Christ like SufferingBro. David Chancellor
7/14/2002 11:00 AM
If faith is the victory, it means that there is a battle. Not everything will encourage you to live for God. Things will come to challenge what you believe. Where is your faith placed? Is it placed in man?
Isaiah 53:1-3, 10
Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. ... Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
This refers to Christ. It describes Christ. He was one that had a genuine love and compassion for mankind. Christ was not a handsome man. He wasn't the one everyone admired because of his looks. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows ... yet, he wasn't a sorrowful man. He was well-acquainted with sorrow and suffering, but he didn't walk around moaning and groaning. The pleasure of the Lord was in his hand. He bore grief and sorrow for us. Be esteemed of God. Have his approval on you. Being esteemed of men is of little value. Compared to Christ, they are insignificant. None of them can change the weather. Christ was not highly esteemed. The esteem of men is misplaced. They can't seem to recognize true greatness. Christ had compassion and care for us.
And when he came up to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bare him witness and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son? And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you of a truth, may widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none o them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill where on their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way,
They wondered at his words. Yet, they rejected him. They said, "You're Joseph's son," and before it was over they were taking him out to kill him. How would you feel about that? These were the people he grew up with. To be rejected by these would hurt more than being rejected by others. He knew what it was to be hurt. He suffered way more than we ever have. You can't take the greatest and bring him down and not despise him. Christ couldn't do things there because they wouldn't believe. God is limited in what he can do by how much faith we place in him.
And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha. And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.
Christ had just worked a notable miracle, and these came and said, "Show us a sign that you're from heaven." Christ was hurt. The power of God was demonstrated, and yet these people didn't get it. People yet today still have trouble admitting that he was God come down to man. It needs to go deeper than just saying that he existed. He suffered and died because he was the Son of God, and had the nerve to say so. He was the Lamb that came to take away the sin of the world. There's only one. He's felt every hurt that we have ever felt, only worse, because he really didn't deserve it.
And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much of the people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.
Christ felt the sorrows of mankind, too. He felt the hurt of this widow. She had lost everything. Everything she had was wrapped up in this son. Often we aren't touched by the feelings of others. Christ was a man of sorrows because he would pick up the sorrows of mankind and bear them. He carried them for us. Yet, he was not a sorrowful man. He had the pleasure of the Lord. God doesn't intend that we either always be long-faced, or that we become hard and untouchable. We can find pleasure in helping others. Christ didn't leave this widow with sorrow. There is a joy when compassion brings results. He knows all about pain and suffering and hurt.
And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:
Paul recognized that there was some suffering left behind for us. There are still things for us to go through. We need to go through like Christ did. There are some sorrows for us to endure. We may experience being despised and rejected, too. Christ didn't whine and complain. He worked at pleasing God, not man. Keep the same confidence that Christ had.
1 Peter 2:19-23
For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
We may endure grief and may suffer wrongfully. Keep it settled to know and walk with God regardless. Some things aren't ours. Walk with God regardless. Sorrows may come, but suffer like Christ. Christ understands our suffering. He can encourage and give strength and help. We need to follow his example. Christ had a pleasantness about him. Those that learn how to bear the sorrows of others find true happiness.