Grandmom’s Bible, #2

Is the following true?  Jesus always bore a countenance of happiness with a smile on His face, especially in His interactions with children.  Certainly this is the case, since His pictures on the covers of Sunday School literature and Vacation Bible School material usually indicate this.  Folks, I do not believe in the pictures that I see of Jesus posing with children as if staging a Kodak moment.   I believe that in Jesus’ expressions, He radiated God’s love for ALL of men, women and children, and He was very serious about the plight of all of fallen men as well.  What does the Bible say?  Let us examine the scriptures:  Isaiah 53:3  “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”  The entire chapter of Isaiah 53 is clearly a prophecy directed at the Son of God.  What could be plainer than “He was a man of sorrows”?  Consider what the Lord said immediately prior to the Great Flood; that is after the entire human race plunged into rebellion, sin and darkness:  Genesis 6:6  “And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.”  Obviously, God must feel the same pain now, since “….as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the coming of the Son of Man.”  (Luke 17:26)  Do not forget that when Jesus used a small innocent child as an object lesson of love, faith and trust, that He knew the eternal destination of that child!  Can you and I possibly understand ANY of the burden He carried?  Surely the one time Jesus would be “happy” would be when He rode the colt into Jerusalem, correct?  He received the “red carpet” treatment as palm branches were placed in His path, and the people “…….began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.”  (Luke 19:37b-38)  What a happy and joyous moment, eh?  Jesus’ response follows in verse 41:  “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it.”  Jesus saw that Jerusalem would be downtrodden until the time of the Gentiles was fulfilled.  Jesus also foresaw that the Jews would be scattered, sin would dominate for thousands of more years on our fallen planet, and heartache, pain, trials and tribulations would be the plight of all men.  Jesus also knew the fickle heart of man, and that in less than a week he would be crucified spread eagle on a stake outside the walls of Jerusalem between two thieves, suffering physically and spiritually in a way that you and I cannot possibly comprehend.  We would indeed be remiss if we failed to share the shortest verse in the entire Word of God at this time.  It comes on the heels of Lazarus’ death, Luke 11:35  “Jesus wept.”  Jesus loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus as His most intimate friends and sympathized with their loss; and He understood the frame of all men on this fallen planet who experience death.  The lesson of this entry is once again to simply let the Bible speak for itself, and not to make it say what we want it to say.   Do not forget that the Word also says:  “For my thoughts are NOT your thoughts, NEITHER are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.”  Isaiah 55:8.  We can further make sense of this teaching through our understanding of the blessing of “sadness.”  Does not the Bible say in the Beatitudes:  “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted?”  (Matthew 5:4)  If you are melancholy you have a companion in our Lord!  Still having trouble with this concept?  Carefully meditate on this scripture:  Ecclesiastes 7: 2-4  “It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart; Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.  The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.”  You think about that.        Blessings, Pastor Steve

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