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Jesus knows what it's like being alone

Unsplash/Alex Ronsdorf
Unsplash/Alex Ronsdorf

Jesus promises His disciples saying, “I will not leave you as orphans …” (Jn. 14:18).

When a woman faces an unplanned pregnancy, she considers abortion because she feels alone or threatened by abandonment. Even the most self-proclaimed independent women say things like, “If he would have expressed just a little interest in helping with the baby, I would never think about aborting.” Because of the lack of support, she says, “I have no choice.” What will her family say and do when she goes home for Thanksgiving eight months pregnant? Will her boyfriend leave her if she dares to keep the baby?

One of the scariest things about being alone is when the aloneness becomes a spectacle. Surrounded by people refusing friendship is a magnifying glass in the mocking sun, burning us with social intensity and emotional pain.

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Jesus is acquainted with this grief. His disciples “all forsook Him” (Mk. 14:50). On the cross He alone bore the full wrath of God, crying out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Mt. 27: 46) — a question one might imagine a woman or her preborn baby asking.

Jesus’ isolation became a spectacle on the cross. He was even mocked (Mk. 15:29) and taunted to do the very thing our fear drives us to try to do, “Save Yourself” (Lk. 23:37). But salvation is precisely the point. Saviors don’t need saving. Jesus could have saved Himself, but decided to stay on that cross — forsaking all fellowship. Why? For fellowships’ sake. So that we who cannot save ourselves might have the fellowship of a Savior. Jesus willingly became that forsaken spectacle because He refused to leave us as orphans (Jn. 14:18). He died and rose again so that He can “[love us] to the end” (Jn. 13:1).

But it does not end there. Christ died not only that He might love us but that we in turn might love others AS He loved us. Disciples of Jesus are secure, knowing God will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5). Now we can confidently sacrifice on behalf of the fatherless, the stranger, and the oppressed (Ps. 146:9). Our Creator is for us, He abides with us. His affirming smile shines as we in our turn sacrifice on behalf of others, “For I gave you an example that you should also do as I did to you” (Jn 13:15).

Jesus performed no greater work than opening the dungeon door of eternal death, being spent to pay the price of the sin that imprisoned us. What then does it mean when He promised, “… he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father”(Jn. 14:12)? Perhaps He had in mind His followers’ self-sacrifice, leveraging their mustard seeds of faith in Him to move mountains of social injustice like abortion — one woman, one baby at a time (Mt. 17:20).

Our sin made us orphans, oppressed, strangers fending for ourselves in a spiritual wasteland. Through Christ’s sacrifice, we are being made whole — and all the more as we walk out His mission, a mission by which we are made beneficiaries… “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Lk. 19:10).

Rev. Jim Harden, M.Div. is a medical ethicist, author of the newly published Ethical Theory and Pertinent Standards in Women’s Reproductive Health, and CEO of CompassCare Pregnancy Services. He pioneered the first measurable and repeatable medical model in the pregnancy center movement and has written extensively on medical ethics, pro-life policy, and executive leadership. Rev. Harden has developed materials and strategies used by hundreds of pregnancy centers nationwide, helping them become more effective at serving women and saving babies from abortion.

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