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.
In our old sinful states, untouched by the hand of mercy, we may have been glad to see Jesus suffer. If we once bowed to evil and saw evil have its way, we may have rejoiced to see Jesus nailed to a cross. We may have railed on Him ourselves and said horrid things to Him. We may have thrown stones or spit in His face. We may have volunteered to hammer in those spikes ourselves and raise up that cross in defiance of God. Because the truth is, when we loved sin, we hated God. When we chose sin, we were actively opposing Him. We despised Jesus Christ and all that He was and all that He stood for.
When we do not value something, we will treat it poorly. And if we never get to a place where we appreciate Jesus Christ and what He did for us on that cross, we will cheapen what He accomplished there, and we will refuse Him the glory He is due, and it will be just like we were standing there that day cheering it on and reveling in His suffering. We’ll turn our faces away and refuse to see Him there forgiving from the cross, bleeding out His love for us. And the only tragedy greater than Christ’s death is when a soul chooses to reject Him.
But how a heart can change. What the touch of grace can do. What an effect God’s spirit of love can have. Because when God reaches down to us and shows us our sin and Christ’s perfection, shows us our darkness and His light, when we see His truth compared to all those lies we once believed, our hearts start to change. When we can know on a personal level that He endured all that suffering for us because we are dirty sinners, our hard hearts start to crack a little bit.
And when we can call ourselves the children of God, when we welcome Him into our hearts and lives, we no longer despise Him, but instead we love Him more than life itself. We adore Him with all of our hearts, and we seek to please Him, seek to honor Him, seek to serve Him. Our once-empty hearts overflow with gratitude for all that Christ has done for us, and we can find rest in His mercy. We once despised Him, and yet He is the one who comforts us and reassures us and showers His love upon us. Let’s not reject Him, but gladly accept Him as our Lord and Savior.