#Lent2016, Good Friday
Text: Matthew 27:1-56
Before his crucifixion, Jesus was scourged. Roman soldiers bared the upper half of his body and tied his hands to a pillar. He was forced to bend double with his spinal column exposed. Then, Jesus was flogged with a 3-pronged whip comprised of three leather thongs connected by pieces of bone and metal on a chain.
Scourging or flogging always preceded capital punishment so that the prisoner would be weakened and die more quickly on the cross. The violent lashing of Jesus’ body tore his skin and bared his flesh to the very bone. Many victims died before they even encountered the cross because of the flogging. Many were paralyzed and few remained conscious after this horrific punishment.
After the flogging came the mocking. The soldiers relentlessly, cruelly ridiculed the Son of the God of all creation.
Jesus was too weak to even carry His own cross because his torment had already been taken to the utmost limits. There was little life left in His precious Body as He reached the top of Golgotha.
The Man Who had turned over tables … held little children on his lap … calmed the storms … and raised the dead … was now bleeding in agony. His lungs were struggling for one more gasp of earth’s atmosphere and His eyes were glazed with vicious pain.
I wonder if the guards could hear the Savior gasping for breath. His mother, who had witnessed His first precious breath, now heard Him breathe His last. She had giggled over His first coos and gurgles, and now had to stand and hear Him fight the pain.
He could have called 10,000 angels at that moment. They would have come to His rescue!
He could have removed Himself from the cross but He chose not to! He chose to contain His power. Why? Why didn’t He save Himself from the mockery of hell itself?
He stayed there for you … because YOU were the joy set before Him. You were on His mind while He hung on Calvary’s cross.
Copyright 2013 by Carol McLeod, all rights reserved. Carol McLeod is the founder of Just Joy Ministries, whose mission is to inspire women of all walks of life to engage in a deeper way with the Bible, and to grow in personal relationship with the Lord.
- #Personal: What you did today, thousands of years ago, is the reason I am here. I do not ever want to take these for granted – your love and my salvation. Please help me remember when it matters most and stay grateful forever. So be it, Amen.
- #BodyofChrist: Daddy, I ask for your grace upon the church today and always to show the world that we all are alive and saved because of you, what you did on the cross today. May salvation and eternity never elude anyone who sets foot in any place of worship and accepts you as Lord, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
- #Nation: Jerusalem was different today, especially the hour you died. May our nation be different because of this season and the power of resurrection, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
- #Family: As the curtains in the temple tore, help us to tear all that veils your glory in our lives, habits that do not give the Holy Spirit a place and may all our relatives enjoy unrestricted access to you at all times till their lives end – for this reason, you journeyed to Golgotha today. May we grasp the depth of your love, bask in it and share it with everyone we know, with your grace enabling us,that made you embark upon this great journey. May we grasp this, show to our relatives, neighbours and communities, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
- Other extempore prayers…