Jesus is the Man of Sorrows

Suffering, escape, redemption, Jesus, Nazi

Photo Credit: larahcv (CC)

I had a recent dream that terrorized me until I woke up. Then I had peace, knowing that it was all symbolic and God was teaching me something. (Thank goodness I’ve taken a few courses on dream interpretation; otherwise, I might have felt confused or fearful.)

The dream?

I’m running with a small group in the deep woods. We’re fleeing from the Nazi’s. We find temporary refuge in a large building. Here, we lie on blankets, trying to sleep. Although most of the group feel safe, I don’t. Suddenly a young man hands me a pillow. Looking at him eases my fears, for he emits peace and strength.

As I lay my head on the pillow, another young man, lying near me, places his pillow underneath my head. Now, I have double pillows for my head to lay on. He emits compassion and understanding.

As I relax, I look out the wide windows. It’s getting dusk, but outside it seems clear like it’s midday. Nazi soldiers march about hundred feet away from the building, but they’re looking ahead. Close to the building are young German children marching with the soldiers.

Suddenly, a young boy looks in and sees me. I sit straight up, fearing he’ll report us to the soldiers. I think of ways of escape if the soldiers burst into the building. Should I yell for everyone to get up and run out the back doors, hoping the soldiers won’t see or catch us? Then I fear the soldiers will shoot at us as we flee–it’s risky as well. For I envision I’m shot in the back. Suddenly in the dream I think, “It’s like I’m a Jew fleeing the Nazis during World War II or a Soviet attempting to escape from Communist soldiers.” It felt that real.

Without leaving the building, I “see” that if I run, a path of escape will illuminate. Then if take that path, another way of escape will appear until we’re out of harm’s way. I can lead this group to safety. Then I wake up.

Well, it wasn’t until today that the Holy Spirit revealed what this dream meant.

Truths?

  • Jesus never leaves us or forsakes us. He suffers with us. He was the young men handing me the pillows, making sure I could rest.
  • We need to receive Jesus’s strength and love. Receiving his compassion and rest in that split second gave me the courage and strength to see the enemy and take action. I couldn’t do it on my own, but only when I surrendered to his rest, could I find what I needed.
  • The Holy Spirit will guide us to the way of escape. The way of redemption. If I’m willing to trust and take a step at a time, he’ll guide me to God’s plan of redemption.
  • We need to suffer with those who suffer. Although I’m not Jewish, I suffered as though I were.

For me, the greatest lesson was learning the power of suffering with others and seeing the plan of redemption for their trial.

One of my weaknesses has been an unwillingness to suffer with those who suffer, but desiring to go straight to the plan of redemption.

If someone was suffering, I’d tell them, “God’s got this! Can’t you see what he’s doing behind the scenes for you?!?” While seeing the end is vital, I was saying this more to evade their pain and suffering–sometimes out of fear or selfishness. For I didn’t want to be inconvenienced or discomforted.

Fear that I can’t help or understand. It’s difficult to sit with someone suffering while you’re healthy. Or when you’re not suffering or have suffered similar circumstances. What do you say? How can you feel their sorrow? How do you empathize?

When I acknowledged that I don’t need to know what to say or do, but just ask God to help me to empathize as though I were suffering, my eyes opened. I wept, praying as though I were suffering as the sufferer.

I needed to feel their sorrow and go into their darkness. In those moments, I quit trying to fix their problem or have an answer, but surrendered to Jesus.

He was despised and rejected—
    a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
    He was despised, and we did not care. (Isaiah 53:3 NLT)

For Christ had to suffer as us first, before he could resurrect as us. I’ve tried to bypass suffering because it’s uncomfortable, inconvenient, and impossible. Impossible in ourselves to feel their suffering. But through grace and God’s compassion, we can feel their suffering in the spirit. This allows us to weep with those who weep, as Jesus does. Then we can rejoice when they rejoice as Jesus does. For Jesus is our redemption.

So, what have you learned from the man of sorrows? Please share in Comments below. Thank you.

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About the Author

sarahsoonwriter

Friend of God. Writer. Resting in His grace daily.