Yesterday, Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney General for the Southern District of New York, announced that he had been terminated from his position after refusing to resign at the request of his boss, President Trump. The news sent shockwaves through the political arena that are still reverberating. Preet himself was blindsided, likely calling the moment Trump asked him to remain in his position to memory. One could safely assume he felt betrayed and experienced anger, sadness, confusion, or a mixture therein.
The day before Preet Bharara had to figure out what direction to take his life after a job loss, I experienced the same thing. I had been employed as an operations manager for a small, local business for approximately six weeks when my boss came to me, mid-shift, and said, “We need to talk. You’re just not getting it fast enough and the business isn’t in the financial shape to be able to keep paying you while you try. We’re going to have to part ways.” I immediately felt a, but for the grace of God, overwhelming sense of pain and betrayal just as I expect Bharara did. See, just about two weeks ago, my boss had told me I had more time in my job, too. I had just expressed concern that I wasn’t learning quick enough for his liking and he said, “Oh, no. I mean, hey if we get six months down the road and you’re still not getting it then maybe we’ll have to part ways, but for now, just relax and learn. You’re good.”
Jesus Christ felt the pain of betrayal, too. His did not lead to a momentary sting, but His death. He, being God, knew what He would face long before He actually did. Also, being God, He held the authority and power necessary to change the outcome. Yet, astonishingly, selflessly He willingly chose to endure the pain of betrayal that culminated in death on a cross because He held an eternal perspective and loved you deeper than you can imagine. He didn’t lash out at Judas, His betrayer, or the authorities coming to escort Him to the Cross. While the Bible says He did experience grief toward His impending death, this was because he allowed Himself to become fully human and bear our sorrows; yet, He also remained fully God and retained His unconditional, unfailing love for us that allowed Him to overcome pain and sorrow in order to press forward.
Maybe you have been reading this and you’re a man who has recently lost your job or you know someone who has. I submit to you, as I am and Christ did before me, do not be dismayed. Your worth is not defined by your title or wage, but by the work of Jesus Christ on your behalf. You are not a failure or less of a man, as society would have you believe. If you have accepted Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Savior , you are righteous, holy, and redeemed in the sight of God because you have been gifted the right to share His title.
“And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”
Luke 22:39-53 ESV
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
Philippians 2:3-8 ESV
“So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”
Romans 8:12-17 ESV