The Suffering Christ

Matthew 20: 18-19,  “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again.”

As I was preparing a talk for a joint Good Friday service, I realized that I don’t reflect enough on the suffering that Jesus Christ went through on the cross.  I don’t mean that in a morbid sort of way.  It is just that, beyond Good Friday/Easter Sunday, I don’t often meditate on all that He suffered on the cross.

After His arrest, the Bible describes how Jesus had a crown of thorns crammed on His head. He was spit on, mocked and then He was scourged.  I read the word scourged and I realize I don’t think much about what that actually means. 

When the Romans scourged someone, it would quickly remove the skin. Deep lacerations, torn flesh, exposed muscles and excessive bleeding would leave the criminal "half-dead." The Centurion in charge would order a halt to the flogging when the criminal was near death.

Jesus Christ suffered a scourging before He went to the Cross.

At the cross, the condemned was thrown to the ground on his back, with his arms outstretched along the crossbar.  The nails…the iron spikes…were driven into His hands and feet.  During the time on the cross, Jesus would have been in excruciating pain, struggling to breathe, enduing unimaginable horror. 

Then came that final moment, when His earthly suffering was over….with His last Words…”It is finished.” Jesus, the innocent Son of God, who bore our sins, died.

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. (John 15:9)

I asked the people in our congregation what came to mind when they thought of Jesus on the cross.  One lady said, “Unfathomable Love.”  I couldn’t say it any better.

Jesus went through all that suffering because He loved us…He died so that we could be reconnected with God the Father. 

Today, I urge you to take some time and reflect upon the Cross.  Reflect upon His suffering AND His Love.

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