Dear CBC Family,
Isa 53:3 “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of anguish, pains, affliction and sorrow, and deeply acquainted with grief and calamity; we turned our backs on him. He was despised, and we didn’t care.”
This suffering servant in Isaiah is none other than Jesus Christ. The Hebrew phrase “man of sorrows” is literally transcribed above. I rephrased the text so that it might fall upon our understanding with a new power. These “pains” refer to both physical and emotional suffering. Jesus would not be immune from hardships but would be well acquainted with the deepest grief. He even suffered when He was tempted (Hebrews 2:18). I do not believe any of us have ever had that experience. His suffering in temptation was due to the fact that He was pure and without sin and as sin drew near and tempted Him to its limit He resisted and yet had a reaction that we could never understand.
Think with me for a moment as Jesus went through this life. He must have experienced pain at the loss of Joseph his earthly dad or other relatives. He knew the deep emotional pain of rejection and hatred. I think many of us can relate to some of these but the bigger point is Jesus can fully relate to you since His pain was deeper than anything you will ever know.
When I feel hurt, I find comfort in the fact that Jesus is the man of sorrows. He knows what it’s like to feel as we do. Thus, his empathy isn’t theoretical, its factual. God the Son knows and shares in our suffering. He is with us, even when we are overcome by grief and despair. Knowing that what breaks us cannot break Him gives us great hope! In time, He will deliver us from all the pains of this world. In the meanwhile, our hearts are encouraged by the knowledge that Jesus is with us and He understands and feels our sorrows with us.
In another sense, Jesus is THE “Man of ULTIMATE Sorrows” in that He became a curse of us (Gal. 3:13). This is what we have no understanding of or experience in. He became the cursed of God. We cannot wrap our minds around this without the help of the Holy Spirit. That is exactly what I have been praying for as we gather this Friday for a time of reflection and illumination into what Jesus actually bore in His body on the tree. I am certain that you will be affirmed by His love and moved by God’s justice. This study has been a very emotional soul searching for me as I looked into all the curses that God spoke on disobedience. Join us this Friday (19th) at 6:00 as we explore the wonders of grace in our atonement. This service is for the entire family so there won’t be youth or children’s ministry. This will however give each of us a tangible opportunity to get honest and real with God.
Remember that there will be no Saturday service on the 20th. This is because we want to try and get us all together Sunday morning. This year I will be sharing from a lesser known text, not often used for Easter, on the resurrection. It is a very powerful text and shows us that every human being is tied to Christ in a sense. This means that we will either share His experience of resurrection power or His experience of being cursed by God. It makes the gospel critically good news, the judgement terrifyingly relevant and redemption eternally joyful. Prayerfully ask the Lord who you should bring and pray like this is going to be their only opportunity to hear about Jesus. God is able to save so let’s be reaching out to all. Let us remember the reason for THIS, the greater, season! He has risen!