He was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering.
- Lincoln: he lost children, was hated, shot at, and assassinated.
- Luther: was excommunicated and pronounced an outlaw.
- Copernicus: rejected as a heretic for his heliocentric solar system.
- Paul: scourged, jailed, beaten, stoned, and shipwrecked.
All true, but no, it wasn’t one of them. Some other clues:
Like one from whom men hide their faces.
Stricken and afflicted by God.
Crushed for our iniquities.
Oppressed, judged, and cut off.
Poured out and pierced.
It was Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, the Savior of the world.
And The Cross?
Yes, Jesus died on the cross. However, he wasn’t the only one to experience crucifixion. Hundreds of thousands died on Roman crosses. Some for their crimes, for their race, or for their beliefs. Many were crucified as entertainment for wicked Emperors.
No, it wasn’t the thorns, spikes, or spear that gave the cruelest pain, it was other things:
taking the sins of the world
accepting our guilt and punishment
scorning the shame of the cross
being forsaken by his Father
Now Hebrews 5:7-8
“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered.”
Jesus suffered and wept. He wept for others and he wept for himself. He prayed with loud cries and petitions. One time he prayed so intensely, that on a cold night, his sweat fell like drops of blood. Notice, he was heard but the answer was still no.
There are some things in life we just have to go through.
Are you hurting? Are you struggling? Are you feeling abandoned, oppressed, and discouraged? Then guess what? Jesus understands. He experienced all those and more, just as we have. He probably suffered more, and more deeply, and more intensely.
But he knows. He lived them.