He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
Have you ever been wrongly accused? Have you ever been mocked, harshly insulted, despised, or ridiculed? Perhaps you’ve been the recipient of violent hatred? Maybe you’ve been rejected by your own people or betrayed by a close friend? Has a parent you love dearly ever turned his or her back on you completely? Have you ever been physically abused and beaten?
If your answer is yes to any of these questions then you, in a small way, can identify with the mental anguish and physical pain experienced by Jesus in the days leading up to His crucifixion. His response to all of the preceding questions would be a resounding “yes.”
In yesterday’s message, Jesus Paid It All, I talked about the significance of Jesus’ sinless life. He was good, godly, righteous, and spotless in regard to offence against God. Yet He was treated as the worst among criminals.
God loves you this much. Jesus did not relent from His mission to save you.
Jesus had been given opportunities along the way to turn back from this ultimate horror. Even before He began His ministry, Satan offered Him a seemingly attractive alternative.(Lk 4:1-13) His disciples were willing to take up arms to protect Him(Mk 8:32-34) and even warned Him not to go back to Jerusalem. But Jesus did not relent from His mission because it had been ordered by God.
God loves you this much. Jesus lived a perfect left and paid the ultimate sacrifice for you.
When we say that Jesus was a man without sin we should also recognize that to be sinless is to be completely faithful to God even in the most difficult circumstances. He was obedient even to the point of surrendering to the cruelty of the cross.
Jesus so anguished over the suffering that awaited Him, He prayed to the Father to provide another way. “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Lk 22:42) More important to Jesus than His own pain and suffering was perfect obedience to God.
God loves you this much. Jesus paid the penalty you deserve.
Jesus was determined to see God’s plan through. He was driven by love and devotion to the Father, but we also should remember He had you and me in mind. In today’s focus scripture we read, “he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows.” He carried the weight of our sin and guilt and paid the penalty we deserve.
When the scripture says Jesus was “stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted” we are reading a description of what we deserve for our sin. Jesus was stricken, smitten, and afflicted in our stead. All of what our Lord went through was for us. Every insult, all the grief, all the pain, and every drop of blood shed by Jesus were given on our behalf.
God loves you this much. Jesus loved you too much to quit.
Think for a moment of how you have sacrificed for those you love. There have been times when you have kept going and giving despite personal hardship. You endured pain, difficulty, and even denied yourself for their sake. Essentially what you were saying was, “I’m not going to turn back because I love them too much.” Jesus had a similar thought in mind as He carried out God’s plan for your redemption. He loved you too much to quit.
When my granddaughter was little, she used to express her love for me by extending her arms and saying, “Gandad, I love you this much.” As Jesus’ arms were stretched out on the cross we were given a picture of the loving arms of our Savior ready to receive us. It is an image that represents the greatest love that man has ever witnessed.
From the cross Jesus said, “It is finished.” In effect, with these words Jesus was saying, “I love you this much.”
“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.”
God loves you this much!
For more on this topic, check out this article: The Most Precious Words Ever Spoken
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 1 (January – March) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.