What if Jesus had never known sorrows? What if He never knew pain or grief; would He be a Savior that is really able to bring comfort? I sat through a funeral this week; and as I watched the family grieve, I prayed for them and also prayed a prayer of thanksgiving because Jesus does know the pain of our broken hearts.
But even more than knowing the pain of our hearts, He has suffered through that pain. Isaiah 53 calls Jesus a "man of sorrows" who is "acquainted with grief." The word acquainted is there to help us understand that Jesus knows grief well. It is an emotion He has experienced often and in great depth.
Jesus knows grief well because of His own life with us, as God takes on flesh and lives among His creation. He knows the pain of being separated from a close friend in his greatest time of need and, consequently, losing that friend, the pain of being doubted and misunderstood by his closest followers and of being betrayed into the hands of the chief priests by one He called His friend. He has seen hunger, frustration and broken hearts. He is very familiar with sorrow.
Yet, there's more to the story than this. He is familiar with sorrow because He knows the pain that only God knows. That is, He has felt the agony of facing an inevitable and overwhelming burden on behalf of not only those who love and serve with him, but also those who mock Him and deny His identity. Jesus willingly bore the pain and humiliation of our sin. God poured out His wrath and righteous anger on Jesus at the cross. The punishment for sin that will, ultimately without Jesus, cost us our life was absorbed by Him for all those that will place their trust in Him.
Jesus knows the pain of being a Creator that is rejected by His creation, and He knows the pain felt by the creation because of the consequence of rejecting their Messiah. Let us find great hope and rest in Him as we place our burdens in His strong but loving hands. His shoulders are broad, and His heart is tender. He is always ready to help us carry our load of sorrows, and as He tells us in Matt. 11:30 His yoke is easy and His burden is light.