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
It was the title of the article that grabbed my attention.
The header read: "Man Tries To Sail Around the World Backwards."
Not being a sailor, that sentence conjured up all kinds of pictures in my mind. Did that mean the sailboat would be piloted around the world going rudder first? Maybe it meant the man himself was standing backwards and had to keep looking over his shoulder. Either one of those methods of sailing would cause great difficulty and be newsworthy.
The article went on to explain that 37-year-old Steve White was going to circumnavigate the globe by sailing from east to west. It's not that the trip is any longer going that way, but it does mean White will be single handedly sailing against the wind.
Apparently, that makes the job far more difficult.
Sailing against the wind -- that's one way to describe the Savior's life. King's are supposed to be born in palaces, but Jesus' arrival on earth began in a stable. God's Son should have been praised and applauded, but Jesus was cursed and reviled. His life should have been a blessed one, but the Lord of life was despised and rejected by men.
The Christ was as Isaiah had foretold: "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief."
In spite of the prophecies, Jesus continued to sail against the wind. His life was marked by the frowns of disapproving Pharisees, the hatred of His boyhood neighbors, the desertion of His closest friends, and the betraying kiss of a disciple. His last day was spent hearing lies being told about Himself, listening to crowds call for His crucifixion, and standing silent as Pilate condemned Him to death.
In spite of all that, Jesus continued to sail against the wind.
No, the Savior didn't live the way He had because He hoped -- as Steve White hopes -- that He would receive fame, riches, and His Name in the record books. Jesus sailed against the world because He wanted us to be forgiven of our wrongdoing.
He did it so our souls might be redeemed and we might be brought safely into the harbor of heaven.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, for sailing against the temptations of Satan, the opinions of people, for remaining committed and offering Yourself upon the cross, I give thanks. Help me remain appreciative of Your healing sacrifice. This I ask in Your Name. Amen.
PS ~ If you desire, you can follow Steve White's record-breaking sailing attempt over the next year at this Web site: http://www.whiteoceanracing.com/.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries