He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
Ted Turner, founder of Cable News Network, spoke in Orlando, Florida, a few years back and told a very moving story. Turner mentioned that he was raised in a God-fearing family and had a sister who was ill. Her illness progressed; she became critical.
He prayed desperately for the Lord to spare her life and make her well. But she died. Then Turner told the audience that from that point on he knew, even as a kid, there was no God. What kind of loving God would have allowed his sister to suffer and die? Since that experience, he said, he has depended upon himself, not on an unfeeling, phantom-being that does not exist.
It’s sad that Turner’s perspective on God became skewed. Isaiah gives us a much different insight. The prophet does not say that God removes our sorrows; instead He sent someone to bear them with us–the Lord Jesus.
He is acquainted with our griefs because He experiences them along with us. For reasons beyond our comprehension, God chose to link His happiness to ours. When we hurt, He hurts.
What a great blessing this is! The writer of Hebrews says, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:15-16).
How can you be sure you will find mercy and grace? Because God experiences your pain right along with you. He understands how you feel. So come boldly, not with the expectations that God will always remove your pain, but with the assurance that He will bear it with you.
THE SORROW AND GRIEF THAT CHRIST BORE WERE NOT HIS BUT YOURS.