“Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!”
We preach a bloody cross! There is no way to talk about the Gospel without a mention of the suffering of Jesus Christ. First, there was the scourge. He was beaten with a whip that was made of leather straps extending from a wooden handle. There were nine strands of leather embedded with pieces of bone, rock, and metal. The instrument was often referred to as the “cat of nine tails.” The scourging was so brutal that it would sometimes remove an organ as it tore away the flesh. It was believed that forty stripes would kill most men so the Roman soldiers gave thirty-nine. The scourge was one stripe from death and as close to death as most would ever come and live. The scourge was gruesome and yet Jesus endured it. They pressed a crown of thorns upon His head, and with His flesh shredded and dripping with blood from the scourge they covered Him in a purple robe. The soldiers struck Him and mocked Him. He was then led to Calvary where His hands and feet were nailed with metal spikes to a wooden cross. There Jesus who knew no sin became sin for us. The wrath of God was poured out on Him and He was treated the way we deserve to be treated. He took our place that we might go free. His agonizing death was not in vain. Jesus purchased our salvation by suffering on a cross. He was lifted up so that we might look by faith and live. In Him we have redemption through His blood. Without a bloody cross there would be no remission of sin.
Prayer: “Father, we thank You for the precious blood of Jesus that was shed for us. You did not spare Your Son Jesus but freely gave Him up for us, and in Him You will give us all things. We thank You. In Jesus name. Amen.”
Randy J. McPheron