15. Acquainted with Grief
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. (Isaiah 53:3c)
Acquainted is an archaic term and, unfortunately, tends to have a shallow meaning today. Actually, there is depth in this word. Christ knew grief by experience. You might say it was up close and personal.
Grief in the Hebrew is more often translated as sickness and disease. In most of its occurrences, this sickness is the consequence for sins committed. But for Christ, it was sickness which was a result of the sins of the world He took upon Himself.
A significant part of Christ’s ministry in this world was the healing the sick.
Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. (Matthew 4:23)
When they got out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him, and ran about that whole country and began to carry here and there on their pallets those who were sick, to the place they heard He was. Wherever He entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the market places, and imploring Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were being cured. (Mark 6:54-56)
And Levi gave a big reception for Him in his house; and there was a great crowd of tax collectors and other people who were reclining at the table with them. The Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at His disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?” And Jesus answered and said to them, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:29-32)
Are there any who are not sick? Are there any who are not sinners? In our delusional and deceived state of wellness, and our defectively defined view and practice of righteousness, we miss the opportunity to be healed.
Do not miss Christ’s invitation:
Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes. In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, waiting for the moving of the waters; for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted. A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, “Do you wish to get well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.” Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk. (John 5:2-9)
Do you wish to get well? I’ve often thought this a strange question. After all, the guy had been sick for 38 years, and for had for many of those years, been laying by the pool, hoping he might make it in to the waters when they were stirred. But he just wasn’t quick enough. Had he given up? Was he just there out of habit? You know, that’s the way it can be with our sins; we’ve gotten too used to them to change what we are doing. But like this guy, if you answer Jesus’ question with a “Yes”, you will be healed from your sins. Go ahead… ask.