Jesus – Day 17
Jesus: Man of Sorrows.
(; ) (; ) (; )
Can we read Isaiah’s prophetic words about the Messiah and not be moved by his portrayal of the deep suffering he will experience? Could anyone take these words to heart without sensing the agony and anguish that this one man would endure for people like us who, like mindless sheep, are lost because of their own wilfulness? Does not every part of us cry out “Unjust!”?
It is difficult for us to understand why He had to suffer so much, until we look at the depravity of the world that we live in and realize that all of that wickedness had to be “laid on Him”; all of man’s inhumanity to man wounded Him. This world needed a saviour and only One could pay the price: Jesus the sinless Son of God.
As the Christ He willingly suffered, in obedience to His Father’s will, for the salvation of the world. He suffered much in this world: He knew rejection by the Pharisees who despised His revolutionary interpretation of the law, regardless of seeing that He knew the Scriptures and spoke the truth with justice and authority. (Matthew 12:1-14) He came from Nazareth, of which Nathaniel so bluntly says in John 1:46: “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?”
He was rejected as a prophet by those who lived there, as well as by His own siblings. (Luke 4:29, John 7:5) He was betrayed to death by one of His inner circle, and when He was arrested His other friends all ran away for fear of their lives. He endured an illegal, unfair trial, and was whipped so badly that He was disfigured. Then He was led out to die a cruel death on the cross, surrounded by the people, for whom He was dying, mocking and insulting Him. “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter…” Isaiah 53:
Would we cope with such rejection, betrayal and injustice? How did Jesus?
Prayer and obedience to God were how Jesus modelled His life and accordingly set us the example. After He had celebrated the Passover meal, one as rich in symbolism as the very first time it was eaten, Jesus took refuge in the Garden of Gethsemane where He poured out His heart to God. He found strength in Him, and steadfastness which carried Him through His suffering.
If we recognize our need of God in our lives, He will help us too. Do you?