The Origin of Sorrow - Genesis 3:16,17
"Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow... And unto Adam he said... cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life"
Here we have the first mention of sorrow in the Bible, and it is here that we read of it's origin. It is inextricably linked with sin! Here we read about the fall, when man brought sin into the world and death by sin. But Adam also brought something else into the world - sorrow. God had created the world free from sorrow, it was never meant to be here! But now God addresses both man and the woman and informs them that sorrow will mark their lives from now on, because they had sinned. The word sorrow means "worry, labour, pain" what an awful combination! I am sure we can all testify to the awful nature of sorrow, I am sure that we have all felt it touch our lives at some point, some of us more than most. If only Adam could have known the awful ramifications of his actions, not just for himself but for the generations to come - the affliction of sin, the burden of sorrow, and the end result for all - death. Of course death itself brings sorrow, and we will lose loved ones, those that are dear to us and we feel the pain and sorrow and loss that this brings. For the believer we lift ourselves with the fresh reminder of 1 Thessalonians 4, that we sorrow not as others which have no hope, for we know that they are absent from the body, present with the Lord. Praise God!
The Man of Sorrows - Isaiah 53:3
"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief"
Of course we can't think about sorrow without thinking about the Lord Jesus as the man of sorrows. Here in the Old Testament the word sorrow means, "anguish, grief and pain". Remember that the Saviour came to where we were - lost in ruin and in sin. He came to save us, to deal with the question of sin and to provide for us a way of salvation. We remember that in his life he was marked by sorrow, bearing the hatred and mocking of men. In order to save us he must be despised and rejected - the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief! But more than this, the next verse in Isaiah 53 would tell us that he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows - here we must surely picture Calvary specifically! We remember that in death too he was associated with sorrow, for he bore our sorrows and sin on that cross. The scriptures would tell us that he bore our sin in his own body on the tree, and the waves and billows of divine judgement passed over his holy soul at that place. Is it any wonder that we can apply the words of Jeremiah in Lamentations 1:12 "Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow" What sorrow was his! Surely there has been none like it before or since. Surely this encourages us as we pass through this world bearing the sorrows of our experience, that the Lord Jesus has been here and knew what it was to feel such great sorrow:
"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15)
The End of Sorrow - Revelation 21:4
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away"
How wonderful to learn that there is a place where there will be no more sorrow! Even greater to learn that it is also the place where we are going to be one day as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. He has been preparing a place for us that will be completely free from sorrow, sin and suffering - all those things that were brought into the world by sin! How lovely that the Lord sees fit to reverse those awful effects of the fall, and gives us a place of eternal rest completely opposite to our experience upon this sin blighted earth - Heaven will be a haven, free of sorrow!
But also consider this, that it must be a joyous place for the Saviour as well. He was received up into heaven when he left this earth, he passed into the glory and perfect bliss of heaven where there is no more sorrow and suffering for the man of sorrows, only glory, praise and honour! What an awesome prospect awaits us all when we go to be with him... we recall the words of the Psalmist "in thy presence is fullness of joy..."
" 'Midst the darkness, storm, and sorrow,
One bright gleam I see;
Well I know the blessed morrow
Christ will come for me...
He and I, in that bright glory,
One deep joy shall share—
Mine, to be forever with Him;
His, that I am there."
Yours in Christ, Mark