Man of Sorrows, Carry Our Griefs

Reading Isaiah 53 on Good Friday

By Anika Smith Published on April 14, 2017

There are years when Easter seems impossible. When death and darkness feel like they’re going to win. When we weep with the women at the cross. When we long for the ground that shakes with His death to open up and swallow us whole.

What are we to do when Good Friday hits and the weight of heartbreak is as raw as an open wound ripped from the back of God Himself?

We are often told to meditate on the burden of guilt and sin that was laid on Jesus when He became the sacrificial Lamb. This is totally right and appropriate for Good Friday. Our guilt is easy enough to find, and see:

Ye who think of sin but lightly
Nor suppose the evil great
Here may view its nature rightly
Here its guilt may estimate

But if your heart quails today, look to the grief and sorrow Jesus took on, as surely as He bore our guilt and shame.

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows

Isaiah tells us that Jesus was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” The God whose everlasting joy created the cosmos emptied Himself and became like us, limited and small. He bound Himself to our fate and, like you, became vulnerable to sickness, suffering and death.

And never once did He despise you your weakness. Jesus was no stoic: He cried without shame and mourned at the deaths of His friends. See Him weeping at the tomb of Lazarus — Jesus, who knows that He’s going to bring him back to life that very day! Look at Jesus, who washed the feet, shared the bread, and finally let Himself be kissed as a friend by a known traitor. Look at Jesus, who knew what it was to be despised and rejected, abandoned and utterly alone.

It wasn’t only the wrong things that you’ve done that He took for you. It was also your grief, every time something went terribly wrong, every abuse and betrayal.

He took on your dark night of the soul when the noonday turned as black as night, and in that moment, the veil between you and God was torn. He knows it all. He sees your pain. And by His stripes, you are healed.

In Jesus we see God’s heart breaking open, and from the open wounds in the Savior’s back the life blood pours out. These ugly gouges in the flesh of God were made by us, and caused by us. He bore them as He shielded us with his body from the whip.

Dear friend, if you are ever afraid of your pain or overwhelmed by your heartache, look to Christ. His tears were not only for the sin of the world. They were also for the confusion and anguish you feel today.

Though great our sins and sore our woes
His grace much more aboundeth
His helping love no limit knows
Our utmost need it soundeth
Our shepherd good and true is he
Who will at last his Israel free
From all their sin and sorrow
From all their sin and sorrow

Holy Week at The Stream

For Palm Sunday: Deacon Keith Fournier’s Holy Week: Now It Begins, Now It All Begins
For Holy Week: Jennifer Hartline’s Has God Finally Met His Match?
For Holy Week: David Limbaugh’s Good News and the Gospels
For Maundy Thursday: David Mills’sWhy Jesus Washed the Apostles’ Feet, and Why We Do It Too
For Good Friday: Deacon Keith Fournier’s The Connection Between Good Friday and the Church
For Good Friday: John Zmirak’s Have a Bleak and Blessed Good Friday
For Good Friday:: Anika Smith’s Man of Sorrows, Carry Our Grief
For Holy Saturday: Liberty McArtor’s God’s Ongoing Story is Full of the Unexpected
For Easter day: Esther O’Reilly’s Not Without Witness: An Easter Reflection
For Easter day: David Mills’s Did Jesus Rise? The Extreme Apostle Says Yes, the More Extreme Atheist Says No

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