Daily Thought for: 23rd April

MAN OF SORROWS

Isaiah 53. 3-8

Chapter 52.13, to chapter 53.12 of Isaiah’s prophecy forms one of the most familiar yet most imponderable passages in the whole of Scripture. We stand in awe, with unshod feet as we ‘Behold the amazing sight’, P Doddridge, viewed with such clarity and detail seven hundred years before ‘his hour was come’, and He ‘endured the cross’.

In chapter 52, the prophet has spoken of One who is both a Saviour and a Deliverer for the nation. Now he records that the accomplishment of this work by the Servant of Jehovah will only be through suffering, death and resurrection. The nation at large failed to appreciate that the Messiah came with more than just their national well-being in mind. He came primarily to ‘save his people from their sins’, Matt. 1. 21, and that involved Calvary.

As the ‘despised and rejected . . . man of sorrows’, He graciously trod His lonely pathway. Yet from this we learn much of His character which warms our hearts. We appreciate the reality of His humanity. Only as a true man could He fully experience the emotions, the feelings, the heartache and the sorrows which burden mankind. He must have felt deep hurt when men despised Him, even while He sought only their welfare. To be rejected or forsaken by those He came to bless would be like sharp arrows to His tender heart.

There is also in this verse something of the reality of His suffering. Throughout His life, as many were brought to Him, diseased, infirmed, possessed, it was no light thing for Him to bring healing and relief. Because He was sinless, His holy soul felt keenly the ravages wrought by sin in the lives of others. The desolation, the wretchedness of humanity burdened Him as with compassion and sympathy He ‘Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses’, Matt. 8.17.

Do we not also perceive the reality of His devotion? Knowing all that lay before Him, rejection, sorrow, acquaintance with grief, knowing that ‘thus it must be’, with your salvation and mine upon His heart, He ‘came forth from the Father’!

Well do we sing ‘Hallelujah! What a Saviour!’ [P. P. Bliss]

 

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