Man of Sorrows- Rejoicing in Christ

           Imagine looking into the eyes of Jesus- what would you see?  The spark of love, the glint of forgiveness, the fire of righteous passion… the grey of SORROW? Perhaps the most beautiful and revealing description of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures is found in the prophetic words of Isaiah 53.  Here, Isaiah, describes Jesus as He would become God in the flesh nearly 700 years later.  Here in Isaiah 53, we read these words…“He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.”  Isaiah 53:3
            We might think, “isn’t it a sad and depressing subject to focus on Jesus as “the man of sorrows”?”  By no means, for God, through Jesus Christ has“turned our mourning into dancing!” (Psalm 30:11)  As great as the sorrow of our Savior, greater still is the triumph of our victory.  While we cannot yet escape the sorrows of tonight, we can count on the joy that is coming in the morning. There is no greater comfort for us in our own pain & suffering than seeing Jesus as “the man of sorrows.”  If Jesus Christ knew nothing but joy & victory, He would seem distant & disconnected from the realities of our lives.  However, no one has endured the weight of pain & loss more completely & perfectly than Jesus.  Let’s consider this simple description of Jesus a little more closely…
          1.  A Man:  We must begin by recognizing that Jesus was a man.  We can never take for granted that Jesus was both fully God and fully man. Although Jesus was perfect in that He never sinned, He was still a man who needed sleep and food, he felt exhaustion and pain… and at the cross, he gave up His life in death.  Since Jesus could fully identify both with God and man, He was the perfect bridge, or mediator for us to know God. If we are to come to know God, it can only be through Jesus Christ.  
          2.  A Man of Sorrows: We should take note that He is not described here as a “man of wealth” or a “man of wisdom” or a “man of power” as you might expect of a mighty King.  No, He is described as a “man of sorrows.”  As if he were in his essence, made up of sorrow itself.  This is a title of distinction; that among all who have experienced sorrow and suffering, Jesus is preeminent… none can compare. As the old prison tune goes, “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen, nobody knows my sorrow.”
It might be easy to believe that nobody knows what you are going through in the sorrow-filled moments of life, but Jesus knows full well. All of us will bear burdens of varying weights and durations, but Jesus’ burden was the heaviest of all.  While it may be of some value for me to share my sorrows, burdens and pains, it is far greater for me to boast on the sorrows of Jesus, because His sorrow is greater than any other person who has lived or died.
            No one else has known the sorrow that caused Jesus to sweat great drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane.  No martyr or victim will ever know the crushing weight of pain and sin Jesus endured on the cross.  None of us need ever cry out in bitter anguish to our heavenly Father-“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
            Pause with me for a moment and consider these questions-  What if you felt the sorrow and grief of ALL sin?  What if you felt the sorrow and grief of EVERY person who ever lived?  Isaiah 53:4 tells us,“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.”  Jesus was the man who carried EVERY sorrow.  Imagine if every tragedy you ever read in the news hit you in the most personal and profound way.  Every poverty.  Every disease.  Every death and every distress.  Now, you are beginning to perceive the burden of the “Man of Sorrows.” All of our sorrows were His sorrows. No one has a bigger heart than Jesus… and as those who have been given the gift of empathy know, the bigger the heart, the bigger the heartbreak.
            It breaks Jesus’ heart to see us suffer.  It breaks Jesus’ heart to see us in bondage to sin and a slave to our addictions.  It breaks Jesus’ heart to see us refuse the grace and forgiveness that He offers to us freely. Perhaps there is nothing that brings Jesus greater sorrow in our lives than this- When we refuse to give our sorrows to Him.  Jesus says to all who will listen to His voice… “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” 
          This is your invitation… Come to the man of sorrows and lay down your burdens… lay down your shame and your sin.  Jesus has already suffered on your behalf.  He has already endured the cross so that you could be set free.  He is waiting for you to come to Him with your sorrows, so that He can turn you mourning into dancing.  Do you want to know the release of sorrow?  Come to Jesus.  Do you want to know the forgiveness of sins?  Come to Jesus.  He sees you. 
* This blog was influenced by a C.H. Spurgeon sermon entitled “Man of Sorrows.”