01 January, 2008

Tuesday: The Suffering Servant as the Man of Sorrows

Something that is very disturbing in the current evangelical impressions of Jesus Christ was that he was a cheerful and happy man. 10 minutes in any 'Christian' bookstore will reveal posters, paintings, and greeting cards of a happy Jesus with a great smile. This conception of Christ is foreign to the testimony of the Scriptures.

Jesus was the man of sorrows.

The weight of his calling to reconcile sinners to God was so impressed into the person of Christ, that the Scriptures record that he sweat blood during intercessory prayer.

We take the Christ of the Scriptures for granted. We forget the seriousness of the Christian life and the serious nature of our calling to holiness and to reflect Jesus Christ. This is not a call to constant sorrows; but we must remember the difficult life that Christ lived on our behalf. He was sinless, yet lived his whole life with the weight of the knowledge of the sinfulness of sin. This led to a life of real and constant sorrow.

Isaiah 53:3-4 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

His spirit was tender, and he admitted the impressions of sorrow. We never read that he laughed, but often that he wept. Lentulus, in his epistle to the Roman senate concerning Jesus, says, "he was never seen to laugh;'' and so worn and macerated was he with continual grief that when he was but a little above thirty years of age he was taken to be nearly fifty, Jn. 8:57. Grief was his intimate acquaintance; for he acquainted himself with the grievances of others, and sympathized with them, and he never set his own at a distance; for in his transfiguration he talked of his own decease, and in his triumph he wept over Jerusalem. Let us look unto him and mourn. -MH

1 comment:

Mark said...

Nice timing, I just re-read a bit by Dr. Beeke on Christ's cross-bearing. It's a tremendously difficult thing to think about, seeing as (A) we don't like to think about that degree of agony, and (B) we know that we're responsible and deserved that punishment ourselves.