Today’s superheroes are being renamed to sound cooler, more modern, I suppose. Batman is now the Dark Knight and Superman is the Man of Steel. Jesus, Isaiah says, is the Man of Sorrows. “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3).
If “Man of Sorrows” is Jesus’ superhero name, this would be His superhero power: He would be the one going around and touching the sick, the hurt, the broken, and trading His health for their sickness. He’d touch someone with a broken leg and go down, bleeding and hurting as they jump to their feet, totally healed. He’d touch someone with the flu and go away coughing blood into His hand. He’d be the One who took our pain so we wouldn’t have to. He is the One who took our pain so we wouldn’t have to.
Jesus is acquainted with sorrows. That, by today’s English definition, totally misses the point of the word. Today, an acquaintance is someone you kind of sort of know. Not friend. Not coworker who you see every day. Certainly not family. You met them once upon a time.
Jesus did not meet sorrow. He moved in with sorrow, lived with sorrow, knew it intimately and personally, and did it all so that I would never have to carry sorrow alone. He knew its ins and outs, its ups and downs, so that He could know me, and so that every time sorrow weighed heavy on me, Jesus would be there, holding it up off me.
Jesus carried sorrow so I wouldn’t have to carry it alone. Jesus carried sorrow so I wouldn’t have to carry it at all. Isaiah 53:4-5: “Surely our griefs He Himself bore and our sorrows He carried. And by His stripes we are healed.”
Excerpt from “Peace and How to Keep It.” Coming fall 2020.