Passion (five)

…Flogged…Crucified…Mark 15:15

No matter which version you read, Jesus knew about the scourging as well as the crucifixion before it happened, Matthew 20:18-19. The obvious pursuit of Pilate to enforce his authority in pronouncing Jesus innocent is best seen in commanding the scourge.  If Pilate could punish Jesus within an inch of his life, then surely The Jewish Sanhedrin would be content to believe Jesus would be silenced. Pilate had no idea how much the Sanhedrin hated Jesus, neither did Pilate understand the power of Jesus. From The Jews point of view, Flogging is truly senseless suffering which would accomplish nothing but more pain. But from The Lord’s perspective, this is the whole point of bearing the consequences of sin. The Cross accomplished an end to the job of sacrificing, however, the Scourge was truly furthering weight on to the burden of suffering as a sacrifice.

We have no idea how much our sins weigh. We think it is the immediate consequence, but we are too short-sighted to see what other pain or problems are caused from our sin. An obvious example is the teenager who causes an accident while drinking. The future problems are insurmountable in anyone’s estimation of the future. Does that teenager really want to pay for all the weight of his sinful action from one night of foolishness? No court or jail could truly make him, because no person alive can see the future problems that will arise from his crime.  We are aware of the consequences, we see it in songs like the old theme tune of Barretta, “Don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time”. Yet we continue struggling with sin that lives in us, Romans 7:18-25. Only Jesus is able to bear the full weight of all our sins, and scourging was one of the many ways, Jesus demonstrated his ability to suffer and yet win. While in comparison, we lose. It is only his victory over sin, that gives us hope. This is why Jesus was ‘passionate’ about winning over the battle of sin & death. For this joy that was set before Him, Heb. 12:1-3 & 2:9-11.

Without Jesus bearing the full consequences of all our sins, The Father could never justify forgiving us. Forgiving us would never be the right thing to do, unless the wrongs were put right by God The Father. No matter how much we suffer for our own sin, it doesn’t correct the wrong we have done. That is why the word forGIVEness has the word GIVE in it. God gives up the right to take vengeance on us when he forgives us, and He can only do that, when looking at the blood of Christ, because that pain is what paid for our wrongs and makes it ‘fair’ for The Father to reprieve us of our punishment.  See Ephesians 1:7 & Matthew 26:28. This is trying to understand the idea of atonement.

What is truly amazing about the suffering of Christ is that His Spirit still feels our pain. Christ suffered more than even his enemies wanted him to. Paul teaches us that Christ’s sufferings are still ongoing in Colossians 1:24, because our Christian living brings us into suffering, 1st Peter 2:20-21, and since His Spirit is with us, He does more than just see the sin committed against us, He feels it. The world sins against us, and we sin against each other. Therefore when Christians suffer because of sin, Christ’s Spirit is present and is suffering with us. In fact, the pain is filling the body of Christ up, and when it is full, God will end our struggle with sin and the Judgment will come. God will not tolerate persecution of His people forever. But we must thank Him daily for tolerating the violent abuse against His Son.

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