Several weeks ago I was reading about the trials of Jesus. I was going through the Beth Moore study “Jesus: the One and Only.” I was in the final week of this study. The reading for this blog was in the Gospels, all four accounts of the trials Jesus faced – the elders and chief priests, Pilate and Herod – all were mockeries of justice. But what got me most was the beatings Jesus was subject to. Each trial, Jesus was mocked. He was insulted. The ones participating were given power to do so. The soldiers were given power by the officials. The crowds were given power by the elders and chief priests. Pilate thought he had power but really it was given to him by God. But the beatings were all from the evilness in men (and women). Each lash was given by a man. Each thorn was piercing the skin because someone thought it would be funny to see a crown on Jesus’ head mocking His kingship. We are an evil people.
I recognize this evil because it is present in me. There is nothing good in me. I was listening to a sermon recently and the pastor was saying how he loved a good battle scene in a movie. I can understand the thrill of a fight. I once took a martial art. It was more for a self-defense perspective, but it was something that I enjoyed doing. I love to watch a good martial arts fight. So I can’t fault the men who beat Jesus; I think it’s in each one of us. I am just as guilty of throwing an insult or rude comment. I have been known to do it on occasion. There is nothing good in me, except for Jesus. Jesus is the only reason that I do good and have love in me.
After reading the accounts in the Gospels, I am left with a feeling of ugliness. The next lesson will be on the cross, then the resurrection. The ugliness of today gives way to the hope of tomorrow; the joy that comes with the resurrection. Jesus took my ugliness on the cross and forgave me of the insults and evil that so easily surfaces in my heart and mind. Those things are nailed to the cross daily. From the cross, Jesus asked the Father to forgive them, for they do not know what they do. Yes, I need His forgiveness because some of the time, I don’t know what I am doing. I deserved everything that Jesus took for me. He paid the price for my sins. Every lash, every mark on His body was meant for me. He took it all. The cross was bloody. His blood was poured out on the cross. I am grateful for His sacrifice. There is nothing I can ever do to repay Him for His gift, so I just say thank you Lord Jesus for rescuing me from myself.
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:4-6