Read Isaiah 53:3
3 He was despised and rejected—
a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care. (NLT)
It is rather easy to romanticise Jesus. It is rather easy to see following Jesus as the key to prosperity, health, success and serenity. But if we carefully look at the life of Jesus, especially his last days, we get a different picture.
As Jesus approached death he could get no help from the state authorities who merely wanted to keep the peace. He got no help from the religious leaders who saw him as a threat to their power. He got no help from his closest followers who fell asleep and generally misunderstood him and in one case even denied knowing him.
We might think that in the absence of such human support he might turn to God his Father for divine support. Not even that was forthcoming. On the cross he experienced being forsaken by his Father. He died bereft of support.
When we face our own dark phases of life we remember Jesus knew what it was like to be forsaken. When those we figured were there to help us failed to help, Jesus knew what it was like to be betrayed. When God seems utterly absent in the midst of our predicament, Jesus experienced such God forsakenness as well.
C. S. Lewis remarked that at such times doors are slammed in our faces as we seek to open them; ropes break as we take hold of them. This can be what it feels like to be human. Jesus doesn’t take away such experiences. He promises us to be with us in those times and assures us as no-one else can that he knows just how we feel.