39 Stripes

He was condemned to die at a mockery of a trial. Being led to a set of stone stanchions, he was shackled, arms stretched tightly between the pillars so that the skin on his back was pulled taut. He had been stripped and beaten severely, and now he was to be scourged. Humiliated, he watched as a Roman soldier approached with a cat o’ nine tails. He showed no fear as the soldier neared, in fact, he had a calm look on his face.

The soldier noticed this and stopped in his tracks and stared. Normally the condemned were terrified. They would beg for mercy, cry, and would do everything someone afraid would do.

“So you’re the so-called prophet everyone is talking about. “Jesus, the King of the Jews” Not afraid of me are you!” he taunted.

Jesus looked at him and spoke, “I forgive you.”

Taken back by the statement, the soldier defiantly replied, “We’ll see after I’m done with you whether you forgive me or not!”

Going behind Jesus the soldier readied the scourge, measured off the distance he needed, and waited for the command.

A cat o’ nine tails was the most dreaded and painful implement of torture the Romans used. It consisted of a wood handle with nine leather straps attached. Each strap was approximately four feet long and had broken pottery shards, and jagged hunks of metal and rock attached to it. It was designed to rip and shred flesh, totally destroying a human body.

“I’m going to enjoy this! I”m going to cut you to pieces!” he taunted.

An official approached, checked to make sure that everything was in order, and nodded his head.

The first blow whistled through the air and landed across his shoulders. The shards dug into his taut flesh and caught. As the soldier pulled it free chunks of flesh came with it.

Jesus gasped and thought, “This stripe is for the healing of leprosy!”

Again the blow came whistling through the air.

“This stripe is for the healing of cancer!”

The blows kept coming, each one ripping him to shreds.

“This one is for blindness!”

“This one is for the deaf!”

“This one is for the lame!”

“This one is for fever!”

“This one is for mental disorders!”

“This one is for diabetes!”

“This one is for heart issues!”

As the blood and flesh flew he became weak and sagged in the stanchions. Through the pain. he was able to keep his focus.

“This one is for all forms of pain!”

“This one is for the deformed!”

“This one is for eating disorders!”

“This one is for all diseases!”

As each blow fell another medical issue was healed. Each drop of blood that fell washed it away. He knew what he was doing and willingly accepted it. As he became unrecognizable as a man, he made a way for mankind to attain Heaven and be physically and mentally whole and healthy. By doing so he broke Satan’s stronghold and set us free from sin and suffering.

As the thirty-ninth blow fell he slumped, head bowed, and softly spoke.

“And this stripe is for all future diseases!”

Two soldiers loosed him from the stanchions. So weak he could hardly stand, they led him to where a large, wooden cross was leaning against a pillar.

“King of the Jews!” Carry your cross!” they ordered.

Jesus laid it across his shoulder and cried out in pain as it rested on his torn flesh.

“Does it hurt? Heal yourself!” they laughed while pointing him toward the street.

Along with the cross, Jesus bore the sins of the world on his shoulders as he struggled toward Golgotha Hill. Too weak to go the full distance, a man was ordered to carry his cross the rest of the way.

There he was nailed to that cross in what is called a crucifixion. As he died our sins were redeemed and our healing took place. The skies grew dark, a mighty wind roared and the veil of the temple was rent in two, making a way for both Jew and Gentile to attain Heaven.

Thirty-nine stripes on the back of an innocent man, each representing healing, endured by a living God who loved us enough to die for us.

Thirty-nine stripes!

September 30, 2020