He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. Like one from whom men hide their faces, He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.
tender plant;" who is the one "living root," while all others are the dry soil of a decrepit and degenerate humanity.
I. THIS REVEALS TO US WHAT THE HEBREW CHURCH WAS. Christ was the "touchstone" of that Church. Its conduct to him made manifest to what a condition they had come. Think of the contrast. Pharisaism was triumphant - Christ was despised. The outward, the formal, the ritual, was preferred before the holy, the inward, and the spiritual. Christ was "rejected." They had the first opportunity of welcoming the "Lord from heaven." "To the Jew first." How learned men may be in tradition! how well acquainted with the 'Mishna' and the 'Gemara,' and yet know ail of ancient revelation except its meaning! The great gates of prophecy open wide to lot the true King through; and then treat him as a Pretender, and crown him with thorns.
II. THIS REVEALS TO US WHAT CHRIST WAS ON THE HUMAN SIDE. "A Man of sorrows." Think of his exquisite moral sensitiveness in a world of sin. Think of his tender human sympathies in a world of sorrow. "Acquainted with grief." Not in one special form, but in all its spheres, that he might be a Brother born for adversity. Acquainted with it. So that he had daily fellowship with it; not passing through its transient experiences, but familiar with it as the companion of his life. - W.M.S.
I. CHRIST WAS AN OBJECT OF SCORN AND CONTEMPT.
I. IN WHAT RESPECTS IT MAY STILL BE SAID THAT CHRIST IS DESPISED AND REJECTED OF MEN.
He is despised and rejected of men.I. THE WISDOM AND GOODNESS OF GOD IN DETERMINING TO SEND HIS SON INTO THE WORLD IN A STATE OF POVERTY AND AFFLICTION.
1. With regard to His being a teacher, His sufferings set Him above the reach of suspicions. What ends could He have to serve by His doctrine, who met with nothing but misery and affliction, as the reward of His labour?
2. With regard to our Lord's being an example of holiness and obedience set before us for our instruction and imitation. His sufferings render the pattern perfect, and show His virtues in their truest lustre, and at the same time silence the pleas which laziness or self-love would otherwise have suggested.
3. With regard to His Divine mission. His sufferings were an evident token that the hand of God was with Him. He only can produce strength out of weakness, and knows how to confound the mighty things of the world by things which are of no account. Add to this the evidence of prophecy, which is so much the stronger by how much the weaker Christ was: so admirably has the wisdom of God displayed itself in this mystery of faith.
II. THE EVIDENCE OF PROPHECY CONCERNING THE MEAN APPEARANCE OUR LORD WAS TO MAKE.
III. THE HISTORICAL EVIDENCE WE HAVE FOR THE COMPLETION OF THESE PROPHECIES.
(T. Sherlock, D.D.)
1. Men may be said to despise Christ when they do not receive Him as their alone Saviour, the true and only way to the Father.
2. When they practically deny His authority by breaking His Commandments.
3. When they do not give Him the chief room in their hearts, nor prefer Him in their choice to everything else.
4. When they do not publicly, confess Him before men.
II. THE CAUSES OF THIS CONTEMPT.
1. The main cause is a secret unbelief.
2. Love of this would.
3. Ignorance of their own condition.
4. An opinion that they may obtain His aid at what time soever they shall choose to ask it.
III. THE MALIGNITY OF THIS SIN.
1. To despise and reject such a Saviour, is the blackest ingratitude that can possibly be imagined.
2. Your ingratitude is heightened by the most insolent contempt both of the wisdom and goodness of God.
3. By despising and rejecting Christ, you openly proclaim war against the Most High, and bid Him defiance.
1. He was despised as an impostor.
2. Despised in His teachings.
3. In his work.
4. In His claims to a righteous judgment at the national tribunal.
II. NOT ONLY WAS JESUS AN OBJECT OF CONTEMPT AND SCORN BUT OF ABSOLUTE REJECTION. If the word had read "neglected," — deserted, coldly passed by — this would have revealed an indifference that would have covered His nation and age with reproach, and would have stood out a lasting monument of their base ingratitude. But here is a word conveying the idea of the most inveterate and active hatred. But why this active hostility to Christ?
I. HE WAS DESPISED AND REJECTED BY THE WORLDLY-MINDED (John 6). Following Christ for the sake of bread may lead to much enthusiastic and self-denying exertion. Here, the very meanest view of Christ is preferred to those lofty and spiritual truths by which He tried to allure and save their souls. In his presence, before His face, while listening to His voice, and with the splendour of the miracle before them — all are passed by for the bread. Is not this the essence of worldly-mindedness? Christianity is the religion of many, not for the sake of the Lord Himself, nor His gracious words, nor even His miracles, but for the bread, for reputation's sake, and social character and respectability.
II. HE WAS DESPISED AND REJECTED BY THE RATIONALIST (Matthew 13:54-57). It was in "His own country." There men thought they knew Him; His family had long dwelt there. Parents, brothers, sisters were all familiarly known — all, down to their very trade: "Is not this the carpenter?" The facts of the case, as the rationalist is so fond of saying, were all clearly apprehended, and stood forth in their true dimensions. "Whence hath this man this wisdom and these mighty works?" Is it real? is it not on the face of it absurd, this mere carpenter's son? This is the inmost spirit of rationalism. It rejects everything above the level of visible and tangible fact, everything that cannot be weighed and measured, everything spiritual in Scripture doctrine and supernatural in Scripture history.
III. HE IS DESPISED AND REJECTED BY THE ECCLESIASTIC (Matthew 21:15-23). The ecclesiastical temper is not found solely or chiefly amongst those who are ecclesiastics by profession. The religious spirit may be crushed — indeed, has often been; rigid and severe forms may take the place of the easy and graceful motions of vital Christianity. "This" is "the rejection of Christ in the freedom by which His Holy Spirit "distributes to every man severally as He will."
IV. HE IS DESPISED AND REJECTED BY MEN OF BRUTE FORCE (Luke 23:11). To some the tenderness of the Gospel religion is an offence. Humanity is a peculiarly Christian virtue, and meekness and resignation. The calm tranquillity of meditation, the tearful eye of compassion, the sublime courage of patience, the dating heroism of forgiveness, excite no sympathy or admiration in some breasts. Theirs is the rejection of Christ; through a false manliness.
V. CHRIST IS DESPISED AND REJECTED BY HIS OWN (John 1:11). Some, from a natural sweetness and amiability of disposition, seem in a certain degree adapted to be Christians. The restraining effects of home discipline and generous education have restrained them from open transgression. Yet their rejection of Christ as a Saviour from sin is often most decided and even disdainful. They think the charge of sin inappropriate, for they have no consciousness of it, and no felt need of a Saviour. The sinfulness of rejecting Christ is seen in its being a rejection of the Father (Luke 10:16). It is not possible to reject Christ, and be right with God.
(S. H. Tindall.)
1. Failure is inevitable. If I accept for myself an ideal which is beyond the limits of here and now, then manifestly it is impossible that I can here and now realize it. There must be always with me, so long as I am faithful to that ideal, a sense of incompleteness, a ceaseless aspiration, an effort that only the grave can close. He knows if he is faithful that he has before him an eternal career, that the end to which he is moving is likeness to Jesus Christ; that he has to pass into the unveiled presence of God and hold communion with Him. If that be the end, can it be otherwise than that, in the meanwhile, there should be failure, humiliation, penitence, and ceaseless and unwearied discipline of self?
2. Failure, in another aspect, is impossible. Only be sure that deep down at the root of life there is loyalty to God, and then begin where we are placed — in the effort to find Him He will fulfil the search. The miracle of the failure of Calvary is our assurance of that truth. It is this living for the Eternal, as a venture of faith, which has always appealed to the eternal God, which His own nature is pledged to meet. Do we stumble? It is only that we may realize His readiness to help. Are we bewildered? It is only in order that we may find how sure He guides. Are we humiliated by our confessions? It is only that we may realize the readiness of His pardon. Are we conscious and stricken with the sense of our weakness? It is only that we may find His strength perfected within us. If we have only taken sides with Him in the great issues of human life, then He will justify our choice.
(C. G. Lang.)
(C. G. Lang.)
I. GOD'S IDEAL FOR MAN, AND ITS REALIZATION IN CHRIST. The majority thought He would be another Solomon, David's greater son. The prophet saw that He would be a Sinless Sufferer; what it had been intended that the nation should be, that the Suffering Servant would be. The voice of God, which set forth the ideal by the lips of prophets, now speaks through our own highest desires.
II. THE WORLD'S RECEPTION OF THE REVEALED IDEAL. Pilate has brought Him forth that His suffering may excite their pity, but His pure and loving life has made them relentless in their hate. There is no beauty that they should desire Him. Barabbas, the bold and reckless, is the people's choice. While boon companions crowd round him, cold looks and scornful smiles are reserved for Christ. Christ had headed no revolt against the powers that be, and therefore He was not popular. Political emancipation is more popular than spiritual. The path of righteousness ends on Calvary; its crown is one of thorns, its throne a cross.
III. THE MEANING OF THE REVELATION OF THIS IDEAL. The world says, Blessed are the wealthy, the powerful, the great, and the wise. Christ says, Blessed are the poor in spirit, the pure in heart, the meek, the mourners, the persecuted. At first we pity Christ, and reserve our indignation for His persecutors. But He was the least pitiable of all that group. Pilate was a pitiable victim, the people were pitiable because carried away by passion, and the priests by desire for revenge. The greatness of apparent weakness is here revealed. Yet we despise weakness. Here is a dramatic representation of weighty decisions made every day in human hearts. When we choose ease and worldly glory in preference to holiness and self-denial, we despise and reject Christ. Here our choice is seen worked out to the bitter end. This is a revelation of the meaning of sin.
IV. THE EFFECT OF THIS REVELATION. The world can never forget that spiracle. In the dark ages, when the Bible was a hidden book, a representation of this scene was to be found in every church. Though obscured by superstition, the ideal was still held up, and was still moulding the minds and stimulating the holy endeavours of men. In an open Bible we have the ideal more truthfully set forth. The love there revealed has been the constraining motive which moved apostles to preach, martyrs to suffer, missionaries to forgo the joys of home, and humble men and women to labour in countless ways to advance the interests of Christ. His patience shames our murmuring: His burning love to us kindles our love to Him.
(R. C. Ford, M.A.)
(H. Allen, D.D.)
(H. Allon, D.D.)I. The first reason assigned for the rejection of the Messiah by the Jews was THE GRADUAL AND UNOSTENTATIOUS MANNER OF HIS MANIFESTATION. "He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground," etc. The general reference is, no doubt, to His parentage, and His manner of entering the world — so contrasted with the probable expectations of the Jews. Not like a cedar of Lebanon did the world s Messiah appear; not as a scion of a noble and wealthy house; not as the son of a Herod or a Caiaphas — but "as a "tender plant," as "a root, out of a dry ground." It is a repetition of the figure in the eleventh chapter, "There shall come forth a Shoot out of the stem of Jesse; and a Scion shall spring forth from his roots." Just as the descendants of the Plantagenets are to be found amongst our English peasantry, the glory of the family had departed. Nothing could be farther from the thought of the carnal Jews than that Messiah the Prince should be a scion of such a forgotten house. How wonderful in its obscurity and helplessness was His childhood; not hastening towards His manifestation, not hastening even towards His ministry to the perishing, but waiting until "the fulness of time was come;" growing into the child, the youth, the man; for more than thirty years giving scarcely a sign that He was other than an ordinary son of humanity; at first helplessly dependent upon His parents for support and direction, then obediently "subject to them," fulfilling all the conditions and duties of childhood, a child with children as well as a man with men; then a youth labouring as an artisan, fulfilling His great mission to the world in a carpenter's shop. And then fulfilling His ministry, not amongst the rich, but amongst the poor; not in acts of rule and conquest, but in deeds of beneficence and words of spiritual life; and consummating it by a death on a cross.
II. The second reason for the rejection of the Messiah by the Jews, which the prophet assigns, is HIS UNATTRACTIVE APPEARANCE WHEN MANIFESTED. This he puts both negatively and positively.
1. Negatively, He was destitute of all attractions; He had "no form nor comeliness;" He was without "beauty" to make men "desire Him".
2. But there were positive repulsions; everything to offend men who had such prepossessions as they had. A Messiah in the guise of a peasant babe — the Divine in the form of a servant and a sufferer. Chiefly, however, we are arrested by the phrase, which, because of its touching beauty, has almost become one of the personal designations of the Messiah — "A Man of sorrows" — literally, a Man of sufferings, or of many sufferings — One who possesses sufferings as other men possess intelligence, or physical faculty — One who was "acquainted with grief," not in the casual, transient way in which most men are, but with an intimacy as of companionship; the utmost bodily and mental sorrow was endured by Him. The emphasis of the description lies not in the fact that one who came to be a Prophet and Reformer was subjected to martyr treatment, for such men have ever been rejected and persecuted by the ignorance, envy and madness of their generation. It is that He who was the Creator and Lord of all things should have submitted to this condition, borne this obloquy, endured this suffering; that the Lord of life and blessedness should appear in our world, not only as a Man, but as so suffering a Man, as that He should be known amongst other suffering men as pre-eminently "a Man of sorrows" — a Man whose sorrows were greater than other men's sorrows. Now, we cannot think that this designation is given to Him merely because of the bodily sufferings, or social provocations, that were inflicted upon Him. We shall touch but very distantly the true heart of the Redeemer's sorrows, if we limit the cause of them to the mere stubbornness of His generation, or to the mere physical agonies of His death. It is doing no wrong to the pre-eminence of the Saviour's agonies to say, that many teachers of truth have been opposed and persecuted more than He was, and that many martyrs have endured deaths of more terrible physical agony. If this were all, we should be compelled, I think, to admit that the prophetic description is somewhat exaggerated. How, then, is it to be accounted for? Only by the fact of His having also endured transcendent inward sorrow; sorrow of mind, sorrow of heart, of which ordinary men have no experience; only by His own strange expression in His agony, when no human hand touched Him — "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death." Then comes the mystery of such a pure and perfect soul experiencing such a sorrow. If He were only a prophet and martyr for the truth of God, why, as distinguished from all other prophets and martyrs, should He have endured so much inward anguish? Here we touch the great mystery of atonement, and we are bold to say that this alone interprets Christ's peculiar sorrow.
(H. Allon, D.D.)1. Great things may be found in very lowly forms. We judge of things by material magnitudes; the spiritual God judges them by moral qualities. The great forces that have ruled the world have mostly been born in lowly places; they have been moulded to greatness in the school of necessity; trained to greatness in the school of endurance. He who has not to endure can never be great. Let us cultivate the spiritual eye, that can recognize spiritual qualities, everywhere, and neither in others nor in "ourselves disparage" the day of small things, the germs of virtue and strength; for we know not what they may achieve. The acorn becomes an oak; the "solitary monk shakes the world;" the Babe of Bethlehem becomes the Christ of Christianity. Your solitary scholar may be the nucleus of a great system of education; your solitary convert may evangelize a nation (Matthew 13:31-32).
2. The power of Divine patience. God waits, even in His great redeeming purpose, until "the fulness of time is come," and then until the "tender plant grows up before Him." We, in our impatience, wish to do all things at once, to convert the world in a day. Our zeal becomes fanaticism the more difficult to check because it takes so holy a form.
(H. Allon, D.D.)
1. His sorrowful face.
2. His serious manner.
3. His spiritual teaching.
4. His consecration to His Father's business.
5. His single walk with God, His habits of retirement and prayer.Men hate and reject Christ for these characteristics. The world's spirit and all worldly religion resent these aspects of spiritual life.
(G. F, Pentecost, D. D.)
A man of sorrowsI. THE DAILY CONTACT OF HIS PURE AND PIOUS SOUL WITH SINFUL AND SINNING MEN. And who may conceive the constancy and intensity of the anguish that would spring from this? There would be the sense of human relationship to a race that had sinned and fallen; they were men, and He was a Man too: "He likewise took part of the same;" they were His proper brothers; He was allied in blood to men so guilty and degraded. It was as if a vicious brother, a prodigal son, were guilty of nameless and constant crime. The sense of men's guilt, degradation, misery, ingratitude, would bow down His pure soul with unspeakable sorrow and shame. Then there was His daily practical contact with acts and hearts of sin; the touch on every side, and wherever He felt humanity, of what was unloving and unholy; the sight of their hate to His loving Father; of their rebelliousness against His holy law; a sinfulness and unspiritualness that led them to reject and hate Him; to turn away with dislike and determination from His holy words and deeds. His great human love, His perfect human holiness, would wonderfully combine to wring His soul with anguish. The apostle intimates how great this sorrow was, when he says that "He endured the contradiction of sinners against Himself;" that He "resisted unto blood, striving against sin." And we can understand the mysterious agony of His soul in Gethsemane only by supposing that it was the sense of the world's guilt that lay upon it: that made His soul so exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. We have only to think of His pure nature; that He was "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners;" and to remember the men that He came into contact with; the world in which He lived; the treatment which His message of holiness and mercy received: to understand how sore the sorrow of His soul would be.
II. THE TEMPTATIONS OF THE DEVIL. He, the pure and perfect Son of the Father, was doomed to listen to polluting and hateful thoughts of distrust and sin: He who so loathed evil was plied with evil.
III. THE GREAT BUT INEXPLICABLE SORROW OF WHATEVER CONSTITUTED HIS ATONEMENT — of whatever is meant by its "pleasing the Father to bruise Him" — to "put Him to grief" — to "make His soul an offering for sin' — to "lay upon Him the iniquity of us all" — to "forsake Him" on His cross. These were the chief elements of His sorrow — a sorrow that has had no equal, and that, in many of its ingredients, has had no likeness.
(H. Allon, D. D.)I. IT IS HERE PREDICTED THAT CHRIST SHOULD BE A MAN OF SORROWS, and acquainted with grief. This prediction was literally fulfilled. It has been supposed that His sufferings were rather apparent than real; or, at least, that His abundant consolations, and His knowledge of the happy consequences which would result from His death, rendered His sorrows comparatively light, and almost converted them to joys. But never was supposition more erroneous. His sufferings were incomparably greater than they appeared to be. No finite mind can conceive of their extent. His sufferings began with his birth, and ended but with His life.
1. It must have been exceedingly painful to such a person as Christ to live in a world like this.
2. Another circumstance which contributed to render our Saviour a Man of sorrows was the reception He met with from those He came to save.
3. Another circumstance that threw a shade of gloom over our Saviour s life was His clear view and constant anticipation of the dreadful agonies in which it was to terminate. He was not ignorant, as we happily are, of the miseries which were before Him. How deeply the prospect affected Him is evident from His own language: "I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!"
II. We have in this prophetic passage AN ACCOUNT OF OUR SAVIOUR'S CONDUCT UNDER THE PRESSURE OF THESE SORROWS. "He was oppressed," etc. "He was brought as a Lamb," etc. Never was language more descriptive of the most perfect meekness and patience; never was prediction more fully justified by the event than in the case before us. If His lips were opened, it was but to express the most perfect submission to His Father's will, and to breathe out prayers for His murderers. Christian, look at your Master, and learn how to suffer. Sinner, look at your Saviour, and learn to admire, to imitate, and to forgive. But why is this patient, innocent Sufferer thus afflicted? "He was wounded for our transgressions," etc.
III. Our text describes THE MANNER IN WHICH CHRIST WAS TREATED when He thus came as a Man of sorrows to atone for our sins. "Despised and rejected of men." "We hid, as it were, our faces," etc. He has long since ascended to heaven, and therefore cannot be the immediate object of men's attacks. But His Gospel and His servants are still in the world; and the manner in which they are treated is sufficient evidence that the feelings of the natural heart toward Christ are not materially different from those of the Jews. His servants are hated, ridiculed and despised, His Gospel is rejected, and His institutions slighted. Every man who voluntarily neglects to confess Christ before men, and to commemorate His dying love, must say, either that He does not choose to do it, or that he is not prepared to do it. If a man says, I do not choose to confess Christ, he certainly rejects Him.
(E. Payson, D. D.)I. THE LOT OF HUMANITY IN THIS WORLD. This is the portrait of the species — "A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief."
II. THE TREATMENT WHICH DEPRESSED HUMANITY COMMONLY EXPERIENCE: "We hid, as it were, our faces from Him."
(F. W. Robertson, M.A.)I. "A MAN." He who was God, and was in the beginning with God, was made flesh, and dwelt among us. Remembering that Jesus Christ is God, it behoves us to recollect that His manhood was none the less real and substantial It differed from our own humanity in the absence of sin, but in no other respect. This condescending participation in our nature brings the Lord Jesus very near to us in relationship. Inasmuch as He was man, though also God, He was, according to Hebrew law, our goel — our kinsman, next of kin. Now it was according to the law that if an inheritance had been lost, it was the right of the next kin to redeem it. Our Lord Jesus exercised His legal right, and seeing us sold into bondage and our inheritance taken from us, came forward to redeem both us and all our lost estate. Be thankful that you have not to go to God at the first, and as you are, but you are invited to come to Jesus Christ, and through Him to the Father. Then let me add, that every child of God ought also to be comforted by the fact that our Redeemer is one of our own race, seeing that He was made like unto His brethren that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest; and He was tempted in all points, like as we are, that He might be able to succour them that are tempted. The sympathy of Jesus is the next most precious thing to His sacrifice.
II. "A MAN OF SORROWS." The expression is intended to be very emphatic; it is not "a sorrowful man," but "a Man of sorrows," as if He were made up of sorrows, and they were constituent elements of His being. Some are men of pleasure, others men of wealth, but He was "a Man of sorrows." He and sorrow might have changed names. He who saw Him, saw sorrow, and he who would see sorrow, must look on Him. "Behold, and see," saith He, "if there was ever sorrow like unto My sorrow which was clone unto Me."
1. Our Lord is called the Man of sorrows for peculiarity, for this was His peculiar token and special mark. We might well call Him "a man of holiness;" for there was no fault in Him: or a man, of labours, for He did His Father's business earnestly; or "a man of eloquence," for never man spake like this man. We might right fittingly call Him "The man of love," for never was there greater love than glowed in His heart. Still, conspicuous as all these and many other excellencies were, yet had we gazed upon Christ and been asked afterwards what was the most striking peculiarity in Him, we should have said His sorrow. Tears were His insignia, and the Cross His escutcheon.
2. Is not the title of "Man of sorrows" given to our Lord by way of eminence? He was not only sorrowful, but pre-eminent among the sorrowful. All men have a burden to bear, but His was heaviest of all. The reason for this superior sorrow may be found in the fact that with His sorrow there was no admixture of sin. Side by side with His painful sensitiveness of the evil of sin, was His gracious tenderness towards the sorrows of others. Besides this our Saviour had a peculiar relationship to sin. He was not merely afflicted with the sight of it, and saddened by perceiving its effects on others, but sin was actually laid upon Him, and He was himself numbered with the transgressors.
3. The title of "Man of sorrows," was also given to our Lord to indicate the constancy of His afflictions. He changed His place of abode, but He always lodged with sorrow. Sorrow wove His swaddling bands, and sorrow spun His winding sheet.
4. He was also "a Man of sorrows," for the variety of His woes; He was a man not of sorrow only, but of "sorrows." As to His poverty. He knew the heart-rendings of bereavement. Perhaps the bitterest of His sorrows were those which were connected with His gracious work. He came as the Messiah sent of God, on an embassage of love, and men rejected His claims. Nor did they stay at cold rejection; they then proceeded to derision and ridicule. They charged Him with every crime which their malice could suggest. And all the while He was doing nothing but seeking their advantage in all ways, As He proceeded in His life His sorrows multiplied. He preached, and when men's hearts were hard, and they would not believe what He said, "He was grieved for the hardness of their hearts." His sorrow was not that men injured Him, but that they destroyed themselves; this it was, that pulled up the sluices of His soul, and made His eyes o'erflow with tears: "O Jerusalem! Jerusalem! how often would I have gathered thy children together," etc. But surely He found some solace with the few companions whom He had gathered around Him? He did; but for all that He must have found as much sorrow as solace in their company. They were dull scholars; they were miserable comforters for the Man of sorrows. The Saviour, from the very dignity of His nature, must suffer alone. The mountain-side, with Christ upon it, seems to me a suggestive symbol of His earthly life. His soul lived in vast solitudes, sublime and terrible, and there, amid a midnight of trouble, His spirit communed with the Father, no one being able to accompany Him into the dark glens and gloomy ravines of His unique experience. In the last, crowning sorrows of His life, there came upon Him the penal inflictions from God, the chastisement of our peace which was upon Him.
III. "ACQUAINTED WITH GRIEF."
1. With grief he had an intimate acquaintance. He did not know merely what it was in others, but it came home to Himself. We have read of grief, we have sympathized with grief, we have sometimes felt grief: but the.Lord felt it more intensely than other men in His innermost soul. He and grief were bosom friends.
2. It was a continuous acquaintance. He did not call at grief's house sometimes to take a tonic by the way, neither did He sip now and then of the wormwood and the gall, but the quassia cup was always His, and ashes were always mingled with His bread. Not only forty days in the wilderness did Jesus fast; the world was ever a wilderness to Him, and His life was one long Lent. I do not say that He was not, after all, a happy man, for down deep in His soul benevolence always supplied a living spring of joy to Him. There was a joy into which we are one day to enter — the "joy of our Lord" — the "joy set before Him" for which "He endured the Cross, despising the shame;" but that does not at all take away from the fact that His acquaintance with grief was continuous and intimate beyond that of any man who ever lived. It was indeed a growing acquaintance with grief, for each step took Him deeper down into the grim shades of sorrow.
3. It was a voluntary acquaintance for our sakes. He need never have known a grief at all, and at any moment He might have said to grief, farewell. But He remained to the end, out of love to us, griefs acquaintance.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)1. Jesus suffered from what may be called the ordinary privations of humanity. Born in a stable, etc. We may not be able to assert that none ever suffered so much physical agony as He, but this is at least probable; for the exquisiteness of His physical organism in all likelihood made Him much more sensitive than others to pain.
2. He suffered keenly from the pain of anticipating coming evil.
3. He suffered from the sense of being the cause of suffering to others. To persons of an unselfish disposition the keenest pang inflicted by their own weakness or misfortunes may sometimes be to see those whom they would like to make happy rendered miserable through connection with themselves. To the child Jesus how gruesome must have been the story of the babes of Bethlehem, whom the sword of Herod smote when it was seeking for Him! Or, if His mother spared Him this recital, He must at least have learned how she and Joseph had to flee with Him to Egypt to escape the jealousy of Herod. As His life drew near its close, this sense that connection with Himself might be fatal to His friends forced itself more and more upon His notice.
4. The element of shame was, all through, a large ingredient in His cup of suffering. To a sensitive mind there is nothing more intolerable; it is far harder to bear than bodily pain. But it assailed Jesus in nearly every form, pursuing Him all through His life. He was railed at for the humbleness of His birth. The high-born priests and the educated rabbis sneered at the carpenter's son who had never learned, and the wealthy Pharisees derided Him. He was again and again called a madman. Evidently this was what Pilate took Him for. The Roman soldiers adopted an attitude of savage banter towards Him all through His trial and crucifixion, treating Him as boys torment one who is weak in the mind. He heard Barabbas preferred to Himself by the voice of His fellow-countrymen, and He was crucified between thieves, as if He were the worst of the worst. A hail of mockery kept falling on Him in His dying hours. Thus had He who was conscious of irresistible strength to submit to be treated as the weakest of weaklings, and He who was the Wisdom of the Highest to submit to be used as if He were less than a man.
5. But to Jesus it was more painful still, being the Holy One of God, to be regarded and treated as the chief of sinners. To one who loves God and goodness there can be nothing so odious as to be suspected of hypocrisy and to know that he is believed to be perpetrating crimes at the opposite extreme from his public profession. Yet this was what Jesus was accused of. Possibly there was not a single human being, when He died, who believed that He was what He claimed to be.
6. If to the holy soul of Jesus it was painful to be believed to be guilty of sins which He had not committed, it must have been still more painful to feel that He was being thrust into sin itself. This attempt was olden made. Satan tried it in the wilderness, and although only this one temptation of his is detailed, he no doubt often returned to the attack. Wicked men tried it; they resorted to every device to cause Him to lose His temper (Luke 11:53, 54). Even friends, who did not understand the plan of His life, endeavoured to direct Him from the course prescribed to Him by the will of God — so much so that He had once to turn on one of them, as if he were temptation personified, with "Get thee behind Me, Satan."
7. While the proximity of sin awoke such loathing in His holy soul, and the touch of it was to Him like the touch of fire on delicate flesh, He was brought into the closest contact with it, and hence arose His deepest suffering. It pressed its loathsome presence on Him from a hundred quarters. He who could not bear to look on it saw it in its worst forms close to His very eyes. His own presence in the world brought it out; for goodness stirs up the evil lying at the bottom of wicked hearts. It was as if all the sin of the race were rushing upon Him, and Jesus felt it as if it were all His own.
(J. Stalker, D.D.)I. THE LANGUAGE DOES NOT DESCRIBE THE CASE OF ONE WHO ENCOUNTERED ONLY THE ORDINARY OR THE AVERAGE AMOUNT OF THE TRIALS WHICH BELONG TO HUMAN LIFE. There is implied in it a pre-eminence in sorrow, a peculiarly deep experience of grief.
II. OF ALL THE MANY GRIEFS OF THE DIVINE REDEEMER IN HIS HUMAN LIFE, THERE WAS NOT ONE WHICH HE HIMSELF EITHER NEEDED OR DESERVED TO BEAR. When the apostle tells us that He was made perfect through suffering, the meaning is that He was by this means made officially perfect as a Saviour, as the Captain of salvation, and the High-Priest of His redeemed, and not that He lacked any moral excellence, to acquire which suffering was needful. So again, when it is said that He learned obedience by the things which He suffered, the meaning obviously is, that by putting Himself in a state of humiliation, and in the condition of a servant under law, He came to know by experience what it was to render obedience to the law, and not at all that He was ever defective in the least, as to the spirit of obedience to the Father's will. As He had no need of any improvement of His virtues, He had no faults, no sins, which called for chastisement.
III. ALL THE SUFFERINGS OF THE LORD JESUS WERE ENDURED WITH UNWAVERING FORTITUDE.
IV. IN ALL THE GRIEFS AND SORROWS WHICH THE BLESSED SAVIOUR SUFFERED, HIS MIND WAS CHIEFLY OCCUPIED WITH THE GOOD RESULTS IN WHICH HIS SUFFERINGS WERE TO ISSUE. He deliberately entered on His singular career of humiliation and self-sacrifice for the good of man and the glory of God. Practical lessons:
1. If even the Son of God, when on earth, was a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, we certainly should not think it strange that days of trial are appointed unto us.
2. If our blessed Lord felt keenly what He suffered, and was even moved to tears, we need not reproach ourselves because we deeply feel our trials, and cannot but weep in the fulness of our grief.
3. If Christ was a willing sufferer, deliberately choosing to suffer for the good of others, we surely should consent to suffer for our own advantage.
4. If our blessed Lord and Saviour made less account of what He suffered than of the good results that were to follow, it is wise at least in us to do the same.
(Ray Palmer, D.D.)
I. THE FELT RELATION OF A LOVING BEING TO A RUINED RACE.
II. THE CRUSHING PRESSURE OF HIS MEDIATORIAL WORK.
III. HIS CERTAIN KNOWLEDGE THAT THE RESULT OF HIS MISSION WOULD NOT BE EQUAL TO THE BENEVOLENCE OF HIS WILL.
(Evan Lewis, B.A.)I. CONSIDER ITS RELATION TO MAN. There are facts which know no frontiers. In the inner life of thought and feeling such is sorrow. It is a universal language, it obliterates space, it annihilates time; it is the great leveller, it ignores rank, it stands head and shoulders above any dignity. Think again, it is too sacred to be only universal. It is also an intimate fact. None can comfort. There may be sweet help, deep and real sympathy, not comfort, no, for none can undo the tragic truth. Yes, there is One. One can come nearest to the feeling, mad, in our eternal life, in a sense He can undo. One, only One, has gathered up the representative experiences of all.
II. The thought gains precision when we remember that IT BEARS A WITNESS FOR GOD. Let Love meet death or trouble, and the result is sorrow. This noblest human sorrow so begotten is a witness to the Source of its being. Love, the love of the creature, is his highest endowment from the Love of God.
III. SORROW GAINS A CLEARER OUTLINE TO ITS FRAIL AND MISTY FORM AS SEEN IN ITS RELATION TO WHAT IS CALLED THE "SCHEME OF REDEMPTION;" seen, that is, in its place in the awakening and restoring of the human spirit, great though fallen. Sorrow here is a power. It takes varying tints.
1. At the darkest, it is a power of warning, of prophecy. It warns of a stern reality in this world — the dreadfulness of sin.
2. Better, it is a power to transfigure. Repentance is the one path to pardon, and it is a certain path. Whence comes true repentance? It comes from God's love seen in fairest, saddest image in "the Man of sorrows "
3. It is a power to purify. Sorrow sends you in on self. Godless sorrow would make self more selfish, working death; not so sorrow from the Cross of Christ. A life searched out, repented of, is a spirit purified.
(W. J. KnoxLittle, M.A.)I. THE MATTER, what He suffered.
II. THE MANNER, how He came to suffer.
III. THE REASONS and ends why, for our good. Here are three chief lessons for a Christian to learn: —
1. Patience and comfort.
3. In the end, love. All this was for you. What will you do for God again?
( T. Manton, D.D.)
1. What shall be the scene? Of course, the artist would naturally think of many scenes in our Lord's life more or less appropriate for such a representation. The painter seems to have recognized the great truth which we all must have proved to some extent, that man tastes deepest of sorrow in loneliness, that the cross which weighs heaviest on any shoulder is not the cross which the world can see, but which is borne out of sight, when the heart, and no one else save God, knoweth its own bitterness. Thus Sir Noel Paton has represented "The Man of Sorrows" as isolated from His fellows, far away from the habitations of men and shut out of the world. The whole picture is one of desolation. In its centre and foreground is represented "The Man of Sorrows sitting upon a jagged rock. And, oh, what sorrow is depicted there! Those large, full, liquid eyes brim over with tears; every expression of the countenance is charged with grief; the lips are wan, and a deep furrow crosses that young, manly brow. The swollen veins in the neck and temple, the powerful muscular action in the right hand, as with open fingers it rests heavily upon the rocks and in the left clenched tightly as it presses upon the thigh, and in the feet as they press the earth convulsively underneath — for the Man of Sorrows is represented with head uncovered and feet unsandalled — all these tell the story of an awful tension of a withering sorrow.
2. Closely and inseparably connected with the question of scene is that of the period in our Lord s life in which He can most appropriately be represented as the Man of sorrows. The artist chooses the eve of the Temptation, and thus selects the greatest transitional period of our Saviour's life — that beginning with the Baptism and closing with the Temptation. The time of day chosen is the twilight of morning. There is something in the twilight that is consistent not only with solemn, but also with sad thoughts and feelings.
3. What can account for the sorrow! You look to the picture in vain for the solution. The painting is a problem, an enigma. It is purposely so. The painter presents to us the great fact, not its explanation. He goes to Inspired Writ for that, and thus refers the perplexed spectator to the words of Isaiah as supplying the key to the whole painting: "He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows," etc. (vers. 4-6). These are the words which Sir Noel Paton adopts, and practically says, "There! that is what I mean." "We did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted." How shall this false estimate of Him be corrected? Look at the picture; that Man of sorrows looks up and holds communion with the skies; see the half-open mouth expressive of expectation, and those eyes so full of tears and yet so full of vision. Verily He is not alone — the Father is with Him; for from the heavens and from a source other than the sun there descends through a rift of the clouds a shaft of light that looks like the light of the Father's countenance, and rests upon the face of this Sorrowing One. This human countenance thus lit up by the light of the Divine countenance is the painter's sublime answer to the old-world estimate of the Man of sorrows. What need of any more!
(C. H. Parkhurst, D. D.)
(C. H. Parkhurst, D. D.)
(C. H. Parkhurst, D. D.)
(C. H. Parkhurst, D. D.)
(C. H. Parkhurst, D. D.)
(H. O. Mackey.)
We hid as it were our faces from Him
, Canon Cook., T.R. Birks.In the margin of your Bibles this passage is rendered, "He hid as it were His face from us." The literal translation of the Hebrew would be, "He was as a hiding of faces from Him," or "from us." Some critical readers think these words were intended to describe our Lord as having so humbled Himself, and brought Himself to such a deep degradation, that He was comparable to the leper who covered his face and cried, "Unclean, unclean," hiding himself from the gaze of men. Abhorred and despised by men, He was like one put aside because of His disease and shunned by all mankind. Others suppose the meaning to be that on account of our Lord s terrible and protracted sorrow His face wore an expression so painful and grievous that men could scarcely bear to look upon Him. They hid as it were their faces from Him — amazed at that brow all carved with lines of anxious thought, those cheeks all ploughed with furrows of deep care, those eyes all sunk in shades of sadness, that soul bowed down, exceeding sorrowful, even unto death! It may be so; we cannot tell. I have a plain, practical purpose to pursue. Here is an indictment to which we must all plead guilty.
I. Sometimes men hide their faces from Jesus IN COOL CONTEMPT OF HIM. How astounding! how revolting! He ought surely to be esteemed by all mankind.
1. Some show their opposition by attempting to ignore or to tarnish the dignity of His person.
2. Are there not others who affect great admiration for Jesus of Nazareth as an example of virtue and benevolence, who nevertheless reject His mediatorial work as our Redeemer? As a substitutionary sacrifice they do not and cannot esteem Him.
3. Then they will pour contempt upon, the various doctrines of His Gospel.
4. And with what pitiful disdain the Lord s people are slighted! Do I address anybody who has despised the Lord Jesus Christ? Your wantonness can offer no excuse but your ignorance. And as for your ignorance, it is without excuse.
II. A far more common way in which men hide their faces from Christ is BY THEIR HEEDLESSNESS, THEIR INDIFFERENCE, THEIR NEGLECT.
III. We hid as it were our faces from Him BY PREFERRING ANY OTHER MODE OF SALVATION TO SALVATION BY FAITH IN CHRIST.
IV. After we were quite sure that we could not be saved other than by the one Mediator, do you remember how we continued to hide our face from Jesus BY PERSISTENT UNBELIEF IN HIM.
V. But there are some of us who must plead guilty to another charge; we have hidden as it were our faces from Him since He has saved us, and since we have known His love, BY OUR SILLY SHAME AND OUR BASE COWARDICE.
VI. Many, if not all, of us who are believers will penitently confess that we have sometimes hidden our faces from Christ BY NOT WALKING IN CONSTANT FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM.
( C. H. Spurgeon.) "We hid as it were our faces from Him." Literally, "as one from whom there is hiding of face," as if shrinking from a horrible sight.
(Canon Cook.) The impersonal form refers to the men just named, or all those of note and influence. Their faces were averted from Him, as a lunatic, beside Himself, or one possessed, as a deceiver and a blasphemer.
LinksIsaiah 53:3 NIV
Isaiah 53:3 NLT
Isaiah 53:3 ESV
Isaiah 53:3 NASB
Isaiah 53:3 KJV
Isaiah 53:3 Bible Apps
Isaiah 53:3 Parallel
Isaiah 53:3 Biblia Paralela
Isaiah 53:3 Chinese Bible
Isaiah 53:3 French Bible
Isaiah 53:3 German Bible
Isaiah 53:3 Commentaries