Of all the monikers for Jesus in the Bible, the one that always struck me was “Man of Sorrows.” Growing up, I just didn’t get how the Messiah, the Holy One and Savior, could be characterized by sadness. After all, one would think that the Ruler of All would have very little reason for a heavy heart.
However, throughout Jesus’ earthly ministry we see this heaviness penetrate His life time and time again. We see Him weep over Jerusalem and over the death of His friend. We see His heart grieved for the people’s unbelief. Repeatedly He is rejected, not only by the religious leaders, but in the end, by those with whom He was closest.
As I’ve grown older, “Man of Sorrows” has become less strange to me, and has in fact, gradually become a comforting way to think of my Lord. As I’ve experienced new and deeper sorrows, it is encouraging to know that my Savior knows what it is to be grieved. It is helpful to know that when I turn to Him to carry my burden, this is not something He is unfamiliar with. He’s walked the road before.
And yet Christ offers that when I give Him my burden, I can carry His. Some people may be tempted to think that this means that the Christian won’t have any hard times, yet Scripture and experience obviously teach us that this is not true. But the burden that He offers us is a shared one. We don’t have to bear it alone; in fact, He’s the one who’s doing the heavy lifting.
Just like the Man of Sorrows bears our concerns, so we are commanded to shoulder the burdens of others. Because He is holding us up under whatever may be trying to weigh us down, we are then strengthen to help others withstand their trial. He bears us up, and we in turn can bear them up. The Man of Sorrows shares our grief, and He expects us to turnaround and do the same for His kids.
I’m looking forward to the day where sorrows will be a thing that only resides in the past. Yet, until that day, I’m glad that whatever sorrows I experienced, are ones that are shared.