The sufferings of Christ: a predetermined plan

Every Wednesday I participate in community over at Ann Voskamps A Holy Experience, where we share a spiritual practice that draws us closer to God, allowing us to walk with Him. 

Today's post won't be a "spiritual practice" about what we are doing for Easter per se, but instead I chose to focus on "The suffering's of Christ" giving gratitude and attention to what took place leading to His death by bowing the head and knees—hourly in recognition to these sufferings on my behalf.  I'm choosing to take the time to learn about the physical and spiritual sufferings and to share them...testify.

I pray that the introduction to the sufferings of Christ will cause you to pause Give gratitude.  Put skin on holy words realizing what Jesus allowed to happen only because He loves you and me.  
The torture of Jesus is cruel, inhumane, and disturbing, but I've chosen to learn about it and walk through the agonizing, bone-chilling, stomach tightening, hours of such a suffering so that I may learn from it.  Learn to appreciate to the depth of my capacity, the depth of God's love for me.

Jesus' death was totally and completed unwarranted—unecessary, but it was predetermined by God... so it is important that we remember when reading accounts of the beatings leading up to the crucifixion itself the words He spoke: "No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative.  I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.  This commandment I received from my Father."

That truth is something I've had to remember and grasp close as the horrific details of a death so unjustified,  causes one to seethe with anger.  In the details leading up to the crucifixion we can clearly see our depravity, and His love.  Love that has no depth.  Remember all that suffering... all that shame was taken on by Christ for our sake.  Period.  He suffered so that we wouldn't have to.

In keeping with Roman custom—Pilate ordered that Jesus be scourged (Matt. 27: 26; Mark 15:15).  Two kinds of scourging were administered back then: Jewish and Roman.  Jewish laws were more specific than that of the Romans.  The Jewish law stated that a victim could not receive more than 40 lashes (Deut. 25: 1-3).  Roman law, on the other hand, wasn't as human.  They had a man trained in torture called a lictor, administered their scourging.

"Crucifixion was prefaced by scourging, either on the way to the cross or before the victim began the trip to the cross.  Tied to a post, the condemned person would be beaten with the flagellum: a leather whip with metal knotted into thongs.  This whipping bloodied the victim's back, leaving strips of flesh hanging from the wounds.  By weakening the victims constitution, it would mercifully shorten the time it would take the condemned person to die on the cross."

In the Journal of the American Medical Association, a team of medical and theological professionals describe the torture in detail:

" As the Roman soldiers repeatedly struck the victim's back with full force, the iron balls would cause deep contusions, and the leather thongs and sheep bones would cut in the skin and subcutaneous tissues.  then as flogging continued, the lacerations would tear into underlying skeletal muscles and produce quivering ribbons of bleeding flesh.  Pain and blood loss generally set the stage for circulatory shock.  The extent of blood loss may well have determined how long the victim would survive on the cross ...

The server scourging with its intense pain and surmountable blood loss, most probably left Jesus in a preshock state.  Moreover, hematirosis had rendered His skin particularly tender.  the physical and mental abuse meted out by the Jews and the Romans, as well as the lack of food, water, and sleep, also contributed to His generally weaken state.  Therefore, even before the actual crucifixion, Jesus' physical condition was at least serious and possibly critical."

As if pain from intense physical torture were not enough, Jesus also endured the emotional pain of cruel humiliation.

"From all of Scripture it is imperative that we remember that Christ was not murdered in an abrupt act of passion.  His death was part of God's eternal plan for our redemption."


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