I have trodden the wine press alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in my anger…
We behold the Redeemer —
I. DESERTED BY HUMAN FRIENDS. No human friends could understand or sympathize in the work of Christ. It is the fate of many men to go through life alone. They may have many relatives, acquaintances, companions, and derive much ,,pleasure from their society; but they may never meet with a truly "kindred spirit. Them are two kinds of loneliness — the isolation of distance and the loneliness of the heart; and the latter is the far more complete and sad of the two. The fisherman, alone at night upon the sea, with no other living being near, no sound but the plashing of the wavelets, no sight but of the occasional struggling of a star through the clouds, may be in spirit at his cottage home upon the beach, and space and time are annihilated, and his heart peopled with many a dear familiar form. But far different is the loneliness of the heart! What solitude is there comparable to the spiritual loneliness of him who, with a soul filled with sadness, finds himself jostled in the midst of a gay and pleasure-seeking crowd? So is it with the man of transcendent goodness or genius. Such a one must, to a greater or less extent, be lonely. This it was which constituted the peculiar bitterness of the trial of Elijah (1 Kings 19:14). It has often been said that the possession of a real and truehearted friend is at once the greatest and the rarest of earthly blessings; such a friend as was Jonathan to David. But if such friendships are rare among men, how utterly impossible was it that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, should find a friend and sympathizer, in the truest sense of those words, among the sons of men. Twelve chosen associates, indeed, He had, but they were utterly incapable, as long as He lived below, even of understanding Him, much less could they enter into, and sympathize with, the great work of His life and death. That work was essentially a lonely one. For —
1. He alone could accomplish our redemption.
2. Christ was alone in His foreknowledge. We often hear those who have passed through some heavy trial say, " If I had known beforehand what I had to endure, I could not have borne it; I should have sunk under the appalling prospect!" So mercifully has our Heavenly Father, knowing our frame, hidden the things that are to be from our eyes. But there was this ineffable aggravation of the grief of the "Man of sorrows, that, to the suffering of the present, there was superadded the heavier prospect of the future.
3. Then, too, from the Divine purity and loftiness of His soul, Christ suffered far more than any mere man could suffer. The more refined and elevated a man's nature is, the more sensitive he is apt to he; the keener are his sorrows, and the more ecstatic his joys. But sin, and death its punishment, the whole world's burden of which rested upon the pure soul of the Redeemer, had for Him a dark and dreadful reality of horror, inconceivable by any of us whose innermost heart has been tainted with the love of sin.
4. Moreover, in another way, the grief of the Lord Jesus Christ in this world was what the sorrow of no mere man could be, the sorrow of the Creator in the midst of His mined works.
5. Yet again, in His power of omniscience He stood "alone." "He that increaseth knowledge, increaseth sorrow." If we could discern the secrets of all hearts, if the thoughts and desires of a crowd could be rendered audible to us, how continually should we be overwhelmed with shame and horror. But Christ knew all men.
II. LEFT ALONE BY GOD. When He foretold to the disciples their desertion, He added, "And yet I am not alone, because My Father is with Me." But in the hour of His deepest agony there was an exception even to that companionship of eternity. Far otherwise has it been with the martyrs of Jesus, and with all His faithful people since, in the "article of death." Conclusion:
1. Christ "trod the winepress alone" for you. Mourn, therefore, and rejoice.
2. Christ will "tread the winepress alone" again: the winepress of the wrath of God.
3. It is oftentimes the lot of God's people to be called upon in some degree to "tread the ,winepress alone." Daniel had to do so. But remember for your encouragement that, in the highest sense, you never can be alone in the conflict. Your Saviour met the world, the flesh, and the devil alone, that you might never have to wage a single-handed warfare, never be left without a higher Presence in the good fight of faith.
(H. E. Nolloth, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.
WEB: "I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the peoples there was no man with me: yes, I trod them in my anger, and trampled them in my wrath; and their lifeblood is sprinkled on my garments, and I have stained all my clothing.