Talk with women about the birth of their children, and they will tell you about labor pains. The pain associated with labor and delivery is a travailing pain. I understand that by faith – not by experience.
The Miriam-Webster Dictionary defines “travail” as “painful work or exertion; agony; torment; the labor associated with childbirth.” Actually that’s the word Isaiah used when speaking of the death of Christ. In Isaiah 53:11 he said, “As a result of the anguish of His soul He will see it and be satisfied.”
The word “anguish” is the Hebrew word amal, which means “labor or toil” in the sense of trouble, or distress, or sorrow. It is usually translated by the words “travail or anguish,” and is often associated with birth pangs. In the Bible, it is sometimes paired with the idea of iniquity, and has a negative connotation. It suggests something like “wretchedness.” What a strong word to describe what our Savior did for us when He died for our iniquities!
Now, in using that word, Isaiah is telling us that the anguish of Christ on the cross was like the travail of birth pangs. Our Savior was giving birth to His children. Then Isaiah says, “He will see it and be satisfied.” Picture the Lord’s satisfaction as we all sit together with Him in heaven – a smile on His face; abundant joy in His heart; the warmth of love in His eyes – like a mother caressing her child with joy after experiencing the pain of delivery.
“As a result of the anguish of His soul He will see it and be satisfied.”
Say – have you been born again? If so, Jesus looks at you and says that the pain was worth it!