Isaiah 53:3-5 ESV
“He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.”
The lyrics to this song are in my head right now:
Lean On Me
By Bill Withers
Sometimes in our lives
We all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow
Lean on me
When you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on…
Now this song was not intended to speak of Jesus Christ as our friend who we can lean upon when we have pain and when we have sorrow, but it was written about human beings leaning on one another. And yet, Jesus Christ is the best friend any Christian can ever have to lean upon during such times as this. For he gave his life up for us on that cross, and when he did, he not only took upon himself all our sins, but also all our griefs and our sorrows. For since he lived in a flesh body, he suffered as we suffer, so he knows pain and suffering, and he knows rejection, and he knows persecution.
So, there isn’t anything in this life that we are going through that Jesus cannot feel and that he has not experienced in some way or another in his life and in his death on that cross. And so he sympathizes with us in our griefs and in our sorrows. And he was tempted to sin, as we are tempted, too, so he knows what that feels like, as well. But he did not sin in all that he did. Yet, when he died on that cross, he became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. So when he died our sins died with him so that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness.
If we believe in Christ with God-given faith, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, no longer as slaves to sin, but as slaves to God and to his righteousness. Therefore, we are not to let sin reign in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions. For if sin is what we obey, it leads to death, not to life eternal. But if obedience to God is what we obey, then it leads to righteousness, and to sanctification, and its end is eternal life. For the wages of obedience to sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
For to this end did Jesus Christ give his life up for us on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to his righteousness, and that sin would no longer be our practice, but that righteousness and obedience to our Lord would now be our practice. And he has given us his Holy Spirit to live within us to teach us all things pertaining to Christ, and to encourage, comfort, guide, and direct us in the way that we should go, as well as to empower us to live godly and holy lives to the praise and glory of God. So, Jesus did not leave us to go it alone, but he provided a helper for us.
So, not only does Jesus sympathize with us in our weaknesses, and with our pain, and with our sorrows, and not only can he feel what we feel when we go through times of rejection and persecution and betrayal, but he also knows what it is like to be tempted of the devil, and he knows and he has made the way out for us from underneath that temptation, too. For through his death on that cross he delivered us from slavery to sin and he provided his Spirit for us to indwell us and to give us all we need to resist the devil and to flee temptation and to draw near to God, if we will take his way out.
So, whatever we are going through in this life, if we are being tempted of the devil to sin, or if he is hounding us in other ways, such as in using other humans to persecute us, and to do evil against us, and perhaps even to falsely accuse us of what we did not do, so as to ruin our reputations, and with the goal in mind to destroy our ministries – as he did with the prophets of old and with the New Testament apostles – then if we are following the Lord in obedience, the Lord is on our side, and he will be with us, and he will carry us through everything he allows us to go through in this life.
So, we can definitely lean on him for our support if we are following him in obedience, and if we are not walking in sin. Yet, he will help us out of sin if we call on him in truth, and if we truly want his help, and if we are not just playing games (mind games, tricks), i.e. if we are earnest. For that is why he died, to free us from our addiction to sin. So there is never any excuse for any true believer in Jesus Christ to still be walking in deliberate and habitual sin. Jesus already made the way of escape. We just have to take the way out he provided for us. But many do not, and they remain in their sins.
And with regard to suffering for the sake of righteousness, and for the sake of the name of Jesus and of his gospel, Jesus promised us that we will suffer, and that we will be persecuted and falsely accused, and that we will be hated and rejected as he was treated. He never promised us that following him would be easy. He said the narrow road is hard, and it is the broad road that many travel to destruction which is easy. So, if we are true servants of the Lord, we will be hated and persecuted and rejected. But it is worth it all, for if we are following the Lord, we are sharing with others the gospel.
[Matt 5:10-12; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-17; Jn 15:18-21]
But the gospel message we should be sharing is not the one that is presently permeating the church in America and that the majority are buying into. We should be teaching what Jesus taught, that if anyone would come after him, he must deny self, take up his cross daily (die daily to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For if sin is what we obey, it will end in death, not in life eternal. But if we die with Christ to sin and live to his righteousness, then we have the promise of eternal life with him. For if we are ashamed of him and of his Word, when he returns, he will be ashamed of us (he will deny us).
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
Give Them All to Jesus
Phil Johnson / Bob Benson Sr. 1975
He never said you’d only see sunshine.
He never said there’d be no rain.
He only promised a heart full of singing
About the very things that once brought pain.
Give them all to Jesus –
Shattered dreams, wounded hearts, and broken toys…
And He will turn your sorrows into joy.
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