As we journey to the cross with Jesus, I don’t want to skip any details. Luke doesn’t tell the final torture Jesus experienced, so I’m skipping to Matthew.
Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. (Matthew 27:26-29)
Mel Gibson’s 2004 movie, The Passion of the Christ, shows every gruesome detail of Jesus’ torture. I felt tortured as I watched it. Paul says “From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one.” (2 Corinthians 11:24) Jesus probably received the same. The guards already beat his face. Then every guard humiliated him by stripping him naked and dressing him in a king’s robe. For a moment, imagine it happening to you, the torture, pain and humiliation. We ask, “Why did Jesus have to suffer?”
This world, run by people and the enemy, gives us pain, both physical and mental. It is the wrongdoings of mankind that cause our pain. Jesus wants to take our agony. Isaiah 53:4-6 tells us. “He has borne our sicknesses and carried our pains; … He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; … by his stripes we are healed. … the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
There is enormous pain in all the sins of the world. Jesus willingly took that pain for us. He went through torture, so you and I can be free from pain, not wallow in guilt or lie in bed from depression, thinking of people who have hurt us. We must believe that by his stripes we are healed. Every day I thank God for healing me from digestive problems and osteoporosis, and I do what I can, i.e. take medicine, exercise, and eat healthier. I’m preparing with you to leave _______ at the cross so I can be healthier, heal quicker, and have more energy. Those of us who finish this journey with Jesus and pray for all the power of God’s Holy Spirit, will be fit to be powerful forces of the universe to do God’s work and spread His love. When we change ourselves with God’s help, we can change the world one person at a time.
Dearest Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to take away my pain. Help me leave _______ at the cross so I can be healthier, both physically and mentally. Give me the power of Your Holy Spirit so I can spread Your love and be a powerful force to change the world. In Jesus’ precious and Holy name I pray, amen.