Then all the disciples deserted him [Jesus] and fled. —Matthew 26:56
The paramount stigma of being today’s man or woman is probably that of being misunderstood. Nothing is more painful than this. We can cope with a lot that people say against us—as long as they are fully in the picture and still disagree. But what hurts is when they aren’t in the picture and they form judgments and perceptions that are based on limited information.
I sometimes think that much of Jesus’ pain at His crucifixion was a result of His being misunderstood. Nothing made sense. It didn’t add up that the same man who raised Lazarus from the dead a few days before was now hanging on a cross. Why didn’t Jesus stop the proceedings that led to His crucifixion? Anybody who could control the wind and storm on the Sea of Galilee could surely have intervened before Herod or Pilate.
There were any number of ways in which He could have stopped being crucified. Common sense told everybody this. So why was He being crucified?
The disciples couldn’t figure it out—they all forsook Him and fled (Matt. 26:56). Never once did Jesus explain Himself.
It must have been almost unbearable emotional pain for Jesus to see Mary Magdalene sobbing her heart out at the scene of the cross and not be allowed to whisper to her, “It’s OK, Mary; all is going according to plan. I’m atoning for the sins of the world by My blood.” But there was no hint of this. He had to bear the further stigma of being misunderstood, even by those closest to Him.
Whether others understood or not, He did the right thing—He listened to God.
Excerpted from The Anointing: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (Charisma House, 2003).