Jesus. Look upon Him. Despised and rejected by men, so humble is His appearance and so meek is His countenance. A Man of sorrows and familiar with suffering. Look long at Him, for we are of the same hearts of the many in the multitudes that only ever hid their faces from Him. Jesus. A Man so broken, so vulnerable, so lacking in the so called dignity of self-honor. So great is His scandalous humility that only the eyes of love gaze upon Him as He truly is without looking away. Jesus knew rejection from men deeply from the day of His birth in Bethlehem to the moment of His death at Calvary. He experienced more despising from humanity in His thirty-three years of life on the earth than any other man before or since. And from that point, this rejection continued in massive momentum…from generation to generation. He truly was and still continues to be the most rejected Man to ever live. He was God the Creator who formed man for fellowship now walking among us and yet He was despised and rejected over and over and over again. He was a Man of sorrows with an immolated heart.
Perhaps the most potent part of this deep rejection lies in the fact that this most discarded Man did nothing to shield Himself from such profuse rejection. He did nothing to protect His heart from the hate, nothing to guard His person from the rage. In His sinlessness—free from pride and arrogance—He lacked the “self-centered” means found in the proud heart that so readily protects itself. The nature of compassion, that quality most attributed to Jesus, stands in direct opposition to the nature of pride. Only arrogance can forge walls and instigate “safe distances” from fellow human hearts. Only pride knows how to offer indifference and coldness to another. But Love knows no such response. Love bears all things and embraces every person in its path. Love so cherishes the individual heart that it always hears every word spoken without covering its ears, always sees every deed done without uncaringly looking away and always opens to every response offered without closing its heart.
Thus, Jesus did nothing that you or I would have so readily done to avert the crisis of the despising crowds and the betraying friends. When we would have made pride our ally by speaking condescending words to our accusers, Jesus was silent. When we would have warded off the rejections of men by rallying others to turn against our offender, Jesus refused to use His strength to belittle another. When we, at the very least, would have distanced our hearts in coldness from those despising us, His heart remained in the heat of love and never the aloofness of conceit. Jesus faced His offenders head on, allowing every wounding word to pierce Him and stripping not one sneering statement of its force.
He received into His heart every denunciation without so much as putting up one inward barrier of self-preservation to guard Himself from its blow. And this stunning mutilation of heart only multiplies when it is compounded with the truth that He knew the hearts of men from the inside out, He considered their bitter thoughts even when words weren’t spoken and actions weren’t taken. Not only was He wounded and afflicted by the spokens but by the unspokens, not only by the actions, but by the inward, hidden aggressions. He truly bore our griefs within Himself and without so much as even slightly buffering their blow; He carried our sorrows heavily upon Him all the way to the Cross.