Devotional by, Clovis St. Romain
Scripture focus: John Chapter 19
The beloved disciple John, in Chapter 19 of the Gospel of the same name, provides a detailed account of the bloody beating and crucifixion that our Lord endured at the hands of the Roman Soldiers as ordered by Pilate their Governor.
Scourging, as executed by the Romans was a nasty process of whipping, using cords engorged with glass and metal shards which ripped the flesh from the body of the victim as the Soldier delivered each lash of the stranded whip and then snapped them back over his head to a position of rest somewhere behind him. So vicious was this exercise that many persons did not survive Roman scourging; yet Jesus did.
We are told that after this beating, Pilate triumphally presented Jesus – now dressed in a purple robe but wearing a crown of thorns on his head with his body evidently disfigured and in great pain – to his Jewish accusers with the words: “Look! The man!” Pilate had hoped that his horrific examination by scourging of the accused would have satisfied his many accusers, among whom were the leadership of the Jewish Sanhedrin Council and their followers; but it did not. They demanded the ultimate punishment – death by crucifixion.
Having been nailed to the cross, having breathed his last and yielded his life to the Father, Jesus died. The Soldiers came later with the intent of breaking the legs of the crucified men so they would die quickly. Finding Jesus already dead, one of the Soldiers stuck his spear into his side; we are told that blood and water poured out. I can only imagine that this gaping wound must have ensured that the very last bits of blood from Jesus’ broken body came pouring out; first in a rush, but then drop by drop!
I am also left to think of how pure, how precious and how powerful this blood – cruelly taken and murderously squandered – was. Pure because it represented the divine blood of God himself; precious because it remitted the sins of the world as it poured out that fateful Passover Friday; and powerful because even after two thousand years, it remains just as capable of cancelling sin, conferring salvation upon sinners and converting any who believes in Him into Saints of the Most-High God!
My Friend, even as the world remembers that first Good Friday, it remains only for me to enquire of you: “Do you know that when He shed His pure, precious, powerful blood that day, Jesus was thinking of you and He was thinking of me? Have you recognized your state as one who has rebelled against God and broken His statutes? Are you aware that your rebellion will be punished by death and eternity in hell? Are you ready to call upon the name of Jesus the Christ to save you from that deserved hellish eternity? Be sure of one thing: if you believe that He shed His blood and died for your rebellion and would acknowledge Him as your Saviour, He will save you, even today; even now!”
Father, please bless the reader, today! Thank you for those who have read this piece today and who are already part of the Kingdom you have established on the earth, through your Son. Hear, Heavenly Father, the prayer of the ones who do not know you and did not know that they must accept the sacrificial death of your Son if they want to have a relationship with you. Father I ask that you will respond to their prayer, save them today and accept them into your eternal kingdom. I ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.