Man of Sorrows

Devotional by Shauna Wallace

Read Matthew 26:17-75

Matthew 26:17-75

The Passover with the Disciples

17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 18 He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’” 19 And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover.

20 When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. 21 And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” 23 He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” 25 Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”

Institution of the Lord’s Supper

26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial

30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 33 Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” 35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same.

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane

36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

47 While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” 49 And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. 51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” 55 At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. 56 But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.

Jesus Before Caiaphas and the Council

57 Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. 58 And Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end. 59 Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, 60 but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward 61 and said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.’” 62 And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” 63 But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” 67 Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, 68 saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?”

Peter Denies Jesus

69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” 71 And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” 73 After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” 74 Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The ESV text may not be quoted in any publication made available to the public by a Creative Commons license. The ESV may not be translated in whole or in part into any other language.


No one exits earth unscathed.

Disappointment deflates. Rejection wounds. Betrayal blindsides.

Insecurity taunts. Fear binds. Anxiety paralyzes.

Health declines. Treatments fail. Limits linger.

Injuries sideline. Aging thieves. Death destroys.

Marriages crumble. Babies die. Children wander.

Finances fail. Losses mount. Hope fades.

Suffering is universal, but our experiences feel intensely personal. No one but me has walked in my shoes. No one but you has walked in yours. But Jesus—Man of Sorrows—he’s walked in all of our shoes.

Our sorrows may catch us off guard, but Jesus knew what was said of him long before he departed heaven’s glory for humanity’s grit: “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:3, ESV).

These were not simply strangers from pagan nations who’d never heard of God or experienced his miracles and faithfulness. No, these were the people God set apart as his. They maliciously deemed him vile, avoided, and despised Jesus.

Isaiah’s predictions unfold in Matthew 26:17-75. Jesus knows his “time is at hand” (18). As his enemies conspire in darkness and hatred, treachery within his inner circle tipped the progression of prophesied anguish, torment, and brutal affliction.

Jesus knows his body will be broken and his blood poured out for the forgiveness of my sins and yours, and he begins to live out the unthinkable. He is:

  • Neglected by his closest friends when his sorrowful, troubled soul desperately needed their watchful care (37-45)
  • “Betrayed into the hands of sinners” (45)
  • Treated like a criminal (47, 55)
  • Kissed on the cheek while stabbed in the back (48-49)
  • Violently accosted (50)
  • Deserted by the same close friends who swore their dying loyalty (35, 56)
  • Hated by religious leaders consecrated and anointed to guard God’s ways for his coming (57-59)
  • Falsely accused (59-60)
  • Wanted dead (66)
  • Spit on, beaten, mocked, and ridiculed (67-68)
  • Disowned and disavowed by his most impassioned, vocal follower (69-74)

Jesus really does get us.

To know Jesus as Man of Sorrows is to know Jesus as one who knows our every sorrow in personal, profound, and amplified ways. It’s to know Jesus’ compassion as one who has felt what we feel and “suffers with” us (see Hebrews 4:15). It’s to know the one who will soon turn our sorrows into joyful rejoicing (see John 20-22).

In what ways have you and Jesus suffered similar sorrow, suffering, or distress? How can you draw comfort, strength, and hope from him as the Man of Sorrows, either for yourself or for someone you know?

23 thoughts on “Day Five | Holy Week 2024

  1. The people that had knew Jesus backstabbed him and portrayed one act and did another. One example was when the person kissed his cheek and deliberately hurt him in his back. This was because they despised Jesus because of how much power he really had over us personally and what was going to happen especially when he states “Deny 3 times” which actually happened. We can bring this into our personal lives when we are friends or get into a relationship with someone not sent from God but from our own choices and it results in us getting backstabbed behind our backs. However, when the person is sent from God to impact us (or for other reasons ie.), we won’t get backstabbed, but instead it will be guaranteed as great and positive because they came from the Lord even if it physically may seem impossible and shocking and despiteful to others, God is sure when he opens that door for you once you become ready to receive what’s behind the door.

  2. Jesus has walked with me through physical pain and betrayal. He knew I would be experiencing both before I did. I wouldn’t have gotten through either without Him picking me up in His arms and carrying me🙏🏾❤️

  3. Isolation and feeling misunderstood have been two major areas of suffering that Christ and I have experienced. His reminder to me that I am known and seen by the Father helped me through this seemingly constant cycle of struggle. The comfort and nearness of His presence and His Spirit provided and STILL provides hope to continue on for His glory!

    And BTW – beautifully written Shauna! Powerful and compelling words for us to be encouraged by!

  4. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone should lay down his life for his friends.” John 15: 13

    The creator of the entire universe is our friend. He died on a cross and paid the price for our sinful nature. The next time our Lord and Savior comes, He will come in glory. We have a life or death choice. We can believe and trust in Jesus. We can accept His free gift of salvation and eternal life. Or we can go to hell.
    Those of us who have made the decision to place our faith and trust in Jesus should share the good news with the lost. That obligation should way more heavily on those of us who were once lost ourselves.

  5. Beautiful! Man of Sorrows, what a name! For the Son of God who came. Ruined sinners to reclaim…Hallelujah! What a Savior!

  6. He was made sin, he who knew no sin, that we may be saved through his righteousness. My heart was heavy for the rejections our Lord Jesus experienced in his last moments on earth with his disciples, especially when he took Peter and another trusted disciple to pray with him at Gethsemane, and they fell asleep three times while they were supposed to keep watch for him. He rebuked them with love. He was mute throughout his accusations. What manner of love has God bestowed on sinners like us who forsake his only begotten son to die on the cross, so that we might be saved?

    1. Thank you Lord. I would have died in my sin if it wasn’t for your sweet love toward me.

  7. it is a love I can’t comprehend that caused the Son of God to leave heaven and willingly take on such pain and anguish for us. Thank you, Lord.

    1. Oh, the love of Jesus! How much more could God have done to show how much He loves us but by sending His Own Son to die in our place? Love so amazing so divine. I cannot imagine living this life without my Savior Jesus at the center. I want to shine brightly for Him, for His glory!!

  8. Dear Lord,

    Thank You for being a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3). That gives me great comfort in knowing whatever grief or sorrow I many experience, You have experienced that same grief and sorrow only on a much greater scale. Thank You Jesus for loving me so much that You experienced the shame, the suffering, the crucifixion of a painful death so I can live forever! I will always praise You to the end of my days!

  9. As I grow closer to God, division/opposition, crisis of identity, temptation, and storms/trials intensify. If we respond to these challenges with our flesh , we’ll call ourselves unworthy, undesirable, incapable, or unloved. Jesus did not choose any of these postures. Though sorrowful, he wasn’t focused on his current circumstances. He didn’t go to God and say, “Can you believe, Peter?” or “ After all these miracles I’ve performed, they betray me? Me?” He desired to fulfill the scriptures, and move on to his final destination. “But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Matthew 26:64

    Actions, not just words

  10. As I read the scripture, it really needed no commentary. I could identify with Jesus and His betrayers. I am humbled by Gods mercy to me and His love I cannot comprehend.
    The music this week has spoken to my heart. So worshipful. This is a very special week.

  11. Thank you, Jesus. My sin caused you great pain and suffering. Your love is greater. Your sacrifice is grace personified.

  12. The dear Lord Jesus paid for my sins by his precious blood instead of me, that I will never be able to pay back… He resolved my problems in the past releasing me out of guilty, also lead and accompany me to the glorified path until my end of life. He is truely my best uncomparable friend and guardian for ever, he is worthy for all my life along contribued to Lord’s love and missions…

  13. I was thinking that Jesus’s focus on His mission plus His strong desire to be obedient to the Father helped Him endure much of the suffering, rejection and pain. Those are the same things that can help us to endure our trials as well.

  14. Hallelujah ! Praise and honor to my savior that bore all my sins🙏🏾 . I know that there is no hurt that heaven can’t heal!

  15. This is why JESUS is called “the SAVIOR.” HE paid it all & all my life is AMEN!!!

  16. Lord, you have done more for me than I could possibly list on this page. My heart ❤️ is full and words can’t express the the gratitude I have toward you. Thank you for understanding brokenness, heartache, and pain. Thank you for bearing all of it. I love you Lord-you made a way for me. My heart I’d yours forever.
    Amazing Grace 👑

  17. I can only imagine what Jesus suffered, but he knows my suffering, he is with me in my suffering and redeems my suffering. Thank you Father for sending me your Spirit, to illuminate your truth and empower me through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.

  18. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life…..
    No greater love!
    Thank you, Jesus!

  19. I see that as said in Psalms 103:12. ”as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.“
    Psalm‬ ‭103‬:‭12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

    How I prayed is that sin is not just separated as far from the east is from the west, it includes grief and suffering is to be treated in the same fashion as sin being as far from the east is from the west.

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