He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.Isaiah 53:3
Sorrows can come from many directions in this world. However, the betrayal of a trusted friend can be one of the most sorrowful and stinging breaches of friendship that one can experience. Someone you trust implicitly betrays you and shatters your confidence. They disgrace your friendship by trampling underfoot all of the loyal relational investment you’ve made together. Building relational capital can take years. Yet, that capital can be drained in a moment.
Sorrow’s Bitter Sting
Being sinned against is personal and hurtful. It is a bitter sting. We experience such sting at the hand of others as sinners ourselves. Herein lies one of the many differences between us and Jesus, the man of sorrows described in Isaiah 53:3. Jesus experiences the betrayal of sin as One who has never sinned Himself. He also experiences the betrayal of sin as One who is perfectly perfect. Here’s a mind-blowing reality to consider: Jesus is both a man of sorrows and the friend of sinners. He bears both monikers. Stop and consider that! Jesus takes on the brokenness, grief, and pain of sin that is committed against Him, but not His own. By the same token, He approaches those broken, grieved, and pained by sin with grace and mercy.
Consider the treasonous hearts of humanity. O’ how deep the betrayal of our sin against our Creator. To associate words and phrases like despised, rejected, man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, and ‘we esteemed him not’ with the Savior is nothing short of describing treasonous betrayal.
Sorrow’s Bitter Betrayal
It was us! This is what we brought upon the Savior. This is what He had to endure in order to rescue us sinners from ourselves. The Lord of glory held in contempt by humanity; forsaken by men. He bore the inner pains of that forsakenness. Jesus became a close associate with what is otherwise incurable human sin-sickness.
He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.John 1:10-11
The Son of God, who is glorious and full of splendor, made Himself of no account. He veiled His glory in lowly humanity. The King of heaven was not rich in this world. He lived in no castles or palaces. No nations bowed before Him in esteem. There was no recognition of Him by His own people. They rejected Him. He did not enjoy the favor of man, but gave Himself over to humiliating death on a cross. The God of glory became the man of sorrows. The blessed and only potentate became full of grief and sorrow.
Jesus became what we are in our natural state in order that we could become like Him in His righteousness.
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.II Corinthians 5:21
Jesus met our incredulous betrayal with His amazing love and grace. Did He do this because we were somehow worthy of it? No! The love of God moved Him. The pleasure of His Father pressed in upon Him. He sought after a seed for His name’s sake. He did it for the glory of His Father and His Father has, in turn, exalted Him.
As a result, we are now the joyful and blessed recipients of a grace that is hard to comprehend. Rejoice today if you are in the Lord and the Lord is in you! Blessed are you when men hate you and persecute you on account of Him. We should not expect to enjoy the accolades of man while our Savior is despised.
We have withheld our esteem from Him long enough. Now we give Him glory by living for Him and following Him on dusty trails of trials and tears. These trails are only for what will one day seem like the briefest of moments. So then, we count not this life dear unto ourselves. Let us press forward for the prize that is set before us. When we see Him we will be glorified. Our faith will be thrown off and our vision will be gloriously perfect. Keep going!
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