Suffering

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they struck him in the face.  (John 19:1-3)

Jesus is experiencing incredible suffering … for our sake. The moment has come for the Old Testament prophecies to be fulfilled:

“He, the innocent sin-bearer, wore the crown of thorns, that we, the guilty, might wear a crown of glory.”
(John Charles Ryle)

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isaiah 53:3)

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

“Whatever the circumstances, whatever the call, whatever the duty, whatever the price, whatever the sacrifice–His strength will be your strength in your hour of need.”
(Billy Graham)

The eternal Son of God, whom the Father’s countless angels stood at the ready delighting to honor, steps down out of His glory to be the perfect and needed sacrifice for all the sins of the world. We see our Lord here willingly scourged by His own people, unjustly condemned by a judge who proclaimed he could find no fault in Him, and finally delivered up to an excruciating death with all the sins of the world heaped upon His bleeding and disfigured body. Who loves like this? Only God–His love is a love that stands alone. Paul tells us in Philippians:Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to deatheven death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)

“Want of trust is at the root of almost all our sins and all our weaknesses, and how shall we escape it but by looking to Him and observing His faithfulness. The man who holds God’s faithfulness will not be foolhardy or reckless, but will be ready for every emergency.”
(Hudson Taylor)
The suffering of Jesus puts into perspective our own suffering. What was it like for Him to beaten and mocked? We are called to diligently follow His example of patience in all trials and afflictions of life–especially those brought upon us for our faith in Him. It is He and He alone who gives us the grace, the power, and the strength to meet each trial. We have His strength in us!

Take It to Heart

The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. (Psalm 37:39)

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