Man of Sorrows, Son of Suffering

“He was despised and forsaken by men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him” Isaiah 53:3

I’m writing this devotional on Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. This period of 40 days is a time for Christians to fast and prepare our hearts for the beautiful gift of Easter. I love the joy and celebration that comes with Jesus’s resurrection. It means we’ve been forgiven of our sins and reunited with God once and for all!

And still there’s something so beautiful about the season of Lent. Even though it is a time of more somber spiritual practices like fasting and repentance, I’m thankful that it draws me close to what Jesus experienced for His earthly life.

Isaiah 53 is clear that Jesus was not at all who God’s people expected their Messiah to be. They expected a knight in shining armor, someone who looked and played the part of a Rescuer King. Yet Isaiah 53:2 says “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” Verse 3 continues that he was despised and forsaken, “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.”

Jesus, God’s Son, came to earth and took on human flesh. He very easily could have made it so his earthly life was as easy and glamorous as possible, yet instead He came in a lowly position as one that people would not only be ambivalent about, but actually despise.

Full of humility, Jesus “was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). This is the good news of Easter. That because Jesus was willing to humble himself on our behalf and take on the suffering and punishment only we deserve, we have been healed, freed, redeemed and restored. We have access to God and His mercy and goodness every day moving forward after we accept Christ as Lord.

This calls for praise! When I meditate on this passage in Isaiah, I can’t help but sing the refrain to David Funk’s song “Son of Suffering” which says:

“Your cross, my freedom, Your stripes and my healing, All praise King Jesus. Glory to God in Forever”

Glory to God, indeed!

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