ACQUAINTED WITH GRIEF Andy Hollifield 7-20-18
Isaiah 55:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
“Grief” is defined as keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret. “Sorrow” has the same definition except misfortune, disappointment, sadness, and trouble are added. These meanings definitely are accurate to describe what our Lord must have been going through. Can you imagine living over 33 years knowing “the cup” (Matthew 26:42) that lay ahead of you. He was still 100 percent God while he was on this earth at the same time he was 100 percent man. It is kind of hard at times to put that all in perspective. If he was broken-hearted over Jerusalem’s refusal to hear the prophets and accept the gospel, how much more must he be broken-hearted over us turning a deaf ear? I am sure that it brings him considerable grief to see us reject his tender mercies.
I got kind of hung up on the two phrases in Isaiah 53. “Acquainted with grief” is one and “A man of sorrows” is the other one. This chapter is a beautiful picture of exactly what Jesus did for you and I. Verse 9 says in so many words that even though he was guilty of nothing, (10) “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief.” Verse 4 says “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.” His entire life on this earth, and even before, was spent in his infinite wisdom and knowledge, knowing the things he would suffer because of me yet he still thought I was worth it. Verse 5 says that for me violating God’s law, he was wounded and for my wickedness (iniquities) he was bruised and beaten. Verse 12 says that he was numbered with the transgressors. “He poured out his soul unto death.” Not having done anything wrong, he bore the sins of many and made intercession for those of us that were guilty. No wonder he was “A man of sorrows” and “Acquainted with grief” after all he suffered for me. Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” I think I wrote recently that “He feels our pain.” To take all that he took for me and I didn’t even esteem him and even for a time turned away from him.
I am thankful that the story doesn’t end there. Lamentations 3:32 says, “But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. (33) For he doth not willingly afflict nor grieve the children of men.” The “multitude of his mercies.” Not just a little mercy but a multitude of mercies. In this life we often face things that grieve us and we never get over them. Just a week ago would have been my first child’s 22nd birthday if we had not have lost it to miscarriage. It has been that long and still there is an ache and hurt that I live with because of that. There is always going to be the loss of loved ones if we live very long at all and that is always a time of grief. It is a time of “keen mental suffering or distress.” I have become “acquainted with grief” but as Hebrews 12:4 says, “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” I have never faced shedding blood because of my stand but only because of his “multitude of mercies.”
That grief he was acquainted with; it was ours. The sorrows were ours too. Also, when the sun went dark from the sixth hour to the ninth; I believe that was when his Father had to turn his back on his Son because of the sin that he bore. My sin, and when he cried “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Jesus, still being God, knew exactly why God had forsaken him. It was so that God would never have to forsake me. So that God could look at me and see the blood applied for the remission of my sins. Just another of his multitude of mercies.
We all get down sometimes and it seems like nothing can go right. When the world is beating you up and it seems that the devil is having a heyday with you, just stop and remember what all Jesus went through and all of the grief he was acquainted with and all the sorrows he bore and the rejection of his Father. He did it all to keep you and I from ever having to experience all of that ourselves. Even in our grief and sorrow, he still rains his mercies down upon us. He is still touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He is still acquainted with grief and a man of sorrows, but he also still has a multitude of mercies and I am sure he has just what you need. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!