A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

The Nature of Abuse Demonstrated in the Crucifixion of Christ

UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.


[October 12, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]

Last week as I was reading through the Gospel account of Christ’s betrayal, arrest, and crucifixion, I was struck with how often this narrative exposes the mentality, nature, and tactics of abuse. This really should not surprise us because abuse is just plain sin. I think that it is in fact perhaps the most “diabolically beautiful” portraits of sin to be found. Its essence is the lust for power and control over — everything! It is the acting out of Satan’s declaration, “I will be like the Most High.” In other words, the abuser, like the devil, lusts to be God. Understand that and your eyes will be opened to everything else he does.

Consider with me then how abusers joined together to kill God on the cross. After each section of Scripture, I will identify the abuse tactics and / or mentality that is so characteristic of this great evil we have all come to know too well:

(Matthew 26:20-25  ESV)  When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”

Abusers are most often people whom we believed to be our intimate friends, such as a spouse.

(Matthew 26:31-46  ESV)  Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same. Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”  [Emphasis added.]

Many people will claim to stand with a victim against the abuser, but when push comes to shove, they don’t.

(Matthew 26:47-50  ESV)  While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him.

The kiss of Judas. The abuser’s method of betrayal and abuse is so often couched behind a façade of “love” for the victim. Especially in the presence of witnesses.

(Matthew 26:55-56  ESV)  At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.

The abuser so often does his dirtiest work at “night” and brings out the most wicked forms of force and coercion at such times. He dares not show his real nature in the daylight. Once again, notice that no friends stand with the victim at such times. They all leave and flee.

(Matthew 26:58  ESV)  And Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end.

Following at a distance. How many of our friends do this? Not with us, but tagging along behind where they won’t suffer.

(Matthew 26:59-61  ESV)  Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward and said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.'”

Lies. False allegations. An active seeking of false charges so as to bring condemnation upon the victim. Notice also how these evil men used Jesus’ true and righteous words to condemn him. “Well, wife, is it not true that you said….?”

(Matthew 26:65-68  ESV)  Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?”

The essence of abuse in regard to the innocent is murder. The abuser’s righteous victim must be destroyed because she KNOWS him and stands in the way of his quest for power, control, and deity. Notice also the tactics of mocking and the instilling of fear through physical assault.

(Matthew 26:69-74  ESV)  Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed.

Miraculously, and only because Jesus had prayed for him, Peter would repent and return to Christ, the Lord Jesus later giving him a gracious opportunity to confess Him as Lord 3 times to counter Peter’s thrice denial of the same. But here, once again, someone very close to Jesus betrays Him, refusing to stand with Him in that darkest hour.

(Matthew 27:20-31  ESV)  Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” And he said, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!” So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.

The abuser works toward this end: that the wicked are justified and the righteous are condemned. See this horridly typical fact: the Son of God is crucified while the terrorist is set free and permitted full privileges. The tactic of mocking is seen here once again. Notice however the sobering self-judgment the abuser pronounces upon himself: “His blood be on us and on our children.” And so it is.

(Matthew 27:39-44  ESV)  And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.'” And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.

Here you have the public shaming of the victim, the slander and wagging heads and tongues. How often do we see this in so-called churches after a victim is shamed away? How often do such people claim that if the victim was truly righteous as she claims to be, then God would be on her side and all these bad things would not be happening to her.

(Matthew 27:55-60  ESV)  There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away.

But in the end, there might be one, or two, or maybe 3 people who prove to be genuine friends of the victim. Take careful note that the most consistent friends of the mocked and crucified Jesus were women. Perhaps a more logical explanation is that they, and perhaps even Joseph, had suffered for following Jesus before, thus experiencing the evil of abuse themselves? Inevitably, these are the kind of people who will stand with us in the end.

[October 12, 2022: Editors’ notes:

—For some comments made prior to October 12, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be an exact match.
—For some comments made prior to October 12, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be found in the post.
If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to October 12, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (October 12, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]


  1. Katy

    Jeff, this post is awesome. AWESOME. I need to send it to some people!
    So can we say that those who stand with the victim most consistently – are often the ones who know that kind of suffering / oppression firsthand to some degree? Not always, but….
    This should point to another truth about those of us here who may still be recovering….or have already been rescued and come out the other side….that it was for a purpose. To stand with all the others who are yet to come, but who will need this blog in the future. I know that I wish it had been online in 2009 – but at least I found it this year! 🙂

    • Jeff Crippen

      Yes, Katy – we who have been helped are under obligation to keep hanging out here (or somewhere) where we can help newly arrived victims. People ask me how long this blog ministry must continue. Well, I don’t see how we can take our ease once we are well again. The Lord allowed the abuse in our lives, comforted us, and now we must comfort others. And in doing so we will be truly doing it to Jesus.

      • UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.



      • Katy

        I have been thinking about this some more and wanted to add….that the few people who have stuck by me through all of the ugliness, have been those friends who’ve suffered the exact same trials. That can’t be an accident. Even my closest family members, who have never been divorced and alone, raising children under the umbrella of abuse, can’t stick it out. They just want you to get over it and stop thinking about it – because they don’t want to deal with it.
        This whole process has “winnowed” out my circle of friends and support – to those who get it and share the same passion to stand with other victims. And I can’t believe that this has been accidental….

      • Ditto, ditto, ditto….me too.
        And now I’m ‘over it’ but have become a dedicated advocate for others, some members (most?) of my family wonder why I’m devoting my life to this cause….so in their minds I’m still not over it because I’m so obsessed with educating others and being an activist for justice.

  2. Leslie

    This is awesome, Jeff. Thank you. I’ve experienced Easter in a very fresh and deeply personal way this year, considering Jesus suffering and rejection with fresh eyes. It is because of this abuse He suffered (and He suffered far more than in the days leading up to His death, but this is so clear) that I can understand the promise of His comfort of me in my suffering. It’s been a very powerful and profound truth that is absorbing its way into my heart and soul.
    It’s truly humbling, challenging and inspiring to know how deeply He suffered and how He handled it. He entrusted His reputation, His future and agony to the Father. Not an easy task, but worth working towards.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thanks, Leslie. Yes, Easter takes on a new light, doesn’t it?

      • Memphis Rayne

        It took all day to read this, it was painful for me….ugh very good, very good deep reminder of how Christ suffers along with us, and sobering in regards to the evil that exists in this world….when you feel like you are being crushed from the inside out, and there is NO relief day in and day out and God does not in the physical sense take that from you THEN what do you do?

        What about when you know the truth, but the comfort from the one who comforts is NOT there? Like I know I have had HIM flow alongside me and give me comfort, in my thoughts and through His word….but what about the open spaces where you cannot hear Him, am I deaf? Have my triggers drown Him out?

        Is this part of the journey I am to just walk in faith? Sometimes because I have no comfort, or peace within me and my spirit just seems filled with dread, I wonder if I am the one who dropped the ball, and I’m just not receptive to what is being laid down before me? I just want peace, and I pray for it, ask for it, beg for it, plead and cry for it….but it eludes me?

        [Paragraph breaks added to enhance readability. Editors.]

      • Jeff Crippen

        Yes, Memphis, it is part of the journey, the silence. This whole business of not seeing, not hearing, yet believing. Faith. And it is hard. Really, really hard. But He is there all the time. And He will NOT let the faith of His people perish. Never. Can’t happen. You will be preserved by Him in faith to the end.

      • Anonymous

        One thing I have noticed, Memphis, is that because we have to deal so differently with our abusers, I think that adds to our confusion and lack of peace. I see that I am able to speak and deal with others in my life, the way that I truly am — kind and caring, patient and loving. On the other hand, when I have to deal with my abuser’s deeds, I am not so loving and patient and caring and kind. The dynamics of life and communication change and I believe it is that constant having to change to deal with things, that makes us lack peace and “feeling” God’s presence. Maybe I am wrong, but I am trying to figure things out in my as well, and this is one thing I have noticed. I say what needs to be said to my abuser, in order to protect and defend myself and / or my family, and then I feel guilty; thinking perhaps I could have said that kinder or put more thought into it before I answered, etc.. What peace I had, flies out the window, because the guilt takes over.

  3. As I See It Only

    If all we had was this story, we would understand better how to live in the middle of our abuse. If all we had was this story, we would know how to walk with victims of abuse. For me, the story cannot stop with the resurrection — a kind of glorious rebirth of our true selves — but it must continue as we come to terms with our suffering in this light, as we more and more help and teach others. If the pattern runs true, we can expect to laugh at our enemies and their infantile, futile attempts to play God, we can pray for their silly self-destructive games, we can even dare to pray for their release from the bondage of their desire for power and control. If the pattern of Jesus runs true, then we will be His witnesses when the Holy Spirit comes on us in power and we will do even greater things. If the pattern runs true, Pentecost is coming.

    • Thank you, AISIO. I found your comment very encouraging and profound.

  4. A Brusied Reed

    It is very comforting to read this post today. I usually go to church on Good Friday but since all this has happened (the abuse, coming out of the fog, realizing my abuser is Judas, sacrificing living with my 16 year old because she wants to live with the covert abuser) I have been to 4 churches and do not feel like I belong in any of them. I am even more horrified when considering Good Friday this year as I can now relate to it on a personal level that was not there before. I am humbled and honored to in some small way, suffer as my Lord had suffered. That the Lord would count me worthy to share in His suffering.

    I thank Him every day for allowing me to escape, for showering me with His love, for granting me repentance. It is a rare gift, as Ps. Jeff has said in one of his sermons. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you for it all. Even the abuse. As I am sure it will be opening doors for me to minister to others that would have never been opened. I am so very comforted by the Lord and His word.

    I would like to share a verse that the Lord has been driving home to me lately (as my older daughter and I do not speak any longer since I realized that she is on the side of my abuser):

    Peter said, “Behold, we have left our own homes and followed You.” And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.” (Luke 18:28-30 [NASB1995]

    Amen. Thank you, Lord.

  5. Lisa

    I experienced these abuser’s tactics. It is doubly heartbreaking, because it came from someone who swore to love and cherish me. They abuse and cover-up and / or deny it. It’s power at all costs and there is no fear of answering to man or God.

  6. Finding Answers

    Today is not Good Friday, but now I understand….

    The juxtaposition of abuser and abused through the crucifixion story connected the truth in a way that made it personal. What was “head” stuff is now “heart” stuff.

    What comes to mind are His hands after the resurrection. Still scarred. How many victims / survivors are left with scars, whether visible or invisible?

    In my mind, He becomes real. I can see Him, without seeing Him. A kaleidoscopic picture, shifting from pain to gentleness, from sorrow to life.

    (John 20:27 NMB)

    (27) After that he said to Thomas, Bring your finger here, and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing.

    • I am so glad for you. 🙂

    • Finding Answers

      Adding on to my own comment….

      Music. Always through music.

      A song replays in my mind, felt in my heart, what Christ did for me.

      I think of all the abusers in my life, of how they betrayed me.

      Sometimes words need music to reach full expression, and sometimes music without words expresses the picture. In either case, music is the key. (Pun intended.)

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