The Suffering of a Sinless Savior
Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. — John 19:1
This is a short transitory remark that bears a painful reality.
Basically, the Jews want Jesus to be crucified. But Pilate finds him innocent of any wrongdoing. So he attempts to avoid crucifying him. So he presents them with the proposition to release Jesus Barabbas or Jesus of Nazareth. They choose to release the criminal and crucify Jesus. This means that Pilate's first move to prevent the crucifixion of Jesus didn't work.
But now he resorts to another plan. Harsh punishment that Romans called flogging.
Traditionally there were three types of Roman flogging prescribed during this time:
- Fustiagatio: This was a mild form of whipping. It was a warning lash for those not-so-serious wrongdoings. Think of it as a strong scolding with a whip, as it was not meant to cause severe harm. It was used to incite a person not to do an action again.
- Flagellatio: This was a more serious and painful whipping. It was severe but not meant to kill. It was used to bring a subject into full submission. Imagine something similar to the "thirty-nine lashes" that would bring a subject close to death but not unto death.
- Verberatio: This was the harshest and most brutal form of punishment. It involved using rods or whips with spikes, bones, or bits of metal. These whips would tear strips of flesh from a subject's body, causing extreme pain and suffering. Many times, a subject didn't survive, and their body was still hung on a cross afterward. How cruel the beating was depended a lot on how cruel the person afflicting it was. Death was often expected with this type of punishment.
Most theologians assert that it was the third type of flogging that Jesus received. So, this was not a slap in the face. This was a punishment that was excruciating, scaring, and maiming from which there was no return.
But in this, we see something unique. For the first and only time, we witness, a truly innocent sufferer. Jesus, the only sinless man to ever live, suffered sin's punishment at the hands of sinful man. No other man is innocent, and thus no man has ever sufferer innocently — other than Jesus.
Here are a few verses for you.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. — Roman 3:23
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. — Isaiah 53:5
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. — 2 Corinthians 5:21
Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! — John 1:29
Worship the spotless Lamb of God who suffered for you so that you might know the righteousness of God.
How does the knowledge of Jesus, the sinless Son of God, enduring such a brutal flogging impact your understanding of His sacrifice for our sins?
In what ways can the concept of Jesus taking on the punishment of sin, even though He was innocent, deepen your appreciation for God's grace and forgiveness in your own life?
DO THIS: Worship the Lamb
PRAY THIS: Father, as I reflect on the excruciating flogging endured by Jesus, the sinless Savior, I am humbled by His sacrifice. Thank you for His unblemished love and grace that offers us redemption and healing through His wounds. Amen.
PLAY THIS: Revelation Song.
SIGN UP — THE DAILY DEVO
short + biblical + practical
Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.