Unimaginable Pain, Just for You
By Luke Knepper
“Then he pardoned Barabbas. But he had Jesus whipped, and then handed over for crucifixion.The soldiers assigned to the governor took Jesus into the governor's palace and got the entire brigade together for some fun. They stripped him and dressed him in a red toga. They plaited a crown from branches of a thornbush and set it on his head. They put a stick in his right hand for a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mocking reverence: ‘Bravo, King of the Jews!’ they said. ‘Bravo!’ Then they spit on him and hit him on the head with the stick. When they had had their fun, they took off the toga and put his own clothes back on him. Then they proceeded out to the crucifixion.” -Matthew 27:26-31 (MSG)
THUD. One. The fierce bite of the whip sunk into Jesus' back.
THUD. Two. A 350-pound Roman guard, unleashing the power of every muscle in his body.
THUD. Three. A short pause, to let the blood ooze and the pain sink in. Forty times would surely kill Him, so they went one less. Then the nine tails. Nine ropes holding the sharpest things they could find. Rusty nails. Baked glass. Jagged razorblades. They all plunged into Jesus' back, mercilessly ripping Him apart and tearing His skin to shreds with force no NFL lineman could hope to muster. They found the roughest thornbush with thorns three inches long pointing in every direction, and they forced it onto His head and ground the thorns into his skull.
That was the easy part.
Then they found rusty nails half of an inch wide and a foot long. They buried them into Jesus' hands, some of the body's most sensitive places. His nerves screamed out. Another such nail was driven through His feet.
He was left hanging by these three nails. Every breath took a lifetime of effort. As He pushed Himself up to breathe, the nails sunk deeper into His flesh. It lasted for hours until He finally slipped from consciousness.
The pain Jesus experienced in this one day is more than all of the pain we have experienced in our lives…combined. The Romans were highly trained in the art of torturing. The last, and I mean last, thing they wanted to do was see you die. You can't even hope to imagine the kind of pain Jesus went through. And He did it for you. Especially for you. Because He loves you.
With that in mind, how do you think He feels when you turn your back on Him? When you go your own way? When you ignore Him? "No, God, I'm not going to talk to that guy." "No, God, I'm going to go to this party." “No, God, the pain You went through, the suffering that I could not even imagine, Your unfathomable love — that is not as important as what I want to do.” Next time you experience these thoughts, just think of what Jesus experienced on the cross. THUD. Thirty-nine.
1. How do you ignore Christ's calling in your daily life?
2. What can you do to keep your ears and heart open to God?
3. What is God calling you to do right now? In light of what Jesus went through for you, can you commit to doing what He tells you?
Psalm 37:23; 48:14
Proverbs 1:33; 3:5; 16:9