If you watch the news, you saw it.
A public relation’s nightmare unfolded in the White House.
Barak Obama, the U.S. President from two terms previous to Joe Biden, was invited to speak to a group of selected Democrats applauding the 10th anniversary of Obama Care, a universal health care program unearthed under Obama’s tutelage.
Following the charismatic Obama’s talk, those in attendance encircled him, fawning over this opportunity to be near their political hero.
The cameras caught a rejection tragedy live, for President Joe Biden looked like a lost soul, struggling to find someone to pay attention to him. Biden meandered on the outskirts of the celebratory Obama swarm, reminding me of middle schoolers sitting alone at a cafeteria table, desperate to be noticed.
The airways played that tape ad nauseum.
One doesn’t have to be a Biden fan (but everyone should respect the position of President) to imagine what those few moments of feeling like a “nobody” had to be like. I mean, I’ve known rejection, but never in view of the entire world. Here he was, the president of the most powerful nation in the world, and no one cared.
A week later, someone sent out a musical version of President Biden first trying to get Obama’s attention, only to finally give up, wander aimlessly in the background and ultimately reach for the hand of some woman in the audience. The song “All By Myself” played in the background, and I thought, this scene by itself is tragic enough; adding a musical score truly compounds the humiliation.
But then I realized something. If Jesus—whose humanity was a picture of rejection– wasn’t above such shaming, why should any human, no matter how powerful, be different? And yes, I know that Jesus had no music accompanying his tortuous death, but he did have celebratory Roman guards competing for his clothing and mocking his pain. More tragically, on the cross he endured the ultimate rejection. Matthew 27:45 tells us that at the ninth hour Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” God Himself had turned His back on His son, the one representing the sins of the world—us! —for which he willingly gave up his life. Rejection hurts, so if we felt sorry for President Biden when Obama turned his back on him, I get it. But maybe it needs only to point us to the rejection we deserved but never endured.