31 For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”
36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:26-43
I include the entirety of this passage to give context. It’s important to note that while there were the two criminals, rulers, and soldiers, notice what is absent: His disciples who should have been his biggest defenders. But you may say he didn’t need defenders, and you would be right. However, I don’t think Jesus’ disciples knew what we know now. They probably weren’t thinking, “Naa, he’s the Son of God. He doesn’t need our help.”
We know that His mother, Mary the wife of Clopas, Mary Magdelene, and John were there with Him, but what about the others? Here was the man who had transformed their lives and turned it completely upside down, so where were His ardent supporters?
Peter, who had been his most vocal supporter, had chopped off the ear of someone who was taking Jesus into custody in the Garden, but he wasn’t around either. We know that Peter denied Christ only hours before that so he himself must have been soul-sick about what he had done.
And what of Malchus, the man whose ear was chopped off but restored by the Master Himself, where was he?
The people who were healed throughout His ministry.
The 5000 who were fed.
Zacchaeus the tax collector.
Lazarus and Martha and Mary?
Nowhere to be found.
Suffice to say, it was lonely on the cross. The rulers were still against him, and the soldiers mocked Him. Even one of the criminals beside Him was antagonistic. Plus he had few friends to look down at while He hung there.
Then, as He was seconds from death, He cried out, “My God My God why Have you forsaken me?”