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. (Isaiah 53:3)
Voice from the Church
“He is not only not desired, but he is despised and rejected, abandoned and abhorred, a reproach of men, an object, one that men were shy of keeping company with and had not any esteem for, a worm and no man. He was despised as a mean man, rejected as a bad man. … Men, who should have had so much reason as to understand things better, so much tenderness as not to trample upon a man in misery—men whom he came to seek and save rejected him.” (Matthew Henry, 1662-1714)*
Words like “despised,” “rejected,” “sorrows,” and “grief” are not words we normally associate with “the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy” (Isa. 57:15). And yet, these are the very terms the inspired prophet employed in describing what the Suffering Servant would experience and the kind of reception he would receive when he entered this world.
Sin both hardens and blinds us to the holiness and goodness of a gracious and merciful God. It has always been this way. Nevertheless, God took the chance! Knowing how his very own Son would be treated, knowing that he was “holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners” (Heb. 7:26) would be the object of unfathomable cruelty—the Father sent him, and the Son freely came. The Son must suffer; the redemption of man was at stake.
“Man of Sorrows,” what a name
For the Son of God who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim!
Hallelujah! What a Savior!
(Philip P. Bliss, 1838-1876)**
*Matthew Henry, A Commentary on the Whole Bible, Isaiah 53:3.
**From “Man of Sorrows, What a Name” by Philip P. Bliss
WellSpring: 365 devotional readings
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Ralph I. Tilley
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