Man of Sorrows

This Sunday morning, we’re going to be celebrating the Lord’s Supper together.  To help us prepare for that, we’re going to focus this week on Hillsong’s ‘Man of Sorrows’ which we’ll be singing during Sunday’s service.
Nothing in the whole Bible story distinguishes Christianity from every other religion and worldview more than Jesus’ death on the cross.  Particularly if you’ve been a follower of Jesus for many years, ‘Man of Sorrows’ describes the reality of what took place that first Easter so poignantly that it can help us marvel, wonder, and rejoice afresh at what Jesus accomplished for us.
The first two verses set the scene of the complete abandonment Jesus faced when He was beaten and hung upon the cross.  Picking up all of the Old Testament imagery of lambs being led to slaughter in the sacrificial system God had given to Moses, Jesus is often described as the “Lamb of God” throughout the Bible (particularly by John, in both his Gospel and Revelation).  The title movingly describes Jesus’ sacrifice as the final sacrifice every other lamb had been pointing to (Hebrews 10:1-18).  Even the manner in which Jesus approached the cross silently, despite the beating, mocking, and scorn—perfectly fulfilled what Isaiah, one of the Old Testament prophets, had said about Him, more than 700 years before Jesus’ death (Isaiah 53:7).
And on that rugged cross—as Jesus took upon Himself the sin of man and the wrath of God that sin deserved—we see the greatest example of love human history will ever witness.  Not just a generous love.  Not only a sacrificial love.  But a love for rebellious people, planned in eternity past before the universe was created, and proven through unimaginable suffering to be strong enough to conquer every obstacle and span the vast chasm that separates sinful men and women from the holy God of heaven.  Little wonder the chorus sings, “Now my soul cries out, Hallelujah! Praise and honour unto Thee”!
Verse three reminds us of the staggering reality of what happened on the cross.  God’s own Son, the King of Heaven, came to purchase, to redeem, to reconcile the very men and women who nailed Him to that tree.  And that description isn’t limited to the few Roman officials who were personally involved in physically securing Jesus to the cross.  The Apostle Paul makes it very clear that it was our sins—the sins of every man and woman and boy and girl who would love and trust in Jesus—that nailed Him to the cross (Colossians 2:13-14).  And that means, as the bridge to ‘Man of Sorrows’ makes clear, that our debt the punishment that our sins deserve before the perfectly holy and just God —has been paid, in full!  The curse of sin is broken in us, and it no longer has a hold on us!  That doesn’t mean that Christians don’t continue to struggle with sin: we all do.  But because of Christ’s death, the stranglehold of sin on our hearts has been broken and, by His grace, we can choose to love Him and live for Him for the rest of our lives.
Does that all sound too good to be true?!  It might—were it not for the empty tomb.  The physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus is the irrefutable proof that God Himself was fully satisfied with Jesus’ sacrifice in our place, and that Jesus has conquered the great and final enemy that our sin deserves—namely, death.  And so everyone who believes and trusts in Jesus’ death, and surrenders their life to Him as their rightful King, can today and forever sing: “Hallelujah God be praised, He’s risen from the grave”!
Man of sorrows Lamb of God
By His own betrayed
The sin of man and wrath of God
Has been on Jesus laid
Silent as He stood accused
Beaten mocked and scorned
Bowing to the Father’s will
He took a crown of thorns
Oh that rugged cross
My salvation
Where Your love poured out over me
Now my soul cries out
Praise and honour unto Thee
Sent of heaven God’s own Son
To purchase and redeem
And reconcile the very ones
Who nailed Him to that tree
Now my debt is paid
It is paid in full
By the precious blood
That my Jesus spilled
Now the curse of sin
Has no hold on me
Whom the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed
See the stone is rolled away
Behold the empty tomb
Hallelujah God be praised
He’s risen from the grave
Written by Brooke Ligertwood and Matt Crocker.