I believe that our Lord Jesus Christ is such a complete, complex, multidimensional character that all people, both male and female, can relate to him and bond with him in one or more specific ways; for instance, you or I might relate to His goodness, grace, mercy, justice, courage, compassion, charity, meekness, patience, and particularly his multi-faceted suffering.
How Christ Was Rejected/Suffered, A to Z
In his 33 years of mortal life, especially in his final week, Christ was rejected and suffered in many ways, from A to Z:
A: abused, abandoned, atoned, agonized, accused falsely, afflicted, accosted; B: bruised, broken, borne griefs, bled at every pore, betrayed, beaten, bashed name, broken heart, bereavement, bitterness; C: crucified, chastised, criticized, conspired against, crowned with thorns, carried own cross, condemned, cursed, cast out, convicted of crime, carried sorrows, cast out; D: denied, disbelieved, disobeyed, despised, discredited, doubted, disfellowshipped; E: esteemed not, exposed to ridicule, excommunicated; F: forgotten, forsaken, few followers, flogged, fatigued, false accusations; G: groaned; H: humiliation, hunger, harassment, hatred; I: inflected, imprisioned, injured, itinerant, infirmities; J: judged falsely, jailed; K: killed in prime time of life; L: lost life, lost friends, lost followers, loved in vain, lamb to slaughter, laughed at; M: misjudged, mocked, misunderstood, man of sorrows, motives questioned; N: numbered with transgressors, nailed to cross; O: Oppressed, opposed, offering for sin; P: persecuted, prosecuted, poured out soul unto death, priestcraft, pride; Q: questioned; R: rejected, reviled, received not, ridiculed; S: scorned, sold, spit upon, slaughtered, stricken, smitten, subjected his will, suffered, sorrowed, slain, set up to fail; T: tested, tried, thirsted, tempted sorely, trampled under feet of men; U: undermined, unemployed; V: vilified, vanity, vain doctrine; W: wounded, whipped, weighed, sept, worried; X: x-ed; Y: yearned; Z: zeal misguided
Most Painful of All: Rejection By His Own
And yet, as painful as all of this—if not more painful—was and is (still today) the pain of being rejected by his own covenant people. Christ often said, “I came unto my own, but my own received me not.” I know that this intimate rejection still stings Him to this day.
He also deeply lamented that his covenant people would not be gathered by him: “How oft I would have gathered you as a hen gathers her chicks beneath her wings, but ye would not.”
The severe penalty for rejecting Christ and his Spirit is being left to manage by your own dim wit and to cope by your own dim wisdom. Ultimately, your resources will prove to be insufficient to save you from sin and death. The jaws of justice will keep you single and separated, alone to atone for your own sins.
How I Relate to Christ’s Rejection
In my life, from an early age to this very day, I can relate to Christ being rejected by his own. Here is a brief summary of the rejection I have experienced at the hands of my people.
Family: rejected for being the good son
Public grade school: rejection in third grade in Provo after transferring from SLC
Junior high: Rejected by social clubs, student officers and sports captains
High school: no scholarship for school’s top all-around athlete/scholar, no mission call, not known by bishop, displaced in family by live-in student from Ireland
Employment: most menial of labor: picking fruit, cleaning cars, tending retarded men, washing dishes, weeding/yard work, painting apartments.
BYU student: rejected as pre-dental student, no graduation ceremony (no money)
Mission: rejected/not supported by mission office in my field work
Provo High teacher: hit with 200 students, fired for incompetence by former bishop
BYU masters programs: kicked out one week before completing requirements, had to retake classes at San Diego State, humiliated by Masters’ committee hazing
San Diego: living on level of welfare while working in aerospace
BYU employment: had no budget, no support, hated, fired for no reason
Agent/Publisher: cheated by LDS clients out of millions, no revenue from local customers who wanted free product, not supported by Provo City, building in poor area of town, no visibility or credibility; no support after suffering from affinity fraud/embezzlement
Church: no calling for decade in Edgemont, second-class saint; dismissed when bearing testimony in LDS meetings; rejected by a two bishops whom I served as counselor
Why Was Christ Rejected
You might say that Christ deserved to be rejected by his own, especially by his leaders.
His words. After all, he called them hypocrites in the harshest of human terms.
His works. Many of his works were offensive or threatening to the Jews and Romans.
His ways. His ways were not the common ways (higher ways, not highways).
Why I Am Rejected/Who Rejects Me
I confess to meriting rejection in some measure, as I am a sinner. Still, I have not committed the more serious sins; however, I am seen as threatening by some.
My works. My profession as a writer/journalist/publisher causes concern.
My words. I am known for creativity, originality, candor, authenticity. I’ve criticized certain LDS business leaders and church and university administrators.
My ways. My non-conforming ways are seen as disobedience.
I tend to be rejected by leaders who succumb to jealousy, hypocrisy, double standards, and penchant for promoting one’s own kin and kind. I tend to be labeled and black-balled by administrators who imprison me for life with no pardon or parole, no commuting of sentence or early release. Every errant word or suspect deed of mine serves to reinforces their perception and prejudice and justify their punishment. They are the wardens who are charged to keep me under wraps. In all religious societies composed of priests, there is the ever-present threat of priestcraft, along with high callings and canonizations for the “ins,” rejection of the “outs,” and uniformity of acceptable conduct—one style, one mode, one manner of expression.
Gospel of Inclusion or Exclusion/Rejection?
The “good news” gospel of Jesus Christ is one of inclusion—not exclusiveness or exclusion, , except in the case of serious sin that requires members, after due process, to be disfellowshipped or excommunicated.
I have simple faith that the first, the elite, may yet be the last; and the meek last, first. I trust in the judgments and justice of almighty God.