Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted (Isa. 53:4 KJV)
Isaiah said the Messiah would bear our griefs and carry our sorrows. This prophecy is one of the most mysterious in scripture that describes what Christ did for us. It begins with two parallel clauses: “He hath borne our griefs” and “(He) carried our sorrows.” What do they mean, and how do they apply to us?
First, the verbs “to bear” and “to carry,” as action words, describe what Jesus did. They are figurative, using familiar everyday occurrences to explain what happened spiritually. Think of the stress and suffering we would endure if we carried a 100kg load on our heads. Therefore, to bear or carry means Jesus suffered the spiritual burden of our griefs and sorrows. Scripture teaches us that weight was the divine judgment that Christ endured as suffering in His body and heart.
Second, the nouns “grief” and “sorrow” describe the things whose weight Jesus endured. The context of Isaiah 53 tells us this load was both sins and diseases. Though some scholars reject the idea of disease, Mathew 8:16-17, which is a direct interpretation of this verse, replaces the word “sorrow” with “sicknesses.” There can be no better interpretation of Isaiah 53:4! Sin’s weight encompasses all the sufferings due to us: guilt, shame, condemnation, and death in all its forms (physical, spiritual, and eternal). Similarly, the weight of disease refers to the effects of disease on our bodies and hearts: all the physical manifestations and accompanying psychological distress. Jesus bore all the weight of sin and disease—of all human beings.
Lastly, if Jesus bore and carried these weights for us, we do not have to carry them anymore; otherwise, His work was useless. Brethren, this is the mystery of our forgiveness and physical healing in Christ. The Lord opens your eyes to see His work on the cross fully.
Read more: A Man of Sorrows.
Please ponder and mutter the words in Isaiah 53:4 above.
Apply the Word
Christ’s work is both finished and unfinished. As long as we are not what Christ died for and are still carrying what He carried, Christ’s work is not yet finished. Look and live!
Ask the Father to help you see Christ bearing your griefs and sorrows( Isaiah 53:4).