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"A Man of Sorrows, and Aquainted with Grief," Mosiah 14

Mosiah 14

I am memorizing this entire chapter. I already had it committed to memory at one point in my past. Having done so, has made it very familiar to me as I read through it again. As I have read though the chapter again those feelings of familiarity seem to also be reminders of Savior's friendship and concern for each of us.

It is an interesting thing to contemplate that in the equity of the Lord's plan, relatively very few ever had the opportunity to know Christ during His mortal ministry. Perhaps a lie of the adversary is that thought that had we been alive and know Christ personally, intimately, then we would believe and have as much conviction as the apostles of Christ did.

However, I wonder how I would have responded to Christ if my first interaction with Him would have been to meet him personally in mortality. Without any knowledge of the plan of God, or being subject wholly to the tendencies of the natural man, I fear that I would (as would probably many others) discount him and just walk away. If salvation were based on just a one time personal encounter with the Savior of the world, how miserable would be my performance and fate.

The contemplation of the pain and suffering that Christ had to bear is beyond comprehension. Yet what is curious to note is that Christ himself does say "My yoke is easy, and my burden is light."(Matt 11:30) How can  he say that something  "which suffering caused... , even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit"(Doctrine and Covenants 19:16) is easy and light? Again, it is beyond comprehension. Perhaps, the power of true love, Christ-like love, which is unconditional and without end, is the best explanation to an otherwise irrational paradox.

The use of  different tenses, some times even within the same verse can at first be very disconcerting. Isaiah goes from future tense to present tense to past tense and then back and forth freely throughout the chapter. Clearly, in Isaiah's day this was a forward looking prophecy. But then when he says things like "we hid as it were our faces from him"(vs 3), the accusation is personally applicable, and I find within myself truth in my own life experiences of times when I indeed have tried to hid my face from Him. The reminder is powerful and poignant.

I love the words of Isaiah!

Verse 7 talks about the Savior as a lamb or a dumb(as in unable to speak) sheep. I am asking myself why did he take this role upon him. "He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter." It is as if He went knowing, yet he did not know, for He had not experienced. Yet what a great example: "He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth." Too often I am found complaining when acute trial gets to be very difficult.

In verse 9, as I review the definitive statements about Christ's innocence, the reality of this truth makes everything else possible. "because he had done no evil, neither was any deceit in his mouth." That statement alone causes me to conclude that this was a great man, a being beyond mortal capacity. Indeed, He was and is a God. Yet knowing that he was here and that he experienced it makes it all the more admirable what he has done for me. Indeed admiration perhaps is a weak word, when really it causes me to want to worship Him, and love Him with all my heart.

Christ was triumphant over the grave! He has obtained the same rank and stature as great as any wicked, self serving ruler in this world, because of his righteousness. It was different than any other who lived and aspired to greatness and wealth and power and prominence

Verse 11 is a reminder of the disciples burden that the Savior willingly carries. This reminder, if I truly reflected upon it frequently would keep me in check and cause me to not transgress as frequently as I find myself doing.

Here is the other thing that can be truly confusing about Isaiah: the use of pronouns without a given understanding of whom the pronoun is being attributed to. For example, verse 9: "And he made his grave with the wicked." The question is: Who made who's grave? What is the proper Spirit in which this verse is to be understood. If it is God the Father who is making the grave for the Savior Jesus Christ, the explanation given for doing so seem much more logical: "Because [Christ] had done no evil, neither was any deceit in his mouth."

This morning's study (the entire study has now spanned over two weeks - today is 3 December 2011) began with a simple thought: what price did Isaiah have to pay to merit receipt of these revelations. I have been deeply moved by the words of Isaiah here and elsewhere, but what do we know of his history and ministry. What were his challenges?

I just found my answer to the above questions, or at least a couple of good starting points:
http://lds.org/manual/old-testament-student-manual-kings-malachi/enrichment-f?lang=eng
http://lds.org/ensign/1973/10/ten-keys-to-understanding-isaiah?lang=eng

One more time this morning (7 December 2011), the Spirit of the Lord bids me to give pause on the line in verse 3, "and we hid as it were our faces from him." Perhaps it is the reason for the hiding that the Lord would have me to consider. "He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." We don't like to be associated with sorrow and grief. We don't like to watch it in movies. Much less do we like to have to deal with it in real life. Or perhaps we find ourselves too much engulfed in our own sorrows and griefs. At any rate, I think it must be because we don't frequently know how to remedy these griefs and the pain that comes for whatever reason, and so we shy away from the challenges that such present. This brings to mind the scriptures from the New Testament that talk about the poor and the needy when the Lord says "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matt 25:40)

For the hungry, the thirsty, the estranged, the naked, the sick, the imprisoned, Christ has born their griefs and sorrows. Among them, ought we also to be found.

Comments

  1. I was intrigued by your comment regarding whether you would have responded automatically to the Savior if you met him in person during his mortality. Evidently many many people didn't get an overwhelming sense of his divinity just from meeting him. He must have presented as a relatively ordinary person. I think this fits with the phrase "he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him there is no beauty that we should desire him." And the Savior said that Peter got his testimony of Him from the Spirit, not from his being taken with Jesus' charisma.

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  2. Thanks Herdsman family,

    I just now saw that you had commented on this post. That's exactly the feelings I had reading the words of Isaiah.

    Just the very thought, that I might reject him because of carelessness on my part, causes me to be more considerate of everyone of God's children.

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