As we prepare to celebrate Easter this Sunday let us all be reminded of what we are celebrating. Christ suffered to give us the promise of eternal life. I could never thank Him enough for what he did for me. The following is found in the footnotes of the Full Life Study Bible – King James Version and I reference these footnotes often to remind me of His sacrifice and suffering.
The sufferings of Christ:
Stage 1 – He began to be sorrowful – The physical and spiritual suffering of Christ begins in Gethsemane. “His sweat was as it were great drops of blood.” (Luke 22:44) Under great stress, the small capillaries in the sweat glands can break and mix blood with sweat.
Stage 2 – They spit, buffeted and smote Him – After the arrest at night and abandonment by His disciples (Matthew 26:55-57), Jesus is brought before Caiaphas and the Jewish Council. He is blindfolded, mocked repeatedly, spat on, and struck in the face.
Stage 3 – Delivered Him to Pilate – In the morning, Jesus, battered and exhausted, is taken across Jerusalem to be interrogated by Pilate. Barabbas is released (Matthew 27:21) and Jesus is scourged and delivered over to be crucified (Matthew 27:26).
Stage 4 – Scourged Jesus – The Roman scourge consisted of the victim being stripped and stretched against a pillar or bent over a low post, with his hands being tied. The instrument of torture was a short wooden handle to which several leather thongs were attached, with bits of iron or bone tied to the thongs. The blows were laid on the victim’s back by two men, one lashing the victim from one side, one from the other side. Often the victim died during the flogging. Scourging was hideous torture. The inability of Jesus to bear His own cross is no doubt due to the severe infliction (Matthew 27:32, Luke 23:26). “But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24).
Stage 5 – A scarlet robe, a crown of thorns – Jesus is untied and placed in the middle of the Roman battalion (Matthew 27: 27-29). The soldiers put a robe across His shoulders, place a stick in His hand, and press a circle of branches covered with long thorns on His head. The soldiers mock and strike Him across the face and head driving the thorns deeper into His scalp.
Stage 6 – Led Him away to crucify Him – The heavy beam of the cross is tied to Christ’s shoulder. He begins the slow journey to Golgotha. The weight of the wooden beam, together with sheer physical exhaustion, causes Him to fall. He tries to rise, but cannot. Simon is then pressed into service to bear His cross.
Stage 7 – They crucified Him – At Golgotha the cross beam is placed on the ground and Jesus is laid on it. His arms are stretched along the beams and a heavy, square, wrought-iron nail is driven through His hand (or wrist). Next Christ is lifted up by means of ropes or ladders, the cross beam is bound or nailed to the upright beam, and a support for the body fastened on it. Lastly, His feet are extended and a larger piece of iron is driven through the two (Matthew 27:35).
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