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It Was Brutal– March 27, 2023

Monday, March 27th

Devotional written by Pastor Brian Williams, Young Adults Pastor

 

IT WAS BRUTAL

 

 

 To read today:  John 19:1-37

 

Finally, Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.

John 19:16

 

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Crucifixion was a Roman method of punishment and, ultimately, execution, primarily used for slaves, rebels, and insurrectionists. The very public spectacle and sheer cruelty of it was a powerful deterrent. In addition to crucifixion, the victims were usually flogged and then hung naked on a cross for added humiliation. We don’t often imagine the willingness of God to be so publicly shamed.

Flogging involved a whip of multiple cords with bits of bone and other objects weaved in to tear the flesh with each strike. Though the scriptures do not state how many times Jesus was struck, it likely could have been as many as 39 or 40 times.

Crucifixion is seen as the most painful of possible deaths involving intense agony, exhaustion, and exposure to weather and insects, all while slowly suffocating. The cross consisted of a vertical post with a horizontal cross beam. The person was either affixed with ropes or, as with Jesus, nails driven between the wrist/hand and feet bones.

It is hard to fully comprehend Christ’s agony on the cross for us – pain, rejection, mockery, harassment, anguish, humiliation, and isolation. Yet, in addition to the physical and mental torture of such an experience, He suffered the unimaginable pain of taking on our sins. Every human has experienced suffering, but Jesus’s suffering for the entire world’s brokenness is infinitely greater. He knows every aspect of suffering and knows it more intimately than we can conceive.

Contemplating the brutality of Jesus’ suffering because of my sins is uncomfortable and something usually avoided. But there is freedom in humility and gratitude that grows from such reflections.

Reflection: Thank Jesus for each step of His agonizing death. Reflect on His flogging, His humiliation, the nails being driven into His body, the shallow, painful drawing of every breath, His complete and utter brokenness under the spiritual weight of our sin. Don’t run from the discomfort; instead, thank Him. He did it for you.

   

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