Friday, March 26, 2010

Not Alone

Jesus' speech to His disciples in John 15 is a very important one, because it's His last long talk with them on this earth, before His death and resurrection. When someone is facing death, they often are very reflective about their lives, their future, their experiences, and so on.

In His Farewell Discourse, Jesus says again and again, "Abide in me." He means that we should live in Him...with the knowledge that He is in us, and that our relationship will continue forever. God with us = Emmanuel. He never leaves us. He would never forsake us.

Abide in me means to continue in a daily, personal relationship with Jesus, characterized by trust, prayer, obedience, and joy.
The Farewell Discourse is full of promises. Jesus promises to be with His disciples, but then tells them that he will be going away from them, which is better for them, because He will send the Holy Spirit, the Helper, who will guide and help His people. There is a sense of security in the face of impending disaster. There is assurance that God will take care of everything. There is also a sense that Jesus is looking ahead with reluctance, knowing that the task ahead is monumental.

He finally tells them plainly that He's leaving this world:

John 16:28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” 29 His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not a using figurative speech! 30 Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.” 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; l I have overcome the world.”

Do you see that? Jesus tells His disciples, the closest people to Him on the earth, that they will scatter and leave Him alone. We know this happened. We know that in the Garden He plead with them to stay awake with Him, to pray for Him, to keep Him company, and they fell asleep. When the soldiers came, they scattered.

Jesus knew they were weak. He knew they would leave Him alone.

And then He said, "Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me."

Jesus had such an amazing relationship with the Father and with the Holy Spirit. They were truly ONE in unity and purpose and power and knowledge. Facing the death that would be the propitiation for our sins, Jesus was not alone. He was secure in the knowledge that the Father was with Him.

Yet soon He would experience being abandoned. The disciples would leave him. The Jewish people would cry out, "Crucify Him!" The political leaders would lie about him. Then the unthinkable would happen: God the Father would abandon Him.

Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

My ESV note says this:
Jesus utters the opening words of Psalm 22 and in so doing cries out to God in the immense pain of divine abandonment (see Isa. 59:2; Hab. 1:13), which he suffers as a substitute for sinful mankind. Yet the following verses of Psalm 22 also anticipate divine intervention on his behalf. Jesus knows why he is experiencing God-forsakenness, just as he knows his death will not be the end of his story.

Not Alone. Jesus said, "I am not alone, for the Father is with me." And up to that point on the cross when God turned His back on His only begotten Son, He had never been alone. We cannot begin to imagine the immensity of the abandonment Our Saviour experienced. He'd never been alone. He'd always been with the Father. He'd always known the presence of the Holy Spirit. Then all of a sudden, He was alone.

And because of Him, because of His sacrifice, I can abide in Him. I never, ever have to be alone, ever... not for all eternity. I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and never alone.


  1. It's amazing what he suffered, for my sake, because of his great love.


Remember that you will give an account for every word. Respond with wisdom and grace, please.