A Man of Sorrows

He was despised and rejected – a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Isaiah 53:3

Did you know that the Bible doesn’t mention Jesus’ laughter? I’m sure He did laugh and smile, as it is so with humanity, but the gospels never mention it. Isaiah 53 calls Him a Man of Sorrows. When Jesus was born, Herod tried to kill Him. When He began His ministry, the people of His hometown took offense at Him. And in the closing hours of His life on earth, He was betrayed by Judas and denied by Peter .

If I had the opportunity to know my entire future from today on, I think I would pass. I would rather not know. But Jesus, being God, knew everything about His future down to the smallest detail. As He agonized in the Garden of Gethsemane, He knew that in just a few short hours, He would be nailed to a Roman cross and crucified. He knew that He would be humiliated. He would be beaten. He would go through a horrendous whipping. He knew the great anguish that was ahead. His sufferings did not begin on the cross, but it was His suffering that led Him there.

Jesus makes reference to this Himself in Matthew 26:38:

He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Matthew 26:38

We should all imagine sitting down with Him in Gethsemane. Imagine His suffering. We never can understand more than a small portion of the anguish of that hour in the garden, yet we should often reflect on it.

The Bible tells us Jesus was “a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief.”This is the good news we all need. He was wounded – for us. He was bruised – for us. He was beaten, mocked, betrayed, scourged, crowned with thorns, and crucified – for you…and for me. Our sins drove Jesus to the cross. He did not go unwillingly. If our sins drove Him there, it was His love for us that kept Him there.

The Bible also says in Hebrews, “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it” (4:15).

In other words, God knows what you’re going through. You have a High Priest—that is, Jesus—who has faced the challenges you presently face. Jesus was in this horrendous, difficult time, experiencing deep loneliness and abandonment by His friends. Yet He went through it.

We understand our own sorrows a bit better when we see them refracted through the bloody haze of Good Friday. See him on the cross, “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” He knows what you are going through, he will personally comfort you, and in the end, you will be blessed.

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