I’m definitely “feeling” it this week; it is Holy Week, and the Passover is also upon us. I can’t wait for that, because I love to celebrate Passover just as much as Easter. It’s because of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread and Passover, that we get to celebrate Easter, or Resurrection Sunday, as it’s also been know as in recent years.
It’s an intense spiritual week for sure—the last week of Christ was chock full of energy, excitement, and emotion. What started out on what we believers call “Palm Sunday”—the day that Jesus rode in on a donkey (Matthew 21:1-7), which was prophetic Scripture being fulfilled right there (see Zechariah 9:9)—the people shouting, “Hosanna in the highest” (Matt. 21:8-11), ended with Jesus being arrested (Matt. 26:47-56), beaten to an unrecognizable figure (Luke 23:13-17), and nailed to a Cross on what is known as Good Friday, dying for ALL of mankind’s sins (Luke 23:33-47).
I saw “The Passion of the Christ”, when it came out years ago. I’ll never forget that day in the theatre—all the people that were in there with their usual drinks and popcorn and such (I knew not to get any that day—would have choked on it while crying), talking quietly prior to the movie started, were NOT the same people afterwards. I KNEW it was going to be intense; I knew that the previous movies about Jesus never really described in depth, what He truly went through. It’s one thing to read a verse or two about Pilate ordering Jesus to be flogged (John 19:1) or “beaten” as some translations have it, but it’s a whole other experience when you see it play out on a huge screen, and how it was done.
The Flagellum (Latin name for it) or “Cat of Nine Tails”, as it is commonly called (see pic), was used for the scourging of any person that was ordered to receive such punishment. Note: the Romans did not use it on their own citizens (see Acts 22:25); it was reserved for criminals, slaves and the like. It was designed in such a way, that just a couple of whips from the Flagellum, would start to rip the flesh off the person. It was usually about three feet long, with pieces of bone, glass, metal, lead, etc. attached to it, so that every whip from it would “catch” on to the person’s skin, and not only leave stripes and welts, it would tear away the skin bit by bit. The person would be tied to a scourging pole, and it wasn’t supposed to go any more than forty lashes; most people would have died from the scourging alone if they received as many lashes.
When all of us watching that scene of Jesus being beaten to a pulp, you could have heard a pin drop in that place. I remember looking around at the viewer’s faces; they were utterly horrified at what they just saw. No longer was it just a couple of verses in the Bible they read once or twice (if that), or something they heard their pastor or priest mention. Now it became that much more real to them. I started to hear gasps and sobs from them.
But Jesus endured all of it, and managed to walk to Golgotha (Matt. 27:33), with Simon of Cirene helping Him to carry His cross (Matt. 27:32).
Clearly, Mel Gibson got his point across, that Jesus truly suffered much more than other films depicted, and Mel brought to life what it says in Isaiah 53:1-10. I will write that entire passage here from the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) version:
“Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a young plant and like a root (the “root of Jesse”—see Isaiah 11:10, Romans 15:12) out of dry ground. He didn’t have an impressive form or majesty that we should look upon him, no appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who knew what sickness was. He was like someone people turned away from; he was despised, and WE DIDN’T VALUE HIM (my emphasis, any words you see in CAPS [except for the word LORD] until the end of the quote). Yet he himself bore OUR sicknesses, and he carried OUR pains; but we in turn regarded him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was PIERCED because of OUR rebellion, crushed because of OUR iniquities; punishment for OUR peace was on him, and we are HEALED by his wounds. We all went astray like sheep; we ALL have turned to our OWN way; and the LORD has punished HIM for the iniquity of us ALL. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did NOT open his mouth. Like a lamb to the slaughter and like a sheep silent before her shearers, he did not open his mouth (Matt. 26:63; Mark 14:53-65).
He was taken away because of oppression and judgment; and who considered his fate? For he was CUT OFF (see what the prophet Daniel said about Messiah being “cut off” after 69 weeks—Daniel 9:24-27, esp. vs. 26) from the land of the living; he was STRUCK (flogged, crucified) because of my people’s rebellion. He was assigned a grave with the wicked (two thieves that were crucified and died alongside Him—see Matt. 27:38), but he was with a rich man at his death (see what Matt. 27:57, Mark 15:43-46, John 19:38-42, Luke 23:50-53 said about Joseph of Arimathea), because he had done no violence and had not spoken deceitfully (see what Pilate (and Pilate’s wife!) said about Him in Matt. 27:2, 9, 24; Mark 15:2; John 18:37; Acts 13:28). YET the LORD was pleased to crush him severely. When you make a guilt offering, he will SEE his SEED, he will prolong his days, and by HIS HAND, the LORD’S pleasure will be ACCOMPLISHED (see Numbers 11:23; 23:19; Ezekiel 12:25; Isaiah 14:24; Psalm 115:3; 135:6).”
It pleased God to put Jesus through all that suffering, pain and excruciating death. Why? All out of LOVE for His Creation. It was NOT just for those who follow Him, and call Him Savior and Lord; but also for those who really couldn’t care less about Him, or what He’s done. The very BREATH that comes out of our lungs belongs to the LORD God; He could “cut off” that ANY second He chooses. He could have left us for eternal Death and damnation, but He CHOSE to sacrifice His only Begotten, NOT CREATED, Son, Jesus, the Second Person in the Triune Godhead, to make restitution for all of mankind. As it is written, “Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission (of sins) (Hebrews 9:22).”
There was and IS NO OTHER way back to the Father God, except through the death of Jesus on the Cross for the sins of mankind. BUT, God didn’t stop there; there was also that THIRD DAY that Jesus “just so happened” 🙄😉to mention about as well😏…❤️✝️🌈
I pray that you have a Blessed Passover, and Easter! Remember to honor God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, in all that you say and do. LIVE out your LOVE for Him daily, by professing His Name to others.
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