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The young man described in the first part of this chapter is Jesus. He was the man of sorrows Who took the horrible beating. He had committed no crime, for this man was sinless. He came to Earth to pay the price for mankind’s sin, sickness and death. “He bore our griefs and sorrows; He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities and the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and by His stripes, we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4, 5).

Jesus is the only One Who can bring comfort and healing to our pain. An independent spirit will never bring comfort or healing; an independent spirit only locks us into bitterness, pride and deception, and it is far from being the instrument or key that will lead us into freedom, restoration and healing.

If anyone had a right to be bitter, it certainly would have been Jesus. Falsely accused, an unfair trial, a “kangaroo” court, biased from the onset, guilty before the fact, no defense, mocked, cursed and if that was not enough … His own Father (God) turned His back on Him during the execution. The Word says, while He was on the cross, Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

In Unger’s Bible Dictionary referring to Matthew 27:34 and Mark 15:23, the Roman soldiers offered Jesus wine mingled with gall. At that time, to help relieve the pain, gall and myrrh which are opiates, were mixed into the wine. In this scenario, gall is a representation of bitterness because bitterness has a way of numbing us! We use it as a way of relieving our emotional pain.

As soon as Jesus tasted the drink, He immediately spit it out, refusing to swallow even one drop. He freely chose to feel the pain and bear the shame of the cross. Not only did Jesus choose the pain, but being more noble He cried out “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34).

Jesus endured the pain and shame of the cross for the joy that was set before Him, the fellowship of those He redeemed … you, me and others for all eternity, but the most important reason was to do the will of the Father.

Bitterness is such a deceiver! Taking a cup full of bitterness may numb the pain; it may also allow us to wrap ourselves in a cloak of pride and self pity as we cry out “I’ve been hurt! Look! I have been hurt! Don’t you see?” There is no doubt that it makes us insensitive to sin as it not only defiles us, but those around us. When this happens, we have allowed it to become the justification for our rebellion.

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Copyright © 2009 Dr. Gene Smith

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Unless otherwise marked, all Scripture references are taken from the King James Version or the New King James Version of the Holy Bible.

Scripture quotations noted NIV are taken from the Holy Bible New International Version ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishing Hoise. All rights reserved.