Guide Sexually Abused Victims with the Suffering of Christ
Kathy L. McFarland
Is it better to be accused as a Just Man with unjustness or an Unjust Man with justness? That was one of the questions Socrates focused upon as he developed the logos in search of the meaning of justness to the individual soul in Plato’s The Republic of Plato. It is that question that must be answered by Bible teachers as they guide their broken sexual abuse victims back to the reality of God’s Truth.
Most sexual abuse victims are not as scarred by the perverted sexual acts forced upon them as children as they are by the actions of those they love when the “secret” comes out. It is a fact that all Christian Counselors are aware; if the child kept the atrocious secrets of abuse away from loved ones when the attacks were happening, then that child sensed that the reporting would be disbelieved, they would have a loss of love, or violence would come against their loved ones. Always. If not for that evaluation, there would be no reason to keep this terrible secret.
And let’s face it; sexual abuse victims that keep the secret closed tightly in their souls are not the most confident children growing up. They are marred and made to feel very dirty and unloved as the acts are perpetuated. When the threat of violence is made should the secret come out, abused children take on the horrors of that secret to protect those they love. That secret becomes the only way the child can really show love; to let the guard down brings more victimization and a loss of those they hope to protect. So, childhood victims often negotiate the pain of sexual abuse by creating the idea that they are showing those they protect the best love they can by keeping that secret so it will not touch them.
Oh, the secret…how hard it is to keep! It requires the abused mind to separate the horrors of abuse from the realities (or often unrealities) that are in the midst of a child’s life. And if that secret was kept to protect a mother, it becomes charged with the full emotional toil of madness as the child keeps it away from the special and tender love that every child hopes to have for their mothers forever.
How much better it would be for gullible, ungodly, and guilty family members if child abuse victims would die before they reach adulthood! Invariably, almost always, when a child abuse victim has a child of their own, the nightmare of confronting the horrible attacks that were visited upon them take forefront in their mind as they realize they must protect their child. It is at that point that child abuse victims choose one path or the other. For the sake of survival, family harmony, and the avoidance of pain so difficult that mental illness and Satan’s attacks can take hold, many victims block their mind and allow their children to go in the midst of their abusing monster, and forget as well as they can the memories that haunt their mind. Thus, sexual abuse is perpetuated through many, many generations as victims are turned over to known sexual abusers for the sake of family harmony.
The other path becomes even more difficult when it is chosen. The child abuse victim that is now an adult with children recognizes that the issue must be dealt with if the protection of children is to be assured. So, they tell the secret. And that brings us to the discussion that Socrates developed to decide whether a just man accused of unjust lies is better than being an unjust man that is thought to be very just.
Sexual abuse victims that let that secret out will find themselves in the midst of this question immediately. This is psychologically simple; if family members are unable to see the pain of a small child that is being victimized by their attacker, then it is certain that there are serious problems within that family unit. There can be no unconditional love that is assured, or the child would have confidence in delivering that message much earlier. So if the family hears the secret come alive, if it is revealed in the most gentle of ways or the harshest, it makes no difference; in almost every case, the victim is made unjust, and the attacker is made just through the posturing of the family to keep their status quo intact.
When that secret comes out, the just victim is usually made to seem a liar, crazy, vindictive, covering up their own sexual perversions, gullible, or attempting to destroy the family. Separation from family occurs immediately; lies began spreading about the victim to form a protective ring around the abuser. And then, the hell of the victim becomes extreme and the devil’s work from the beginning fully unfolds as the victim loses family, friends, hope, and help.
That is how victims are made to feel unworthy to come to the cross of Christ when the secret comes out. If their own mother rejects them, if their siblings take the side of the abuser and take advantage of the situation to get their own attention, or even worse, their own protected children go to the abuser as adults, if their reputation is ruined as the wicked lies and activities become more and more disturbing against them, how can a loving God want them around? How does a Bible teacher lead an abused victim to Christ when the abuse and the revelation of the secret made them unworthy to be loved with the experience of rejection and betrayal by family members seared into their hearts and minds?
The just made unjust, and the unjust made just
Christ suffered this exact problem. He had never sinned; he had never done anything to warrant crucifixion upon the cross. Yet, after a short ministry of less than four years, he is spit upon, cursed, beaten, and hung upon the cross naked to accomplish total shame to come to him, with the horrid pains that only depraved humans could do:
Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired. And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection. And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them. But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy. But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? And they cried out again, Crucify him. Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him. And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.
And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him. And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.
And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not. And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS. And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.
And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, Save thyself, and come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save. Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.
And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down.
And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God. (Mark 15:6-39)
The Lord was a Just Man that was made unjust by wicked attacks of human beings that had no idea of the Truth of God that they hung upon the cross. He was a victim of false accusation, and he was chosen to die, while they released an unjust thief to freedom because he was so loved by the crowd. And so Christ died upon the cross as unjust, when He was the most righteous human ever to have walked upon this earth. He was unable to combat the lies and accusations of those gathered against Him, and He was laid naked by their words and actions.
He pleaded with God to prevent this shame:
Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. (Matthew 26:36-39)
Christ, by this time, knew that He would be giving His life for sinners to receive redemption through His sacrifice. But, did it have to come with the complete ruin of his dedication and walk with God? Why was He forced to face rejection and lies made against Him when He had done nothing wrong? Why was this just man made unjust, and the unjust Barabbas made just in the eyes of His accusers?
And so, Bible teachers, bring the broken child abuse victims to the cross of Christ by showing them that He experienced the exact same type of false accusation against His justness. Show them through Scripture the pain and agony He felt upon that cross as He was mocked with lies. Let them see that the most innocent and righteous of all, the beloved Son of God, was also made to seem to be unjust, so the full passion could unfold in the witness of men.
And then, Bible teachers, bring them to the glorious day, three days later, when the Resurrection of the Crucified Lord Jesus Christ gave hope to believers. Show how in one instant of supreme glory of Christ rising again, the lies of unjustness were destroyed forever!
But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.
Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. (John 20:11-23)
It is in the light of Christ and the resurrection of believers that the truth will finally be known! And it is that hope that a child abuse victim must embrace fully to break free from the oppression visited upon them by Satan, as they walk toward the cross, then past it in confident faith of their own resurrection to eternal life.
And when they recognize their unity in the suffering of Christ, tell them something for this old Bible teacher:
These terrible lies, accusations, and attacks will not follow them in the Kingdom of God. The truth will be made known and people that have blindly accepted the lies made ashamed. But, I am confident The Lord has a very special reward, a very special place for all child abuse victims that have been attacked and made to seem unjust in this hard life. It is at that moment of their own glorification, when the truth of the victimization is made fully known and the victim fully restored as a just person totally redeemed; and that, will be very, very, good day that will keep going on for them for eternity. Thanks be to God!
Plato. The Republic of Plato - Translated with Notes and an Interpretive Essay by Allan Bloom. Translated by Allan Bloom. Second ed.: Basic Books, 1968.
 Plato, The Republic of Plato - Translated with Notes and an Interpretive Essay by Allan Bloom, trans., Allan Bloom, Second ed. (Basic Books, 1968).