The Man of Sorrows

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. Isaiah 53:4.

It is evening. The sun is setting and the sky is ablaze with color. The hearts of Jesus’ disciples are also ablaze. Never have their hopes been so high, their plans and dreams seemed so sure of speedy fulfillment.

They’ve put up with quite a bit these past three years, and at times it has hardly seemed worth it. But now they are on their way to Jerusalem. Jesus is traveling as a king, on a donkey, and multitudes have joined the twelve and are shouting their support. Surely now the new government will be set up.

The procession pauses at the crest of the hill. The sounds of praise are quieted momentarily as the people see the sunset, and the sunset reflected from the white marble of the Temple. For a moment they look in pride and admiration; then they turn to see their own sentiments reflected in the face of Jesus.

Jesus is weeping. Not the glistening eye with the smiling face that speaks tears of joy. But agony. Sobs. Sorrow so deep that it could find expression only in open grief. The people are stunned. Jesus had wept at the tomb of Lazarus, and they had understood that time—or thought they understood. But this is different. They look quickly at the disciples, searching for a clue. What has happened that perhaps they missed? But the faces of the disciples wear the same expression of puzzlement.

From our vantage point in time, knowing what was about to take place, we might associate His sorrow with the sheepgate, beside the Temple. But The Desire of Ages, page 576, says, “The tears of Jesus were not in anticipation of His own suffering.” As we continue the inspired commentary, we discover that Jesus is weeping in an anguish of separation as He looks upon His children, whom He cannot save because they will not let Him. His glance takes in the sorrow of a world separated from God, from that moment to this. And to the Jews who would cry, “Crucify Him,” to the people of all ages who have turned every one to his own way, yes, to you and to me, who are simply too busy to find time for God, Jesus uttered the cry of a God with a breaking heart, “How can I give thee up? How often would I have gathered thee, even as a hen gathereth her chicks, but you would not.”