Identity

Trapped in the Elevator of Depression

Trapped in the Elevator Series

In our “trapped in an elevator” series, we have explored how our Creator came into this world in the person of Jesus Christ. In His humanity, He encountered all that any human being encounters. Yet He was fully God and did no wrong.

Photo by Ian W Scott
Photo by Ian W Scott

We find Jesus in the last days of His life wrestling with depression. He faced those feelings in the olive grove of Gethsemane, pictured above in modern times.

This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. (Hebrews 4:15 NLT)

This qualifies Him to understand human frailty and empathize with us. The compassion of Jesus came from His walking in the shoes of humanity.

After the Passover feast, Judas having already left, Jesus took the remaining 11 disciples to Gethsemane. Jesus selected the three closest to Him to be near as he anguished about what was to come and prayed.

He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Matthew 26: 37 & 38 NLT

Were His emotions justified? Might our emotions also be valid in the face of our circumstances? Did Jesus’ depression give Him an understanding of the human struggle so that He can be attuned to us in our despair? See the prior post on depression.

Jesus, God in human form, understands each form of depression, experienced each, and is in harmony with your struggles. He did this so that you might know you are not alone in your suffering. He can provide you with comfort and freedom in those difficult times.

1. He stood in your place before a holy Creator to atone for your sin and guilt. Though He had not sinned, He bore the guilt of all humanity over all of time.

For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21 NLT)

2. He died the most shameful death in all of human history to release you from shame. The Father sent HIs Son to die by means of the most shameful death–Roman crucifixion.

But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”  (Galatians 3:13 NLT)

3. He was rejected by His earthly loved ones and abandoned by His own Father when He hung on the cross. He was all alone in His suffering.

At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? (Matthew 27:46 NLT)

4. He grieved the loss of His dear friend Lazarus at his death. Jesus ululated loudly to express the depths of His suffering to all who witnessed His grief. He even wept for Jerusalem and Israel as the Nation turned from Him.

But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. (Luke 19:41,42 NLT)

5. He ask that His Father provide Him with a way to escape His death trap. Yet He submitted to His Father’s plan that He die in your place and mine.

And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew26:39 NLT)

6. He was perfect. He knew no sin; He did no sin; and no sin was found in Him. Yet He was unfairly condemned for something He did not do. All that He did was to assure we could find restoration in our relationship to the Creator.

And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. (1 John 3:5 NLT)

7. All hope was removed. He had to die. His Father’s plan had to be followed. He hoped against hope that the outcome of His death would result in humanity finding its way back to a relationship with the Creator. Jesus understood despair.

Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. (Hebrews 12:2 NLT)

 

God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation. (Hebrews 2:10 NLT)

 

He knew that legions of angels stood ready to rescue Him. He only had to ask and the Father would have sent the angels to take Him from the cross. He remained obedient. He trusted the Father to use His death and resurrection to provide reconciliation for humanity. His hope and joy was that the outcome of His death, burial, and resurrection would increase the size of the family of God. 

Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands[a] of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? (Matthew 26:53 NLT)

If you struggle with depression, know that Jesus understands every reason for depression. In that truth you may find comfort to overcome your struggle.

Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

Action Step – If you have struggled with depression, write and tell me what comfort you get knowing that Jesus also knew depression. 

If you would like to share something privately of your struggle, please email me. I will get back to you.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Lowell Routley

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