by Rick Warren — June 30, 2021
From Leaving a Lasting Legacy
“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.”
Isaiah 53:3 (NIV)
If you think Jesus doesn’t understand loneliness, you’re wrong.
Jesus was despised and rejected by the people he created. He experienced loneliness throughout his entire life.
During his final hours, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. This was an emotional time for him. He knew the very next day he would be crucified on the cross, separated from his Father.
Since Jesus had a need for human companionship, he took his three best friends—Peter, James, and John—with him into the garden. He said to them, “I’m very sad . . . Stay here and keep alert with me” (Matthew 26:38 CEB).
What did they do? They fell asleep! Jesus came back and said, “Couldn’t you stay alert one hour with me?” (Matthew 26:40 CEB).
Jesus must have felt so lonely in that moment.
The next day, he was nailed to a cross, where he cried out, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Matthew 27:46 GW). Since Jesus was carrying the sins of the world, the Father couldn’t look at sin—at him. He was truly alone.
Jesus knows what it’s like to feel lonely. And he wants to relieve your loneliness. He cares about you and wants to help you.
Maybe loneliness isn’t an issue for you today. However, you might be surprised by who the lonely people around you are. Loneliness doesn’t care whether you’re beautiful, wealthy, successful, or popular. Even married people can be lonely; some couples never share any true intimacy, closeness, and fellowship. The pandemic has made it clear that no one is immune to loneliness. Eventually, each one of us experiences it.
If you’re lonely today, Jesus understands and he wants to give you relief. The ultimate way that Jesus can relieve your loneliness is by making you part of his family. Through his own lonely death and then his Resurrection, Jesus made it possible for you to belong to God’s family.
When you’re part of God’s family, you still may face seasons when you feel lonely. But you will never truly be alone again.