
Webster defines alone as, “without company; companionless.” Loneliness is defined as, “affected with, characterized by, or causing a depressing feeling of being alone, lonesome; destitute of sympathetic or friendly companionship.” Some people are alone, but not lonely; they like their solitude. Other people are alone and lonely; they find it difficult to live without friendly companionship. And some people are not alone, but lonely, even in a crowd.
Jesus spent 40 days and nights in the wilderness of Judea being tempted by Satan, but He was not alone. He often spent time by Himself praying and meditating, but He was not alone. When Jesus revealed the cost of discipleship to the crowds (John 6:22-59), Scripture says, From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?" But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (John 6:66-69). As the cross drew near, Jesus announced to the disciples that they would abandon Him, Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone (John 16:32). But even then, He would not be alone - and He wasn’t talking about Peter and John following Him in the shadows, or the women who would stand at His cross or visit His grave. He was talking about the Father who was, and would remain with Him except for one brief moment when He was dying on the cross.
When Jesus was ‘forsaken’ (egkataleipo) by the Father while dying on the cross, He did not cease to be deity or the 2nd Person of the Trinity. He did not cease to be the Son of God or the Son of Man. He did cease to experience the intimate fellowship with the Father. Many have speculated how long the ‘forsaken’ period lasted (if it was just for a moment or for His remaining time on the cross), and even the extent of His being abandoned by the Father (partial, complete; still present with Jesus but having turned His back on Jesus, etc.). But the mystery of that separation can never be known by us this side of glory; it is far too deep a mystery for our mind and spirit to comprehend. But that’s not the point anyway. The point is that from eternity past to that point when Jesus became sin on our behalf (2 Corinthians 5:21), Jesus never knew what it was like to be abandoned by the Father. And from that time forward, and throughout all eternity in the future, Jesus will never know what it is to be abandon by Him. Only one specific time in eternal history did Jesus know what it was like to truly be alone.
Christians will never experience this. (Romans 8:38-39) For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Why? For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Thank You, Jesus. Amen.