Actually, two posts back, I was using the word figuratively. But Jesus experienced much of it literally as well.
The word appears as “reproach” in many Bible translations. It means disgrace, shame, railing against, saying sharp things, taunting, upbraiding–stuff like that–whatever way it’s translated.
Look how often it appears in Psalm 69, considered a Messianic psalm (having some word foreshadowing Christ and getting verified by the New Testament referencing or quoting it): Look at Psalm 69:7,9,10,19,20. Though this is a Psalm of David, expressing in many places his own anguish, it contains those intermittent foreshadowings and outright prophecies of Christ. For instance, compare Psalm 69:9 with John 2:14-17, Psalm 69:9 with Romans 15:3, and Psalm 69:21 with Matthew 27:34.
If you read through the Psalm, you’ll find many other verses that could apply to Jesus’ time of suffering and express His anguish (like Ps 69:12). Verse 4 not only does this, but gives the whole reason for all this reproach getting heaped on Him (Ps 69:4).
Rightful, and Unrightful, Reproach
Reproach, shame, and disgrace can be heaped on people rightfully, if they have acted vilely or disgracefully–or failed to act when they should have. Sharp rebuke might wake them up to their wrongs and failings and stir up repentance. But in Jesus no wrong could be found. Though he had stolen nothing, He restored.
Ever been in debt up over your head, debt way bigger than you could ever repay? Guess what? We all have: debt to God! We have robbed God in neglected giving (Mal 3:8) and neglected obedience.
There are trespasses of commission and sins of omission. The first are the wrongs we do against God and His name. The second are the things we should have done but didn’t–the obedience we owe to a holy God but have fallen way short in fulfilling. We might think ourselves squeaky clean because of the “I never”s (“I never committed murder, or adultery, or…” whatever, and still not have done a lot of things that God commands.
Reproach Received, Debt Relieved
Some of us word part of the Lord’s Prayer this way: “… And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” God is able to forgive those debts of ours because Jesus paid for them in full, just as the last part of Psalm 69:4 says. Thanks be to Christ for restoring that which we could not repay–and for receiving heaped upon Himself all the disgrace that we deserve to bear because of it! The crux of the cross.