Some times my job is heavy. People ask prayer for some very heavy situations. These come from all sides, within and outside of SIM: first Christmas without a loved one, children battling cancer, families battling addictions, “unanswered” prayer, persecution of family in Christ, severe civil unrest in Bolivia and other countries.
I know that these situations are God’s and I am to cast them to him, but I cannot cast them to Him without feeling their weight.
As our pastor was preaching through Isaiah 9 a couple of Sundays ago, this thought struck me. Not only is Jesus the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy in chapter 9 (Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace) but He is also the fulfillment of chapter 53 – Man of Sorrows and acquainted with our grief.
Jesus was a man acquainted with grief. Read that again. Think of that. Think of the times he wept or sighed. He is not aloof, standing at a distance from pain. He came to it. He was born into it.
He wasn’t born into royalty, but to poverty. His people rejected him. One in his close circle betrayed him with a kiss. That same close circle abandoned him when he was arrested, not to mention the abandonment he felt of His Heavenly Father when on the cross.
So when life is hard, when we grieve, in the hurt, Jesus knows it. He’s felt it.
The Message says it like this:
Now that we know what we have – Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God – let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all – all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
This Christmas may be a different kind of Christmas for you where grief is more tangible than joy. Commemorate the Man of Sorrows. Observe the One acquainted with grief. For when we recognize Jesus this way, we can see Him as our Prince of Peace.