The fourth miracle of the cross:


The Scourging

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Persevering and Doing God’s Will

The Scourging

Early in the morning the Jewish leaders discussed how they could convince the Roman governor Pilate to have Jesus put to death. They were not allowed to execute the death sentence. That is why Jesus – who had not slept all night, who had been beaten and abused – was turned over to Pilate, tied up like a criminal.

Jesus was interrogated three times by Pilate and every time the Roman ruler reached the conclusion: ‘This man is not guilty!’ Pilate wants to free Jesus, but not before he has Him scourged. The word which Luke uses for scourging (padideuo) literally means ‘correcting, teaching a lesson’. Pilate wants to teach Jesus a lesson by having Him scourged, which is a completely illegal act, as he has just stated that Jesus is innocent. Perhaps he wants to get the people to agree to releasing Jesus, when they see how the man for which they just recently had cheered, was now being abused.

The scourging was known to be very bloody. Jesus was tied with ropes to a stone pillar, completely naked. His arms were stretched upward, His face towards the pillar. There were usually two soldiers who executed the scourging and they would take turns swinging the flagellum, a Roman whip. This whip was made of a short handle which had two leather belts attached to it. The tarsal bones of a sheep were attached to the end of the belts. The Romans had specially designed the flagellum in order to rip the flesh of the body of the victim, exposing the muscles and tendons. The skin of Jesus was literally ripped to shreds with this terrible instrument, until He was half conscious and hanging on the ropes, surrounded by a large puddle of blood.

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