The concept of God, of Jesus, grieving may seem almost sacrilegious to some. But a candid review of the Scriptures will clearly show that this is not only possible, but a very real fact NOW in the experience of our Creator. Let’s first establish the fact, one of which perhaps most of us are well aware, that God is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8. That being true, we can know that the things which God Himself said in times past caused Him grief, will still do so today. In this post, we will explore the reality of the grief in the heart of God, and begin to unfold what you and I can do about it.
First, I like to make sure I have a clear, true understanding of words before I use them. I went to the Webster’s 1828 Dictionary and looked up the word “grief.” Here’s what it says: “The pain of mind produced by loss or misfortune, injury, or evils of any kind; sorrow (the sense is pressure or oppression).” It is absolutely incredible and painful to me to consider this as a reality in the experience of God, yet He Himself says it, so it is true! Let’s let God speak for Himself of His inner feelings as He dealt with His children in the past!
Judges 10:16 “And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the Lord: and His soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.” This passage comes at the end of a sad description of how the Israelites had turned from the true God to serve false gods. The God of heaven responds with the charge that His people have turned their backs on Him. He challenges them to seek deliverance from the gods they had chosen. In verse 15 the people repent and humble themselves before the TRUE GOD, and then comes verse 16. The Lord does not want His people to have to go through this painful process of turning from Him and turning back to Him. Plugging in the definition above, it causes Him “pain of mind…with a sense of pressure or oppression.” This grieves Him. And Psalm 78:40 brings this thought, “How often did they provoke Him in the wilderness, and grieve Him in the desert!” Yes, rebellion, the choice to turn from God to sin and disobedience, brings grief—pain, pressure, oppression–to the heart of our Creator. Further, this turning from Him, as the next verse points out, “limits” Him. “Yes, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.” Vs. 41. We must here pause and ask a very pointed question! Have I grieved God? Am I limiting God? Am I causing my God pain, pressure, oppression? God wants to keep us united with Him, so that neither we nor He will have to experience the pain of our having to turn away from wrong choices in our lives.
Our Heavenly Father is very compassionate; very concerned about the effects of sin in our lives. Consider the following: “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them: and He bore them, and carried them all the days of old.” Isaiah 63:9 This shows that what afflicts us afflicts Him. “Surely He has borne our grief…” Isaiah 53:4a
Consider with me now this passage in Isaiah 53:3. “He is despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.” Note that this passage does not open with, “He WAS despised…”, but with “He IS despised…” This is an important point. Isaiah, speaking prophetically, words this verse in such a way that we can see that Christ’s experience is a present reality in every age, since the introduction of sin into His perfect world! We see that the very things that made Him a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief while here on earth, still make Him sad and grieve Him today. And the treatment that He received in past times from His people is the same treatment we give Him today! We shared the following passage in an earlier blog. It is fitting to ponder it again.
“All heaven suffered in Christ’s agony; but that suffering did not begin or end with His manifestation in humanity. The cross is a revelation to our dull senses of the pain that, from its very inception, sin has brought to the heart of God. Every departure from the right, every deed of cruelty, every failure of humanity to reach His ideal, brings grief to Him. Education, pg. 263, E.G. White
Yes, our wrongdoing—our sin—grieves our God! Hebrews 6:6 says that we “crucify to ourselves the Son of God afresh…” when we choose to sin; we put Him through the same grief, sorrow, and pain of heart and mind that He endured on Calvary. Indeed, Jesus needs closure for His grief. The way we can help is to seek Him for that experience that will enable us to be victorious. We will cover more of this in later blogs, but He promises in His Word that, “sin shall not have dominion over” us. Romans 6:14
As we mentioned in an earlier blog, we believe that Jesus needs closure for basically four aspects in His experience just now. There are many “branches” under each aspect. This blog covered His grief; an earlier one, the delay in His coming. In our next post, we will cover Christ’s need for closure for His disappointment. Until then, here are a few statements from the book, The Desire of Ages, written by E.G. White, and considered by the US Library of Congress to be the best book ever written on the life of Christ. Anyone interested in obtaining a copy of this gem can contact us here at Closure for Jesus and we will be happy to send one for a suggested donation of $3.00, US funds, postpaid.
“…how grievous to Him is our evil temper, our vanity, and pride.” pg. 649
“This contention (among the disciples), carried on in the presence of Christ, grieved and wounded Him.” pg. 643
“When He saw men refuse the message of peace, His heart was pierced to the very depths…” pg. 255