Familiar woods become scary as the sun sets or when you go down a hill to meet up with the main trail and for some reason it is not where you thought it would be.
Or maybe you are on a detour off the interstate in a strange city, after several turns you no longer see the detour signs or any route markers. You are surrounded by heavy traffic and the sidewalks are filled by people, but you feel totally alone.
Or perhaps you lost or misplaced some thing important, like loosing sight of your small child while in a strange place.
Recall with me, if you will, that momentary feeling of shear panic when you admitted to yourself, “I don’t know where I am” or “I don’t know where my child is.” An increased heart rate, a little nausea, a racing mind that will not focus, a feeling that you should run. Those awful feelings -- that was panic. If this has brought to mind something from your past, your heart rate probably stepped up a notch, just recalling it. Hopefully you quickly found your way or soon found your child.
When one of our sons was about 3, he developed the habit of tantrums. If he didn’t get his way, he would lay down and kick and scream. Once, he pulled his stunt in J C Penneys. I had had enough, so I announced loudly. “Let’s just leave him here,” and took my wife and our other children to hide behind a nearby clothes rack. He soon ceased the tantrum, got up, looked up and down the aisle, took a few steps and look up and down the cross aisle.
When we could see his face, his look of panic broke our hearts, and I had to restrain my wife to keep her from rushing to his side. His lip began trimble and we heard mommie, Mommie, MOMMIE. His mother was instantly there and took him in her arms. That incident was over and we never had to deal with his tantrums again.
Years later, my older son confidied in me that he was ready to cry that day because he thought that I really intended to leave his little brother there. As a parent I can think of nothing worst than intentionally abandoning my child -- it is utterly unthinkable, even for a moment.
As a child, I could think of nothing worst than being abandoned by my parents. What cry would such an abandonment have elicited from my lips?
In the Scriptures, there was a Father who turned his back on his Son and the world heard this cry...........
El-o-i, El-o-i, la-ma, sa-bach-tha-ni?
My God, my God, why have thou forsaken me?
As we celebrate Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter this year, we will once again remember the suffering of our LORD.
Abandoned by his closest friends
Roughly handled, beaten, and spat upon by the soldiers
Jeered by the crowds
A crown of thorns
Nailed to the cross
Gasping for breath
Mocked by the religious leaders.
These He endured for me, for you -- But the worst was yet to come -
When GOD the father looked on Him, He saw not his son but the sins of the world, so He turned his back and walked away.
By remembering our feelings of panic at times of being lost or abandoned, maybe we can understand just a little the agony that Christ-Jesus the Son endured at that moment of separation.
By considering the loss of a child, just maybe, we can feel a little of the extreme sorry that God the Father endured to bring Salvation to the Lost Race of Man.
So that we who have accepted salvation through the sacrifice of Christ Jesus, never need to suffer separation from him, but can look forward to being in God’s family forever.