“At three, he uttered a loud cry, “Elohi! Elohi! L’mah sh’vaktani?” (which means, “My God! My God! Why have you deserted me?”) Mark 15:34, Complete Jewish Bible
Early in the day it began with, “You can’t go. In fact, you are uninvited.” (As in, “You weren’t invited in the first place.”)
Why did those words I heard sting so much? After all, I knew I wasn’t a part of the group going because I wasn’t even a staff member anymore. Just a contractor. Two days a week.
But I wasn’t “included” anymore.
And yet even in knowing all that, I felt rejected. I was surprised at that inner personal response. But there it was. Rejection. Again.
Rejection is not new. Every person, every generation, every nation has experienced it. Whether it comes through a spoken word, a severe physical removal (I.e. abortion – for both mother and unborn child), a simple dismissal of worth by a parent, teacher, or boss…rejection comes in our life.
Jews, African Americans (or Ethiopian Jews in Israel), undereducated – or anyone different than the “ruling elite” in any country, state, city, or village, can be on the “not-as-good-as-us” crowd. Rejection can be found even in churches or synagogues, if one doesn’t abide by the traditional rules which had been added to the local congregational or a denominational law book, and not found Written Word of God. How many long-held traditions, ungodly at their root, bring hurt and separation among friends far too many times.
And it is very, very sad to say – in many, with far too many cases, the rejected one hangs onto the deep wound for a lifetime. Burning away in the soul. Withering the life of tree we are meant to have, as given by the Redeemer and Savior. These wounds continue emptying the soul of precious love and replacing it with bitterness and unforgiveness.
I once read of a prophetic word uttered forth after receiving a vision, describing the unseen result of that which one giving a word of rejection, spoken as sharp arrows shot recklessly and deliberately at another, cut like knife slits in the other person’s skin, and felt deep within by the recipient. Only the Lord’s healing could repair the damage done to the injured party.
Adam and Eve were the first historical humans to receive rejection. They were duly kicked out of the Garden of Eden (most likely located in what is now southern Iraq or thereabouts) for their sin, being administered that judgment by their Creator, the Almighty Righteous Judge Himself.
And then that same Judge began the eternal plan of salvation through His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, Yeshua HaMashiach.
Each of us has been rejected by first God, for sin we have committed, followed by the rejection we give towards each other.
But then the all-loving God already had a plan in place, the plan of redemption. Sadly enough, humans quickly rejected that free gift by rejecting Him, Jesus Himself, while at the same time passing that rejection onto each other in our daily interactions.
How tragically do we continue down the same road of hurting one another.
The abusive husband rejects the beaten wife, both physically or emotionally. And the children, conceived through the plan of the Eternal Father in desiring to give life to many in order to enjoy abundant life with Him, are cast out, either prior to birth, or in the childhood years, and even beyond into their teen and adulthood years.
How about the overworked and unpaid grade school and high school teachers (maybe some of the NFL, MLB, and NBA “stars” could supplement their wages with some of their sport-earned extreme wealth?), working diligently among undisciplined boys and girls, acting out their internal rejection? With students combative among themselves also, these pillars of our society, true role-models for our kids and grandkids, struggle to meet the demands and pressures upon them, without the proper control and order they desperately need in their classrooms. Rejection goes beyond what is seen from the outside in these honorable lives.
The overreaching boss, having to make the profitable bottom line, or bringing to work the daily sorrow from home, lashes out at their employees with unforgiving stress, in order to “shine” themselves in front of the top brass. Rejection occurs.
Each parent, whether graced with a spouse who helps as much as they can, or the single mom pressing through yet another weary day, seeking provision for those she now alone cares for, battle the societal issues of too much acceptance of evil, repeated onslaughts against the moral foundations, and the need to have her kids excel without the privileges of the upper class. Rejection received at one end passes through to the other.
All of us will receive rejection. All will experience the arrows shot at the very human heart that was created to receive love.
We do have a way to deal with the problem, beginning with the salvation plan offered by God the Father. Sending His Son Jesus to receive all this rejection upon Himself on the cruel cross, He has now become our sacrificial Lamb needed for the forgiveness of sin. Each of us must start with that before we can begin to truly forgive each other.
“Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought.
Even though it has only lately — at the end of the ages — become public knowledge, God always knew he was going to do this for you. It’s because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.” 1 Peter 1:17-21, THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language
We have been given the grace and mercy first received for our self, in order to forgive our parents, our siblings, our teachers, our bosses, our co-workers – any and all who at times knew not what they did to you or I.
Receiving Christ’s forgiveness, and then practicing that same forgiveness given to us, is the only way to fight rejection. Not strong drink, sex outside of a faithful marriage, addictions of any and all sorts, including those idols we set up around us, will heal and restore us from rejection.
Next time you have an arrow shot at you – purposely or unknowingly – be quick to forgive. Otherwise, the wound will grow, fester, bring bitterness, and come out in rejecting and hurting those around you.
Our Lord has given us the gift of forgiveness to overcome any and all rejection. Practice it daily. I know I need too often myself.
Now think on this and see what good things the Lord has in store for you and those around you.