Summary: Considering what Jesus bore for us on the cross

“Thinking About Jesus On The Cross”

Isaiah 53

David P. Nolte

What a great song! What a great truth! “When He was on the cross I was on His mind.” We are still always on His mind! But the question is, “Is Jesus on OUR minds?” Is He in our thoughts daily? And when you think of Jesus, do you think about the cross? If you do, what do you think about?

We will go to Isaiah for some insights, and some things about which to think. Isaiah was written about 740 years before Christ and it is amazing how by inspiration he wrote so accurate an account of the crucifixion.


A. “He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.” Isaiah 53:3-4 (NASB).

B. Here we see Jesus as the Suffering Servant – a man of sorrows to Whom grief was no stranger.

1. Though to some it appeared that Jesus was being afflicted by God for His own wrongs, in reality it was our grief and sorrow He bore.

2. Love does that. The sorrows of those we love are as poignant and grievous as though they were our own.

3. He taught us how to obey the command, “Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 (NASB).

C. What sorrow did Jesus bear? With what grief was He acquainted?

1. The sorrow of being rejected by those He came to save. “He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.” John 1:11 (NASB).

2. The sorrow of the stubbornness of His own people. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!” Luke 13:34 (NASB).

3. The sorrow of the coming ordeal and agony of the cross. “They came to a place named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, ‘Sit here until I have prayed.’ And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled. And He said to them, ‘My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch.’ And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by.” Mark 14:32-35 (NASB).

4. The sorrow of having all the sins of all people of all times rolled onto Him.

a. Peter said, “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24 (NASB).

b. Paul said, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NASB).

D. Sometimes because we think we can handle sorrows by ourselves, or for lack of trust in God, we try to carry our own sorrows and grief.

E. We are like a man I read about this week. While walking along the shores of the Dead Sea one day, the man lost his balance and fell into the water at a point where it was rather deep. He couldn’t swim, so he was panic-stricken. In desperation he began to thrash about with his arms and legs, fearing he would drown. At last completely exhausted, he cried out to God for help, and prepared to die.

He was immediately surprised, for as soon as he relaxed the water bore him up. He had forgotten that the Dead Sea is so full of salt and other minerals that if a person lies still, he can easily float upon its surface. He will not drown as long as he resigns himself to the buoyancy of the water.

There is a good lesson for us. He will bear us up when we simply relinquish our grief and sorrow and rest in Him. Reliance on Him will quiet our hearts even in our most desperate hours of pain. God is a never-failing Help when we flounder in the sea of trial and sorrow.


A. “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth. But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.” Isaiah 53:5-10 (NASB).

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