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. Isaiah 53:3-4
Isaiah’s prophecy of the suffering servant of God came true in every detail when God Himself put on flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:1-14). He came into a world which long ago rejected Him and rebelled against His sovereignty, love and gracious hand. A world fractured and in fearful darkness; yet, a world He came into to save. I don’t pretend to know why God chose for Jesus to come as He did, or to experience the suffering that He did, but on a very real level I am glad He did it. In His suffering, he showed us undeniable love and He showed us what unwavering faith looks like. That is a friend and a confidant that we can look to not only because of His position, or even His power, but because of His experience.
When we meet struggles and hardships in life, we naturally seek out those we feel have been through what we are facing. We suppose that they might be able to offer us some level of advice predicated on their experience. The Hebrew writer suggests that this is true of our Savior. That just as we might seek out someone who went through tough financial times and made it through, when we ourselves our struggling with the same, we can trust that Jesus is such a confidant when we face trials and temptations. The Hebrew writer puts it this way, “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.”(Hebrews 4:15). We are not alone through our difficult days, we have a High Priest to whom we can rely, to whom we can pray, to whom we can seek counsel.
The Suffering Servant of God as embodied by the very Son of God goes beyond being someone to whom we can trust to relate to us. He takes the very definition of life not being fair, and marched it up to a hill in which he gave His life, falsely accused for a bunch of rebellious sinners spitting and cursing His very existence. He didn’t do it to reaffirm our contention that life is not fair, He did it to teach us that faith, love and life on God is greater than any injustice we might receive in this temporal life.
Ah yes, we have a Savior who can relate, but a Savior who calls us to see outside of this temporal place to a life more abundant in the living God!