By: Carole L. Haines
However, it was our sicknesses that He Himself bore, and our pains that He carried; Yet we ourselves assumed that He had been afflicted, struck down by God, and humiliated.
1) But He was pierced for our offenses,
2) He was crushed for our wrongdoings;
3) The punishment for our well-being was laid upon Him,
4) And by His wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5)
We have observed the Sufferings of Christ as Rejected and despised, misunderstood and misrepresented. We have also seen that He knew what it was like to be unattractive, not one of the beautiful people, an outcast, considered an oddball or weirdo. These all hurt deeply, Jesus Christ suffered these maladies of mankind more than anyone else. He sympathizes with our weaknesses and has compassion and mercy when we are mistreated. He really does get it!
He bore our sorrows and sicknesses, both of mind and body. He carried our pains, bodily, emotionally and those of the mind. We discovered that these pains include disorders like anxiety (see yesterday’s reflection.) Today we will focus on what people considered His suffering to be.
“Yet we ourselves assumed that He had been afflicted,
Struck down by God, and humiliated.” (Isaiah 53:4b)
This suffering of Christ really hits home for me. Have you ever been gossiped about, lied about, slandered? Jesus has, and I have often. It really hurts, and we are helpless to defend ourselves. It seems the more we try to prove it’s not true, the more people spread the lies. This was done to Jesus countless times. It says in the above verse that we ASSUMED He had been afflicted and struck down by God. We ourselves assumed God was humiliating Jesus, but Jesus laid down His life willingly (John 10:18). Have you ever been slandered like that? I have been, in print, during a review of my writing, behind my back, in person; to my face. OUCH!
Jesus has taught me the importance of having to die to the approval of others. He Himself did not entrust Himself to any man.
“But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, because He knew all people, and because He did not need anyone to testify about mankind, for He Himself knew what was in mankind.” (John 2:24-25)
This is one of the core lessons of growing in Christ. We must not heed the opinions of man. I can’t tell you how many years were wasted in trying to gain man’s approval, the approval of Christian Leaders. Overcoming this stronghold, known as the Fear of Man, is crucial in our walks with Christ. Jesus is our example on how to overcome this stronghold. Let’s meditate and learn from what He taught us:
“While being abusively insulted, He did not insult in return; while suffering, He did not threaten, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously.” 2 Peter 2:23)
Jesus, we have misunderstood Your work in our lives so often. It hurts to be pruned and polished, cut down, and rebuilt. It hurts to be lied about and misunderstood. But Jesus, You are faithful to Your Father, and we must learn to shake off the opinions of man and not desire the approval of others. We must look to The Father, to You, and to the Holy Spirit for our guidance and leave all else behind. Please draw near to us as we draw near to You in this Holy Week. Make us more like You and thank You for showing us the way in which we should walk. Amen!