Man of sorrows

(Isa 53:3 NIV)  He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

(Luke 9:22 NIV)  And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”

Some notable men are men of wealth, some are men of fame, some men of pleasure, but Christ was a Man of sorrows.

The last week of Jesus’ earthly life is featured so prominently in the Bible. One-third of Matthew, one-third of Mark, one-fourth of Luke, and one-half of John’s gospel is devoted to the last week of Jesus’ earthly life.

While Jesus was on earth, He went through indescribable suffering. Let’s look at the types of suffering He went through and what it means to us.

He suffered physically so that we can be free from infirmities

(Mat 8:16-17 NIV)  When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. {17} This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.”

Jesus suffered physically because He took our infirmities and carried our diseases. Because He had already taken it on Himself, the diseases now have no legal right to inflict us. We can exert the authority of God and claim the healing that is in Jesus’ name.

He suffered emotional hurts

(Isa 49:7 NIV)  This is what the LORD says– the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel– to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation, to the servant of rulers: “Kings will see you and rise up, princes will see and bow down, because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

(Mat 26:67 NIV)  Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him

(Mat 27:39 NIV)  Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads

(Mat 26:21 NIV)  And while they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.”

(Luke 22:34 NIV)  Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”

Jesus was familiar with emotional suffering. He was despised, insulted, denied and betrayed. Because Jesus had suffered emotional hurts, He can identify with us when we too suffer emotionally.

He suffered for a higher cause

(Heb 12:2 NIV)  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus remained steadfast despite His suffering because He was focused on the cause. He knew exactly why He had to suffer.

(Luke 9:22 NIV)  And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”

When you are undergoing difficult situations in life, concentrate on the result. Look forward to it. That will keep you going.

The Apostle Paul learned the secret of this as well. When he suffered, he concentrated on the positive aspects of the situation and what he could benefit from the current situation.

(Rom 5:3-4 NIV)  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; {4} perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Suffering did not make Jesus bitter

(Luke 23:33-34 NIV)  When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals–one on his right, the other on his left. {34} Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

When someone caused us to suffer, our natural reaction is to get bitter and show contempt for that person. How different was the reaction of Jesus when He suffered. He could even bless the people who tormented Him.

What is our response to the One who had suffered for us?

(Isa 53:4 NIV)  Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.

The sorrows that Jesus went through were our sorrows. He would not have to suffer had mankind not fallen into sin. How do we respond to someone who had suffered much for us?

If we know our parent or friend had suffered much for our sake, we would treat that person with utmost love and respect. May we be constantly reminded of what the Lord had done for us and may we live our life in constant gratitude.