August 25, 2019

The Man of Sorrows – and, King of Kings…

The Man of Sorrows – and, King of Kings…

The apostle John began his historical gospel account with the following – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:1-5) Over 700 years before Jesus was born, the prophet Isaiah described the suffering Servant who would one day come to earth – “He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised,and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53: 3-5)

 We learn from John’s account how Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled – “So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. Then they said, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ And they struck Him with their hands. Pilate then went out again and said to them,’Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him.’ Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, Behold the Man! ‘Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, ‘Crucify Him, crucify Him!’ Pilate said to them, ‘You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.’ The Jews answered him, ‘We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.’ Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, ‘Where are You from?’ But Jesus gave him no answer. Then Pilate said to Him, ‘Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?’ Jesus answered, ‘You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.’ From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, ‘If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.’ When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgement seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, ‘Behold your King!’ But they cried out, ‘Away with Him! Crucify Him!’ Pilate said to them, ‘Shall I crucify your King?’The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar!’” (John19: 1-15)

Jesus was also prophesied about throughout the Psalms; these Psalms are called Messianic Psalms. The following Psalms speak of the rejection of Jesus by both Jews and Gentiles: “My enemies speak evil of me:’when will he die, and his name perish?’” (Psalm 41: 5); “All day they twist my words; all their thoughts are against me for evil.”(Psalm 56: 5); “I have become a stranger to my brothers, and an alien to my mother’s children.” (Psalm 69: 8); “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.” (Psalm 118: 22-23) Matthew’s gospel account further illustrates the cruelty that Jesus was subjected to – “Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him. And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying’ Hail, King of the Jews!’ Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head.” (Matthew 27: 27-30)

Jesus’ sacrifice opened the way to eternal salvation for everyone who would come to Him in faith. Although the Jewish religious leaders rejected their King, Jesus continues to love His people. He will one day return as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Consider the following words of Isaiah – “’Listen, O coastlands, to Me, and take heed, you peoples from afar! The Lord has called Me from the womb; from the matrix of My mother He has made mention of My name. And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me, and made Me a polished shaft; in His quiver He has hidden Me.’…Thus says the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, their Holy One, to Him who man despises, to Him whom the nation abhors, to the Servant of rulers: Kings shall see and arise, Princes shall also worship, because of the Lord who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel: and He has chosen You.’…’Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible delivered; for I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children. I will feed those who oppress you with their own flesh, and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine. All flesh shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.’” (Isaiah 49)

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