SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
(Isaiah 53:3) …A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief…
When we see Jesus in the Bible He almost always has people around Him. We see the twelve disciples. And out of that group we see a micro-unit of Peter, James and John. Then there is the seventy that followed Him. There were always the masses as well as the individual encounters. But there are two acquaintances of Jesus that were always there but you never really see. Their names? Sorrow and Grief.
Seven hundred years before the Messiah came to earth it was predicted by Isaiah that He would suffer and die for the sins of mankind. Throughout His life He would have frequent sorrow and be familiar with grief. That’s why the Jews missed Him the first time. They overlooked prophecies like this of His first coming and just concentrated on the victorious second parousia and the establishment of His eternal kingdom and His victory over all foes.
There is a tendency in us all to want a cushy life with the least amount of stress and problems as possible. It is a big drive for us who were raised in an affluent society like America and in the Western culture. We work so hard to build up our comfort zone so that we will avoid difficulties. All the while the Bible teaches the reality that we will have tribulation in this life that will build our character and teach us lessons of faith (Rom 5:3-4; John 16:33; Psa 34:19).
Jesus had a lot of sorrow and grief in His earthly life. He was of humble birth and parentage. Herod saw Him as a threat and sought to slay Him. He was a poor carpenter in a humble town. During His ministry He had nowhere to lay His head. He was misunderstood by the religious and educated. He was overlooked by the powers of government. The fickle crowd cried for his crucifixion. The group at the cross mocked Him. A thief next to Him taunted Him. His pierced and lifeless body was interred in a borrowed grave.
The Bible says we too will become acquainted with these two friends of Jesus. (Phil 3:10) that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death. But that doesn’t mean we have to be morose about it. These companions will lead us to the joy we have been looking for all along. (1 Pet 4:13) but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. Joy in this life and joy in the life to follow!
Will sorrow and grief be our friends forever? One day these pilgrim colleagues will break from our fellowship, to be seen no more. (Rev 21:4) And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Rejoice! And never count the friends of Jesus your enemies.