Passage: Isaiah 53:1-3
1 Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Journal: Isaiah 53 is quoted extensively in the New Testament, even by Jesus Himself. John referenced Isaiah 53:1 [John 12:38] -- "so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: 'Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?'" In fact, it has been pointed out that the entire ministry of Jesus, from His baptism, to His teaching, to His suffering, to His death, to His resurrection, and to His ascension is laid out in Isaiah 53. The chapter also evidences His roles as Prophet, Priest and King.
These first three verses point to His role as Priest and the sufferings He endured to fulfill that role. The physical suffering of Christ, painful and traumatic as it was, it was only a portion of the suffering He undertook on behalf of His brothers and sisters. There was great mental anguish as well, as He endured disappointment, anxiety, loneliness and rejection. [v. 3 -- "He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not."]
He was a man of sorrows. The human perspective views the cross as His great defeat. That is, even the symbol of the cross itself was associated with a curse. Yet, the glory of God was not defeated at the cross, for the redemption of man, for whatever reason, brings Him immeasurable glory. Satan could not help himself, as if eating delicious fruit juiced with poison. He was there, screaming into the ears of his children to "crucify Him, crucify Him." [Luke 23:21] His own rebellion was leading to his own destruction. The Son of man, and His ascension from death, reclaimed the redeemed from the clutches of Satan. There is no greater picture of sin getting bound within itself, like a rope caught in a propeller until the motor freezes from the restriction. Christ was a man of sorrows. We are children of hope.