August 10, 2016

John 19:1-12

Flogging could have killed Jesus, but then the prophecy that defined how the Messiah was to die would not have been fulfilled. In flogging, the customary procedure was to strip the victim’s body and tie his hands to a pillar before whipping him with a three-pronged lash embedded with bits of bone and shards of glass. The number of strokes was determined by the severity of the crime; up to 40 strokes were allowed by Jewish law.

But that was just the beginning of Jesus’ agonies. He was mocked, spit upon, slapped, beaten with rods, crowned with thorns, and mockingly robed in royal colors—as recorded by John and the other gospel writers.

It is interesting that only after all of that did the truth come out about why the Chief Priests wanted Jesus crucified. The religious leaders had brought Jesus to Pilate declaring he was causing rebellion against Rome. That was false and they knew it. Only in the confusion of the moment did they blurt the truth to Pilate. “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God” (19:7).

When the truth came out, how did Pilate react? How will your unbelieving friends or family members react when they finally discover the truth about Jesus?