He sent his Son, Jesus, to live among us and experience our disappointment. The night Jesus was betrayed, he expressed his great disappointment to his closest companions: “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death…My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me…[Friends,] could you not watch with me one hour?” (Matt 26:38-40, ESV). On the cross, his disappointment climaxed: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt 27:46).
But Jesus’ disappointment didn’t turn him away from his father. He didn’t blame himself for expecting too much from a dark, dark world. He didn’t bend the situation to his own will, coming down from the cross or calling platoons of angels to fight for him. No, rather than running away from God, Jesus let his disappointment bring him closer to God. His dying words were: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46).
As Hebrews puts it, Jesus was a son who “learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him” (Heb 5:8-9). In other words, because Jesus drew close to God through his suffering and disappointment, he opened the way for you and me to do the same. He died to bring us salvation, and he lives to bring us close to the Father, despite our disappointment. But how?