This meditation was written by retired CRC pastor Dale Vander Veen and is posted here with his kind permission.
“He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain…
The punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.”
– Isaiah 53:3 & 5
Rejection is not a pleasant feeling. It is particularly painful for a child. A friend, a classmate, a neighbor child, a teacher, even a parent can send signals of rejection. Growing up is not idyllic. And learning to absorb, recover from, learn from, and ultimately forgive someone for rejection can be a long process.
Adulthood is no rain-free, bug-free picnic either. First-time authors know what rejection at the hands of publishers means. Job applicants and those who want a promotion at work have felt the sting. Buyers and sellers in the real estate market dance through rejections of prices, offers, and counter-offers – and loan applications And then there are the dreaded rejections of love, from first requests for a date to the rejection that only the divorced and their families can describe.
Some years ago I was scheduled to donate blood at our church’s quarterly Red Cross blood drive. I was rejected! I have a slight rash that comes and goes on the inside of both elbows. The rush showed up when I rolled up my sleeve. I was rejected. Don’t worry. My psyche bears no permanent scars. The feeling was more disappointment than rejection.
Jesus was not only rejected; he was also despised. I was not despised. On the contrary, the Red Cross representative invited me to stay for juice and cookies normally reserved for those who give blood! And they encouraged me with “Maybe you can give next time.”
Because I was rejected, I could not give my blood. Because Jesus was rejected, he had to give his blood. Actually, he arranged to give his blood. When arrested in Gethsemane, he declined to ask his Father for twelve legions of angels (that’s 72,000 angels). My blood could possibly have helped heal someone. Jesus’ blood has healed many, including me. Praise God! Thank you, Jesus!
Today may you know, and perhaps even weep, that your crucified Lord’s rejection has secured your full acceptance with God.