Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Were You There"1 (Lyrics)
Isaiah 53:3a,4a – He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried. (NASB)
In late January of this year, I had total knee replacement surgery. The recovery is slow but consistent, although it's painful. I often find it hard to sleep at night, and I spend hours awake "in the watches of the night".
As I have been thinking and praying, I have been considering the pain that our Lord Jesus bore for us. My caregiver, herself a successful veteran of joint replacement surgery, can empathize with the discomfort of recovery. Yet, my Lord Jesus is ever present, empathizing with me, especially in the night hours, a Brother who knew pain and bears it with me.
In the chapter that today's passage is taken from, Isaiah spoke of a weakened and suffering Messiah, but we know how God's mighty power and strength was revealed in the midst of His suffering, in the victory of Easter Sunday. Jesus is so closely experienced with sorrow and grief that He is called a Man of Sorrows. However, Jesus didn't feel sorrow or pity for Himself, but for others — for impoverished, down-trodden and hurting humanity.
All the pinches, stiffness, and aching that I feel are known to Him. When Jesus took our pain upon Himself, those griefs and sorrows became His own. He takes them on His shoulders and carries them, so we don't have to. In the watches of the night, my Brother Jesus is beside me, bearing the heavy load.
How many people there are who still tote about the griefs and sorrows that Jesus is ready to carry for them! He will take the load from us, but we must release them, let them go.
Prayer: Man of Sorrows, what a name for the Son of God who came ruined sinners to reclaim! Hallelujah! What a Saviour! Bearing shame and scoffing rude, in my place condemned He stood; sealed my pardon with His blood; Hallelujah! What a Saviour! Amen.