Jesus Tasted Our Sorrows

Week 5 Day 4

John 11:35
Jesus wept.

Matthew 14:13-14
13 Now when Jesus heard this, He withdrew from there In a boat to a desolate place by himself.  But when the crowds heard it, they followed Him on foot from the towns. 14 When He went ashore he say a great crowd, and He had compassion on them and healed their sick.
It is a very moving thing to read the gospel accounts of Jesus’ life here on earth and to see glimpses of His humanity that are so relatable. He wept. He mourned. He clearly knew and experienced the absolute darkest depths of sorrow and pain that accompany the sting of death.  

In the Scripture above from John 11, Jesus already knew Lazarus had died, but as He arrived at the village where Mary and Martha lived and saw their pain and sense of loss, He fully shared in that.T he Scripture says “He was deeply moved in His spirit and greatly troubled” (John 11:33).  Even though He would soon raise Lazarus back to life, Jesus was moved to tears and joined His friends in sorrow and mourning.

In the second passage above from Matthew, Jesus had just been told the news that John the Baptist had been beheaded while in prison. His desire to withdraw alone “to a desolate place” is certainly something that anyone who has mourned the death of a loved one or close friend can identify with. What a beautiful thing it is though, to see that Jesus still had compassion and empathy for the crowd that followed Him, and He ministered to them even in His own time of grief.

Then we think of the picture of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane knowing He was only hours away from His own agonizing death. As He prayed for the cup to be removed from Him but submitted His desire to the will of the Father, the Bible tells us that He Himself said “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death” (Mark 14:34) and that “His sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground” (Luke 22:44).  Although Jesus was fully God and held all power over death and the grave, He was also fully human and bore excruciating pain and heaviness that is true of our earthly experience – and certainly to an even greater degree. What an amazing truth it is that Jesus is not only a victorious Savior, but also an empathetic and compassionate Savior!

Isaiah 53:3 says “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.”  The old hymn “Hallelujah, What a Savior” says it so powerfully.

“Man of Sorrows” what a name
For the Son of God who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim
Hallelujah!  What a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood;
Hallelujah!  What a Savior!

Lifted up was He to die,
“It is finished!” was His cry;
Now in heaven exalted high;
Hallelujah!  What a Savior!

Reflection and Prayer

Are you at times tempted to think that your pain, sorrow, or grief is not fully understood by God, or that He is distant from it? How do today’s readings help you to know the empathy and love of Jesus?

Lord Jesus, it is humbling and comforting to realize that You know all the pain, weight, and grief that I will ever deal with and that You are full of love and compassion.  Thank You for being a “man of sorrows” – for bearing my burdens, my shame, my sin – and for winning the ultimate victory over death. May my life give You all the praise and glory You are due today. Hallelujah, what a Savior You are!

Faith Bible Staff