Written By Billy Spink
Human Good Series: What Is Grief, Anyway?
Grief. I must admit that I know very little about the grief some people endure. I’ve experienced my share of disappointments, defeats, and death, but my grief doesn’t compare to those who have suffered greatly and grieved deeply. I don’t want to minimize their pain or be insensitive to the continuing heartache that meets them every morning.
As I think of “grief,” I’m reminded of a text from Isaiah 53. It speaks of our Lord Jesus as the Suffering Servant who would give His life for us, who would heal our wounds through His sacrifice. The text reads:
He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. (v3)
Imagine the pain of being despised by those you came to love, to comfort, to bless. John writes “He was in the world and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him. He came to His own and His own people did not receive Him.” (John 1:10-11)
Jesus was “acquainted with grief”—the tears of the widow whose son had died; the cry of beggars pleading for mercy; the bleeding woman who touched the hem of His garment. Jesus cried at the tomb of Lazarus. He grieved in Gethsemane as He poured out His heart in prayer. He wept over the city of Jerusalem.
My point is that Jesus understands the grief that you feel. You can go to Him and be honest about your sorrow, not ashamed of your pain. He will not rebuke you for expressing sadness. He will embrace you as the Good Shepherd who cares lovingly for His sheep.
But, Jesus does more than empathize with us. Isaiah writes, “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.” He has willingly entered into our suffering and absorbed the grief and pain that we face. In the cross, Jesus defeats sin and sorrow and sadness so that “With His wounds, we are headed.”
In Christ there is healing. There is a “victory” which only He can give. “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). His victory doesn’t completely eliminate the sorrow or sadness we endure in this life, but it gives hope and anticipation of eternal and heavenly blessing. Paul did not scold the Thessalonians for grieving at the death of loved ones. He urged them to claim the victory of Christ so that they would not grieve “as others who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13).
Grief. Yes, our Savior was “acquainted with grief.” He has “borne our griefs.” It was “The will of the Lord to crush Him; He has put Him to grief” (Isaiah 53:10). Why?
To assure us that our Savior understands
To remind us that our Savior conquered death
To give us the grace to move forward in faith
To give us hope that the grief of this life will one day end and the joy of eternal blessedness in heaven will begin—where there will be no more crying, suffering, or pain!
I long for that day. I hope you do as well. Draw near to the Savior today - “A man of sorrow and acquainted with grief…surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.”
Rest in Him today, tomorrow, and forever!
Billy Spink, a long-time mentor, and friend was the pastor at our church (Riveroaks Pres.) for decades. He has comforted us, prayed for us, and taught us countless lessons. His family is so near and dear to us all and has gotten us through dark times especially after the death of Peyton. Currently, he has just finished an interim pastorship in Florida and is returning to Memphis to take a job at The Village of Germantown.