I don’t think any of us have the slightest clue in how bad Jesus was broken for us. Some people preach the cross in a non-violent manner. They preach it like Jesus just got beat up by a mob and had to stay overnight in a hospital. Jesus didn’t get beat up. Jesus got broken for you and me.
Isaiah 53:7 tells us that Jesus was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.
Think about that for a moment. It’s 10am on a Friday morning and Jesus is led into a small enclosed courtyard. He was as the scripture says, “Led like a lamb to the slaughter.” In the middle of the court were three small thick stone pillars, each about three feet tall with two big iron rings embedded into each one. As Jesus walked into the courtyard they stripped Him of all His clothing and pulled his wrists down the far side of the post and tied them to the rings. Jesus is about to experience something called the “Roman Scourging” also known as the “Halfway Death.” This scourging wasn’t administered by just anyone, it’s was done by a trained professional called a lictor.
The Roman Scourging was so deadly and vicious that it was never administered in addition to another punishment. Well, not until this Friday morning. For instance the two thieves who would be crucified next to Jesus weren’t scourged at all. The decision to scourge Jesus was made before it was determined that he would be crucified.
The Roman Scourging was so degrading and brutal that all Roman citizens were exempt from it. The lictor would use a circular piece of wood, to which he attached several strips of leather, and at the end of each strip he would sew a chunk of bone or a small piece of iron chain. This instrument was called a flagellum.
The flagellum was brought all the way back and whistled forward and made a dull drum sound as the stripes of leather embedded with bone and iron smashed against the back of the rib cage, wrapping itself around the body causing severe hemorrhages. This instrument would lacerate the body causing the hidden inward parts of the body to be exposed.
After the lictor was finished administering the scourging there wasn’t hardly any skin left on Jesus’ upper body or thighs. He looked like an animal who had just been field dressed. An animal whose skin had just been peeled off.
Jesus did all of this for you! He did it so that you could experience healing in your life. Isaiah said, “He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.”
After Jesus was scourged and ripped open for you and I, the Tribune sent two men for cloths and cold water. The washing of the body was hardly an act of mercy because it returned the prisoner to gasping consciousness.
At this point Jesus is shivering and spasming. He’s in a state of shock! His teeth are rattling together and his exposed veins are throbbing inconceivably as they drag Him to His feet. As they drag Him to His feet they jam a crown of thorns through His head.
Let me just stop and say that none of this caught Jesus off guard. He knew what going to the cross meant for Him and He knew that they were going to break him like no human has ever been broken before. He even mentioned this to His disciples at The Last Supper.
1 Corinthians 11:23-24 The Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
After Jesus went through the “Roman Scourging” He was now ordered to march to Golgotha, the place where His crucifixion would take place. Golgotha was exactly 1000 yards away. With His flesh peeled off and his organs exposed, He now had to walk the length of 10 football fields carrying a cross-beam that weight around 125 pounds.
As he marched through the streets many of the onlookers turned their face for they could no longer bear to watch this man who looked liked a torn apart animal suffer anymore.
When Jesus got to Golgotha, the executioner took square cut iron nails that were 5 inches long and began to drive them through Jesus’ wrist. When he finished nailing both wrists to the cross he then took ahold of Jesus’ feet and nailed the right foot over the left.
After Jesus was raised up on the cross, His arms began to fatigue, and a great waves of cramps began to sweep over His muscles, knotting them in a deep, relentless, throbbing pain. Since Jesus was hanging by His arms, His pectoral muscles became paralyzed and His intercostal muscles were unable to act.
Jesus can draw air into His lungs, but He cannot be exhaled. In order to exhale, Jesus must fight to raise Himself up to get just one short breath. Even though Jesus is suffering unimaginable pain the real agony hasn’t even begun. All of the sudden a deep crushing pain in Jesus’ chest begins to react as the peri-cardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart.
This is what the Psalmist was prophesying when he said, “My life is poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax, melting within me.”
It is now almost over – the loss of tissue fluid has reached a critical level – the compressed heart is
struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissue – the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to draw in small gulps of air and the dehydrated tissues send a flood of stimuli to the brain.
Jesus has been beatin, broken, tortured and stripped! Even though He’s hanging on the cross looking like a bloody piece of devoured meat, people still felt the need to mock Him over and over again.
Psalm 22:16-18 My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs; an evil gang closes in on me. They have pierced my hands and feet. I can count all my bones. My enemies stare at me and gloat. They divide my garments among themselves and throw dice for my clothing.
Jesus endured all of this for us! Can you let that sink into the depths of your soul! He didn’t have to do, He wanted to do it. He wanted to be broken so you could be whole!
Think of this the next time you read these words from the Apostle Paul…“I have been crucified with Christ.”
Paul was saying, “I’ve been judged, condemned, cast out, stripped naked, and nailed to the cross.” We get the benefits and blessings of the cross without having to endure what Jesus did! You get all the blessings while not working for any of them.
Paul saw his Identification with Christ in His crucifixion.
I died with Christ.
I was buried with Christ.
I suffered with Christ.
I was made alive with Christ.
I have been crucified with…This word with is the key that unlocks your freedom.
Jesus loves you my friend and was willing to go to hell and back to get you back! Never doubt His love for one minute!!!