The prophet here sketches the outlines of a feature of the Redeemer’s character: “A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” It was most essential that Jesus should be all this, because it belonged to the curse which He became for His people, when He offered Himself as their surety.
You will remember, Christian, the curse which God pronounced on the earth, and man’s pilgrimage through it. The ground was cursed; the product of it was to be thorns and thistles; in sorrow, and in the sweat of the brow, was man to eat bread; and, finally, death would be the close. Now it behoved Jesus, who undertook to remove the curse, to bear that curse before He removed it; and, as such, He was to be “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.”
Hence all this sorrow seized on the Lord Jesus in the first moment He assumed our nature. And though He had no sin in His nature, yet, as a Surety, He was at once exposed to all the frailties in the sinless sorrows, and travails, and labors of it. This sentence would not have been fulfilled, had not Jesus eaten bread in the sweat of His brow. So interesting a part, therefore, was it in Christ’s life, that He should labor in a common occupation that this part of the curse might not go by, without being accomplished. And how eminently was this part indeed fulfilled, when, in the garden, the sweat of His brow was drops of blood!
How full of thorns and thistles was the earth to Jesus, may be in some measure considered, when we behold Him in the unequalled sorrows of the opposition He met with from the world, the unkindness of friends, the malice of enemies. The thorny crown put upon His sacred head was little considered by those that put it there; but yet it was, in reality, crowning Him Lord of sorrow and grief. It is remarkable, though we are told that Jesus rejoiced in spirit, yet we never read that He was once seen to laugh during His whole life. Lord, may I never lose sight of this sweet part of Your character; that while You bear our sins, You also carry our sorrows.