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Man of Sorrows Canvas

Man of Sorrows Canvas


The Man of Sorrows




Pain unspeakable, one can hardly breathe. Sweat pouring out, intermixed with blood and tears. This scene which played out over 2000 years ago in the Garden of Gethsemane is one which kept appearing in my consciousness as all around the present world hearts have been breaking in a united chorus of agony.


Whether a friend whose child died suddenly, families being broken apart, Christians being slaughtered, or terror striking the entire nation of Israel, it seems that everywhere I look the valley of the shadow of death has never been so real. In the midst of all the suffering, this one Name kept returning to my heart as I prayed and wept. The One who bore it all in the Garden: Jesus the “Man of Sorrows.”


And so I began painting what at first I thought would be a depiction of Jesus comforting one of His beloved children. This then became instead a much larger painting of our Savior pouring out His heart in Gethsemane as scenes surround Him of Calvary and nameless, faceless children who have found their way into the embrace of the only One who knows and understands their suffering.


“He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.”


Isaiah 53:3-5 NIV


It is in this description of the “Man of Sorrows” we can secure an anchor of hope amidst such heartache, distress and loss. Look my friends to Jesus, “the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 NIV

Jesus has gone before us to bear what we alone could not shoulder, all while keeping His eyes on the final joy of redeeming His lost sheep. If we will also endure with His strength until the end, He has this precious promise for each one of us: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4 NIV


I think the old hymn by Philip Bliss perfectly captures the beauty of this assurance and the vision of one day standing before the Spotless Lamb of God who labored in the garden, was pierced, died and rose again so that we would ultimately be rescued from the very presence of suffering and sorrow for all eternity. As you read these words Philip Bliss penned and look at this painting of our suffering Lord, I pray you will feel His loving arms enfolding your broken hearts, filling you with courage to praise Him once more:

“Man of Sorrows,” what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim!
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood—
Sealed my pardon with His blood:
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

Guilty, vile and helpless, we,
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
Full atonement! can it be?
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

Lifted up was He to die,
“It is finished,” was His cry;
Now in heav’n exalted high:
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

When He comes, our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew this song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

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