Pastor's Blog

The Pain of Scourging

“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 (stripes) we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

Then Pilate therefore took Jesus and scourged Him.” John 19:1

It would be hard for us to even imagine the pain and torture that accompanied being scourged (whipped, flogged) under the Roman lash! In Jesus’ day it was not uncommon that a traitor or criminal awaiting execution be flogged. The Biblical historian and commentator, William Barclay writes, “We see the physical courage of Jesus. Pilate had him scourged. Few remained conscious throughout the ordeal; some died; and many went raving mad. Jesus stood that.”

Isaiah the prophet foretold of Messiah’s scourging hundreds of years before it occurred. He tells how Jesus’ piercing and crushing via of crucifixion for our sins: the nails driven in His hands and feet and the spear thrust into His side, would provide for our forgiveness of sin and being made right with God. And He adds, the punishment that Jesus took upon Himself, (the punishment you and I rightfully should have received), Jesus willingly received at the hand of God in your place and mine, so we could receive Jesus’ well-being (peace). And what a proclamation Isaiah includes in verse five, “And by His scourging we ARE healed.” Have you come to the cross for the forgiveness of sin and the healing of your soul? Jesus loves you! He bore the marks on His back, too! Go in His peace, and live joyously in Him!
Pastor Louie

The Pain of Mockery

“Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole Roman cohort (around 300-600 soldiers) around Him. And they stripped Him, and put a scarlet robe on Him. And after weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they kneeled before Him and mocked Him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’”
Matthew 27:27-29 [Also Read Matthew 27;27-44].

The preliminaries Jesus faced prior to His crucifixion on a Roman cross were excruciating! Not only had Jesus’ face been stricken earlier as He stood before Annas and then Caiaphas and the Jewish Supreme Court called the Sanhedrin, He now stood before a great number of Roman soldiers and others positioned at Pilate’s governor’s mansion near the temple site in Jerusalem. And during this time the mockery He received both spoken and physically applied, is more than you and I could imagine!

Think of the mockery the Jewish religious leaders (Jesus’ own people), and the Gentiles (through particularly the soldiers) inflicted upon Jesus mind, emotions, spirit, and body. Matthew tells us how Jesus was victim to a very cruel game the Roman soldiers used to play with those condemned to die. They would dress them up as a mock King, bow down to them, and then, treat them in a terrible way, after which they would remove their mock-kingly clothing and send them off to die (Note the items of mockery in today’s Scripture: the scarlet robe, crown of thorns, and reed (staff) placed in the right hand, which represented the place of authority for an earthly king).

The Bible tells us that Jesus took the sin-disease of the world upon Himself on the cross. This means that Jesus took the awful atrocity of mockery upon Himself as well. Perhaps you have been the subject of mockery. Perhaps someone has made sport with you, at your expense, as the soldiers did with Jesus. The Good News is that whether victim or perpetrator, you can find forgiveness and healing at the cross of the One who took the blows of mockery for you and for me on the tree called Calvary! With every sneer, Jesus still loved us with the Father’s love! (See Luke 23:34) Pastor Louie

The Pain of Thirst

“They also gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.” Psalm 69:21
“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, ‘I am thirsty.’” John 19:28

Have you ever been extremely thirsty; to the point that your thirst is almost agonizing in its intensity? I have been thirsty many times before, but the agonizing thirst Jesus endured before and upon the cross is unimaginable for me.

Clarence W. Cranford writes, “It was inevitable that Jesus should thirst as he hung on the cross. The cruel treatment through which he had passed would naturally dry out the tissues of his flesh…fatiguing hours he had been forced to stand upon His feet [during His trials]…dragged off to be beaten by soldiers…forced to carry His cross…six agonizing hours He had hung upon the cross. In all that time, no moisture had passed His lips.” But, the Bible also tells us that Jesus refused several attempts to partake of a mild-sedative made up of a bitter substance mixed with a cheap-sour wine in order to deaden the pain, in order that He be fully aware of completing His mission to die for the sins of the world and for you and for me! (See John 19:30). Yes, Jesus said “I thirst!” But at the heart of His physical thirst was His thirsting for the souls of men and women, boys and girls!
Are you thirsty for God? Have you received His Son as Savior and Lord? Have you made peace with God via the cross and Christian, do you have the peace of God ruling your days? The Psalmist says, “…[the Lord] satisfies the thirsty.” (See Psalm 107:9 and prayerfully apply Psalm 63 to your heart and life).
In the Name of Jesus, the Living Water Who Always Satisfies Those Who Drink!
Pastor Louie

King for a Day or King Forever?

“And they brought the colt to Jesus and put their garments on it; and He sat upon it. And many spread their garments in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. And those who went before, and those who followed after were crying out, ‘Hosanna!” Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” Mark 11:7-9

Recently, I read a children’s sermon designed for use on Palm Sunday entitled, “King for a Day” which caught my attention. I remember in Elementary school of those times in which a boy or girl would be treated at as “Student of the Day” so-to-speak. That boy or girl would be given special privileges such as being placed first in line to lead the other kids to the lunchroom as well as running special errands for the teacher throughout the day. I still remember my first-grade teacher Mrs. Justice, who gave me the special privilege of dusting her erasers after school one day. Boy O’ boy, did I ever think this was something special!

The truth is, the Bible says that on Palm Sunday people were lining the streets of Jerusalem to see a king riding into town on a small donkey. Amidst the waving of branches cut from trees and cloaks being laid in the path of the donkey He sat upon, Jesus heard the great crowd shouting, ‘Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!’ (Mark 11:10). Yes, the crowd treated Jesus as their king that day; the only problem was—it didn’t last. He was only their “King for a Day.” Later that same week Jesus was arrested, beaten, tried, and crucified. Many who had cheered Him on Sunday turned against Him, and in just a few days, He would wear a crown of thorns!

But Paul tells us that one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11). Why wait? Why not confess that Jesus is Lord today? Jesus wants to be the ruler and Lord of your life. He doesn’t want to be your “King for a Day,” He wants to be your “Forever King!” Father we are sometimes quick to say, “Jesus is Lord,” but slow to show it in our lives. Help us to be faithful followers. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Pastor Louie