Thursday, 21 April 2011


Matthew 27:27 - 28 

27. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him.
28.  And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him,
29.  And twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!"
30.  And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head.
31.  And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.
32.  As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross.
33.  And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull),
34.  They offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it.
35.  And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots.
36.  Then they sat down and kept watch over him there.
37.  And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews."
38.  Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left.
39.  And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads
40.  And saying, "You, who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross."
41.  So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying,
42.  "He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.
43.  He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, 'I am the Son of God.'"
44.  And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.

The half-fainting Jesus was untied and slumped to the ground, soaked in His own blood.  The Roman soldiers laughed and made a joke out of the fact that He who claimed to be a king couldn’t even walk straight.  In mockery, they threw a heavy robe across His bare and bleeding shoulders and placed a stick in His hand to symbolize a sceptre.  Still needing a crown to complete their joke, they grabbed small, flexible branches covered with long thorns and quickly shaped them into a crude crown.
The soldiers violently jabbed the crown of thorns into Jesus’ scalp while continuing to beat Him on the head.  Each blow drove the thorns deeper into Jesus’ scalp and forehead.  As the thorns pierced His vascular tissue, Jesus began bleeding profusely from these wounds.
The Roman soldiers finally grew tired of their sadistic joke and ripped the scarlet robe off Jesus’ back.  The robe was stuck to the clots of blood and serum in His wounds, and removing it caused excruciating pain.  The wounds on His back were now reopened and began to bleed again.  Jesus’ own clothing was then put back on His body.
Just how severe was the beating Jesus endured?  The Bible doesn’t detail the entire beating, but the book of Isaiah, I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting.’ (Isaiah 50:6), which contains prophecies about Jesus’ punishment, suggests that the Romans pulled out His beard.  It also mentions that Jesus was so severely beaten that His form no longer looked human.  People were appalled to look at Him.

After He was beaten, the soldiers tied the heavy wooden beam of the cross on His bleeding shoulders.  The weight of the entire cross has been estimated at 300 pounds.  The crossbar Jesus carried probably weighed between 80 and 110 pounds.  Jesus, the two thieves who were crucified with Him, and the execution squad of Roman soldiers began the slow journey through a narrow street of stone, known today as Via Dolorosa – or ‘way of suffering’ – to be crucified at Golgotha. 
(Susie Shellenberger)


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