“He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” (Isaiah 53:3)
When we think about Jesus, we often focus on His supreme sacrifice to pay the price for our sins. And this is right. He came to willingly give His life in our place.
Or we think about His ability to do the miraculous – to do things that were humanly impossible. And this is good. We need to see Jesus as the incarnation of Almighty God.
Or maybe we think about His ability to teach – to bring heaven’s wisdom and truth down to earth. This is also a proper focus. For Jesus came to tell us about things of the King and about how to live in His wonderful Kingdom.
But we often miss something that is really at the heart of everything Jesus came to do. If we are not careful, we can miss the heart of Jesus behind everything He did.
In our verse for today, Isaiah prophesied that the coming Messiah would be “despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.”
What a strange thing to say! We must remember that this is a prophetic picture of the promised Messiah – the One Who would come and be the Savior, Redeemer, and Liberator of all mankind.
We would expect all the prophecies about Him to be full of pictures of power and majesty, and victory and relentless vigor to bring about His reign on the earth. We would expect words about a glorious conqueror – who overwhelms His foes with irresistible force. Someone exalted and heralded for His justice and equity. Someone whose power and passion make Him a warrior, deserving respect and admiration.
We would NOT expect Him to be described as One who was “despised and rejected by men.” Not this conqueror. Not this Messiah. Not this long-awaited fulfillment of a long-promised Savior.
Yet, these were the God-inspired words of the prophet. The coming Messiah would be despised. Rejected. Sorrowful. Aware of, and fully familiar with, grief.
But what we tend to forget is that Jesus came, not only as the fulfillment of Messianic promise, but also as the true revelation of the Most High God. He came as God… with us. And what we saw in Him is the exact expression of Who God really is (Heb. 1:3). He came to erase all the pictures of the past – so distorted by the frail understandings of mankind. He came to replace those pictures with a new one. An accurate one. An eternal one.
That for all of time, our view of God would have only one true picture. Jesus came as the “Word of God” to live among us (John 1:1-14).
The Word = the expression that communicates a clear understanding. He came to communicate Who God really is. He came to make it clear to us. Not just with words, but with actions.
To show us… this IS God. This is how we should relate to Him. This is how He desires to relate to us.
This week, I just wanted to draw our attention to Jesus – the incomparable Messiah Who came to give us all that we need, in every way possible…