Saturday, 23 April 2011

Condemned, Mocked, Tortured, Crucified

Jesus was condemned to death, mocked, tortured, stripped naked, nailed to a wooden cross, and left to die:
  • Matt 26:65-67: The high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy.  What do you think?”  “He is worthy of death,” they answered. Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?”
  • Matt 27:28-31: They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said.  They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.  After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
  • Luke 23:32-36: Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.  Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.  The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”  The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
As I mentioned in my post on Jesus as the Suffering Servant (December 2010), the Bible makes it clear that the main reason that Jesus had to die was to pay the price for the sins of humanity.  Nevertheless, it seems to me that Jesus did something else very important when he suffered and died: He showed that God was (and is) willing to share in the sufferings of His creatures --- even suffering of the very worst kind.  This is also implied by the following verses:
  • Psalm 56:8: You record my misery; You put my tears in your bottle.
  • Isaiah 53:4: Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering.
  • Isaiah 63:9: In all their suffering He also suffered, and He personally rescued them. In his love and mercy He redeemed them.
  • John 11:33-36: When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled... Jesus wept.
  • Acts 9:4: [Jesus said:] "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
It is a great mystery to me that the Almighty God, the King of the Universe, the Eternal Holy Trinity, is capable of suffering and allows Himself to suffer.  I don't understand it, but I praise and thank Him for it.

1 comment:

  1. I see a slightly difference in proclaiming that the sacrifical was done for paying a price, than further to renovate the relationship between creator and creation; this are two sights of an complex medal.

    Maybe Suffering is a way to accept own limitedness and to perceive the might of god. Jesus suffered as a human although he was full of divine. This is the basis for every human, even the most perfectly seeming, to accept god as the more mighty creator and therefore to receive the most powerfull christian gift - humility.