Scourging could be thought of as that which removes the scourge from our lives, which it does in fact mean. But what about Jesus and His scourging at the hands of His Roman captors, antagonizers and murderers?
Jesus was scourged, not because He was a scourge, except in the hearts and minds of the Jews who betrayed Him and the Romans who abused Him, but because He was the solution to every scourge of every person on the planet, past, present and future!
Isaiah said this about Jesus and His heavenly Father –
Isaiah 52 / 53
“52:13 Behold, My servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted. 14 Just as many were astonished at you, My people, so His appearance was marred more than any man and His form more than the sons of men. 15 Thus He will sprinkle many nations, kings will shut their mouths on account of Him; For what had not been told them they will see, and what they had not heard they will understand.
53:1 Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. 3 He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. 6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? 9 His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, because He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
10 But the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand. 11 As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for thetransgressors.”
One of the first revelations Isaiah gets and gives is Jesus would be crucified. Jesus used the phrase “lifted up” in John three and John twelve, when He described how He would die.
Next Isaiah saw how Jesus would not look human after His brutal treatment at the hands of His Roman tormentors. Whatever image you have of Jesus after He sweated blood in the Garden of Gethsemane, His beating and scourging at the hands of the Romans, and His eventual crucifiction and demonic assault during the whole process, if He still looks human you have not seen what He really looked like.
This print of a painting by Mike Parks which Mike gave to me in the early 1980’s is the closest I have ever seen to what Jesus must have looked like, and even it does not come close to what Isaiah saw, and what Jesus literally looked like.
And Jesus willingly allowed that to happen to him because He loved us that much!
And it pleased the Father for Him to go through that!
And Isaiah said He was “smitten by God!”
And Isaiah said “It pleased God to crush Him and put Him to grief!”
Now what about you and me? The writer of Hebrews says this about our heavenly Father and His love for His sons [mature children] in chapter twelve.
“4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; 5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, ‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; 6 For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives’ [Proverbs 3:11,12]. 7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
12 Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. 14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; 16 that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.”
The Book of Hebrews is written to Jewish believers in Jesus Christ who were being tempted to abandon Christ and return to the dead religious system of Judaism. When Christ was crucified God tore the veil separating the holy place from the Most Holy Place. What was discovered was there was no Ark of the Covenant which means the High Priest, and all the priests had been carrying on as if nothing had happened. God was not behind that veil! And God had not been there when the High Priest entered on the Day of Atonement since the return of the Jews from Babylonian captivity hundreds of years before.
The writer of Hebrews says there is a new and living way to enter into God’s presence, and that way was through The Way, Jesus’ crucified Body [Hebrews 10:19,20]. And God will never reinstitute the old way that is dead and gone.
The writer of Hebrews uses the word ‘scourges’ to express God the Father’s discipline of every son God He loves, and without that level of discipline a person proves they are not legitimately God’s offspring.
The word ‘scourge’ is the same word that is used of Jesus’ brutalization! Just as it pleased the Father to have Jesus scourged it also pleases Him to scourge every son He loves! How can that be you may be wondering? What is the purpose of scourging? I know one reason for it is to inflict maximum pain. The greatest reason and revelation is to remove the flesh from the person being scourged.
Ahh, so when the Father scourges His sons it is for the purpose of removing stubborn flesh that keeps us from living life like the Son who modeled what a Christian’s life was supposed to look like? Yes! Exactly! That is why to resist being scourged disqaulifies a person from being a legitimate son who longs to be like God’s only begotten Son, Jesus!
The writer of Hebrews then uses the connective word ‘Therefore.’ In view of what was just written we must see what was written after the word ‘therefore.’
- Strenghten the hands that are weak
- Strengthen the knees that are feeble
- Make stratight paths for your feet
- So that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but be healed
- Pursue peace with all men
- Pursue sanctification [being set apart to God and His purpose for your life]
- Without this separation no one will see the Lord
- See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God
- Which would result in a root of bitterness springing up causing trouble, and defilement
- So no one would be like Esau who sold his birthright for a temporary perceived problem
- Which resulted in his not being able to find repentance which leads to God’s blessing, even though he sought for it with tears
Can you imagine how carrying, not just the physical cross Jesus bore, but the full weight of His Father authorizing the agony He found Himself in, and that willingly He chose to go through, would force Jesus to rely on the only Higher Power that could help Him. The very One who gave permission for this to happen to Him.
“Jesus answered [Pilate], “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above.” [John 19:11]
“21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in his mouth; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously.” [1 Peter 2]
How is that for loyalty?
In our twenty first century version of Christianity we call scourging abuse! Abuse is such a misused word in modern Christianity. Any attempt to bring discipline or to hold a ‘Christian’ accountable falls under the abuse category. It pains me to say that but that is the brutal truth!
And yet, those who submit to it discover their lives will produce the peaceable fruit of authentic righteousness.
Receive and steward God’s passion, power, presence, priority, process, promises, protection, provision, pruning, purging, purity and purpose!
Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin
A spiritual revolutionary!