Sunday, April 19, 2009

I See... The Lonely Easter

“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
Matthew 27:46

This was a lonely Easter for the Taits last weekend. I was starting a one-week business trip in a far-flung land so far away that it required me to be there on Sunday to be ready for Monday; our son was saving souls in North Carolina with his missionary companion; our daughter was still in school in Utah, and Deon was trapped at home holding down the fort. Technically, we weren't alone; we all spent time with someone we could be comfortable with - we just were not with each other.

Usually, it's never good to be alone during the holidays; I highly recommend against it. Easter, however, may be an exception. I don't think it is truly possible to comprehend in even a small way the Lord's atonement for us unless we are alone.

The atonement that Jesus wrought on our behalf was both infinite and eternal in its scope and application. To fulfill these requirements he would have to know and feel of every pain and sorrow mankind has felt. This includes the terrible agony of loneliness. Perhaps this is why God left him alone on the cross for a few moments? So he could know and feel what it was like to be alone?

Elder Holland, in the most recent General Conference, explained it this way: “To all such, I speak of the loneliest journey ever made and the unending blessings it brought to all in the human family. I speak of the Savior’s solitary task of shouldering alone the burden of our salvation. Rightly He would say: “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me. I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold [me].”

So it's OK to be alone on Easter. Being alone on this day of all days seems to grant appropriate respect for the loneliness the Savior shouldered on our behalf.

Our family's impromptu brush with loneliness will last only a short season. Towards the end of August, our son will be back from his mission; our daughter will be home from school; I'll be done with my business trips, and Deon will still be there keeping the home fires burning. What a joyous day that will be!

The Savior's lonely atonement makes it possible for us to never be lonely again; it is only
through him that we may join our complete families in the Celestial Kingdom and enjoy the endless fruits of living in his presence. What a joyous day that will be!

1 comment:

  1. don't you think your loneliness is a little different than that of the Saviors. You really didn't do this talk justice.