Today’s passage is hard to read. The details of the cross are overwhelming to me. The thought of Jesus suffering like that to pay for my sin is almost too much to bear. Even though it’s painful, let’s look at the suffering John records about Jesus’ crucifixion.
Pilate Had Jesus Flogged
Flogging was a legal preliminary to every Roman execution. The usual instrument was a short whip with several single or braided leather thongs of variable lengths, in which small iron balls or sharp pieces of sheep bones were tied at intervals. For scourging, the man was stripped of his clothing, and his hands were tied to an upright post. The back, buttocks, and legs were flogged either by two soldiers or by one who alternated positions. The severity of the scourging depended on the disposition of the lictors and was intended to weaken the victim to a state just short of collapse or death.
The Crown of Thorns
The crown consisted of thorn branch woven into a crown. These Palestine thorns were long and very hard. The thorns pierced Jesus’ head.
The Purple Robe
The purpose of the robe and crown was to mock Jesus. He said He was the King of the Jews—let’s make fun of Him. The humiliation, especially in His physically weakened state, was very difficult.
We can’t even imagine the heartbreak to hear those words shouted in anger from the very people Jesus came to save. The ones that said “Hosanna” only a short time earlier, now voted for His death.
Carrying the Cross
Deprived of sleep, food and water, then beaten almost to death, Jesus was required to carry His own cross to the place of execution. He couldn’t do it, so another man was made to carry it.
One of the most painful and horrific deaths ever devised by man. The purpose was to make an example of the condemned man—to show everyone not to mess with Rome. The spikes driven in the wrists between the radius and the ulna. The nails through the feet. The riveting pain when the cross was raised and dropped into the hole. The incredible thirst. The need to lift yourself up on the nails, rubbing your beaten back across the rough wood of the cross, in order to get a breath. The humiliation. This is pain that’s unbelievable for us to even imagine.
Jesus suffered like that willingly for us. To pay for our sins. To save the lost. Take a moment right now and thank Him. Live your life today on purpose for a Savior that would love you like that. Share the news with those who don’t know Him.
By: Tim Parsons