March 2018

Man of Sorrows
The words of the great hymn we all love to sing were penned by the great hymn writer Philip P. Bliss shortly before his tragic death in a train crash at the age of 38. He was inspired to write the words of this hymn from Isaiah 53 verse 3. “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:” 

 We often think of the many Christians who have had lives of sorrows such as the martyrs in our own country who suffered, and died for their faith, to realise that our sufferings today are very light by comparison.  There were a number of prominent men in the old testament who were characterised by being ‘men of sorrow’: 

 Joseph:  He was rejected by his own brothers, and sold into slavery, only to be imprisoned in Egypt through no fault of his own. 

 Jeremiah: Wept over a nation who did not heed countless warnings, and was distraught as he wandered through the sacked ruins of Jerusalem. 

 Jonah: Endured a horrific experience in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights. 

 Job: Here was a man who through no fault of his own suffered the great loss of losing his family, property, business, friends, and health, yet was faithful to his God. 

 The Lord Jesus Christ of course is the ‘Man of Sorrows’ Isaiah was writing about as he, like Joseph, “came to His own, and His own received Him not”. He like Jeremiah, wept over Jerusalem, as a city of unbelievers who would not listen, and like Jonah went into the “belly of hell” as he conquered death hell and the grave. He also like Job, suffered great loss, yet was the ever obedient and faithful servant. It humbles us to think that He suffered so much for us, poor wretched hell deserving sinners, and it is little wonder that we love to sing the refrain from Philip Bliss’s hymn, “Hallelujah, what a saviour!” 

 I think that I can find no better words to conclude this article than the words of Hebrews Chapter 12 verses 1-3……..“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”