The Scourging

John 19:1 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! When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid; And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? 11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. 12 And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar. 13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! 15 But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. 16 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.

The Romans were experts at inflicting pain.  The scourging was believed to have been done with what 1s called a cat-o-nine tails whip.  It is nothing like the whips we see today.  It has nine lengths of leather.  Each one is studded with small shards of rock to cut open the skin.  The whip would actually embed itself in the flesh, so when it was pulled away, it would take small pieces with it.  One of these lashes would be enough to make me want to give up.  Jesus took 39.  39 times the shards cut into his flesh and pulled it apart.  39 times He felt that whip come across his torso, not just his back.  The tails would whip around his body, ripping His flesh apart.  39 times.

After he scourging, they made a crown of thorns and placed it on His head.  It is believed this crown was made out of a bramble bush, which has thorns about 1 inch long.  The bramble is easy to shape and weave, and would inflict a good amount of pain.  They mocked Jesus as King once they put the crown on Him.  They also put a robe on His back, the back that was open with sores..  The blood probably congealed on the robe in the 5-10 minutes it was on Him, so when they pulled it off, the wounds opened up again.  To top off all of this, they beat Him and spit on Him.

Pilate tried once more to get Jesus to denounce everything so he could let Him go.  But Jesus is resolute in His mission  He tells Pilate that he only has power over Him because it was given to him.  Jesus recognizes all this as part of the plan, and is determined to follow it through to the end.  Pilate has no choice but to send Him off to be crucified.

When we are in the middle of a difficult time, maybe in sickness or financial distress, do we understand that those things have no power over us that is not allowed by our Father above?  And do we also know in our heats that God never gives us anything that does not have an escape plan (1 Cor 10:13)?  I use Job;s example all the time to demonstrate this.  Everything that happened to Job happened because God pulled away the hedge of protection and allowed Satan to attack him. God set the limits on how far Satan could go.

We must realize that our trials and difficult times are meant to help us grow, not to tear us down.  We should enter into them with a sense of expectation, knowing God is working out something good in our lives (Rom 8:28).  There is never a time that God is not in control, and here is never a time that God does not set the limits on what will come our way. When you know this deep down in your spirit, you can go through anything that comes your way and stay on top of t.

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