April 13


"He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering" (Isaiah 53:3, NIV).

Who could possibly contemplate this touching portrayal of the Man of Sorrows and not be profoundly moved by its pain and pathos? It is almost incomprehensible that the Lord of glory would exchange the highest of heavenly honors for the lowest state of earthly humiliation. The incarnate Christ became vulnerable to all the suffering and disappointments of the human race.

In His matchless love, Christ identified with human suffering at its worst. As the Man of Sorrows, He became familiar with grief in its severest form; He encountered pain in its most excruciating degree and suffered humiliation on its lowest level in order to redeem the fallen race. The Man of Sorrows suffered cruel rejection; He suffered the agonizing sorrow of cowardly betrayal and the grief of public denial by three of His inner circle (see Matthew 26:56). He suffered the pain of loneliness and abandonment in His crisis hour (see Matthew 26:38).

Finally, the Man of Sorrows suffered the heart-rending pain of dying on a cross for a world that did not love Him. He suffered, bled, and died alone. But there's good news! Out of the dark night of sorrow and pain came the glorious sunrise of redemption. Here is a new portrait of the Man of Sorrows: "He is no longer a Man of Sorrows, despised and humiliated by men. He is clothed in a garment of heavenly brightness... His countenance shines as the sun. In His hand are seven stars, and out of His mouth issues a sharp two-edged sword, an emblem of the power of His word."--Acts of the Apostles, p. 582.

My Prayer Today: Lord, You became the Man of Sorrows that I might have true happiness. For this I am eternally grateful. Amen.