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December 10 – A man of sorrows

“He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” – Isaiah 53:3 

Scripture reading: Isaiah 53:1-12

Jesus was despised by men. He would experience painful rejection in His hometown. The congregation in Nazareth became furious when Jesus told them that He was the promised Messiah and that God was sovereign in showing mercy to whomever He willed. Jesus mentioned God’s sovereignty in showing mercy to a Gentile widow in Sidon during the ministry of Elijah the prophet. He also mentioned how God only chose to show mercy to one leper during the ministry of Elisha the prophet, and the healed leper was a Syrian (Naaman). Dr. Luke records how the people in Nazareth rejected Jesus: “And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff” (Luke 4:29).

Jesus was a man of sorrows, as if sorrows were part of His nature. He was not just sorrowful, but the king of those who sorrow. He had a double portion of grief. The cup that He drank was bitter. His baptism was deeper than any baptism that His disciples would experience. The word “sorrows” is in the plural. Jesus had numerous sorrows.

The crowning sorrow of Jesus’ life was His cross. In the Garden of Gethsemane, we are told that Jesus was “exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death.” He suffered all His life long, with increasing vehemence. His greatest grief came as He hung on the cross and was forsaken by God the Father.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that you would appreciate Christ as a Man of sorrows. Thank God that you do not need to suffer the sorrows of Hell or have the grief of being forsaken by God the Father. Thank the Lord Jesus for suffering such grief on your behalf.

Rev. Nathan Brummel is Professor of Systematic Theology and New Testament at Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary, and an associate pastor at Immanuel United Reformed Church in DeMotte, Indiana. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.

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