Under Roman law in Bible times, a criminal was either scourged for a lesser crime and then set free, or crucified straightaway if guilty of a greater crime. But Jesus was both scourged and crucified. Pontius Pilate had hoped that after scourging Jesus and presenting His bloodied body to the people, they would be satisfied and willing to let Him go. But the people were not and demanded His crucifixion instead.
Don’t think for a moment that the people had power to inflict such suffering on Jesus. It was all part of God’s plan and the scourging was necessary for only by His stripes are we healed.
The Roman whip used for scourging was made of leather straps embedded with glass, bone and metal hooks. With just one strike, the instrument would have been wrapped around Jesus’ body, causing the glass, bones and hooks to cut deep into His flesh. And as the whip was pulled back, the hooks would have stripped His flesh off, exposing muscle and bone. Indeed, the psalmist says, "They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me" (Psalm 22:16–17), and "The plowers plowed on My back; they made their furrows long" (Psalm 129:3).
Although 39 was the maximum number of times one could be whipped according to Jewish law, I believe that Jesus was whipped more times than that because the Romans, who were not likely to regard Jewish law, carried out the scourging.
Whichever the case, His back would have been reduced to a mass of bloody, mutilated flesh. That day, Jesus’ blood flowed freely from His body for your deliverance from every kind of disease and physical affliction. God allowed every one of those stripes to fall on His Son’s body so that your body need not be scourged with diseases.
My friend, if you are sick or suffering from some physical condition, know that Jesus took the scourging as full payment for you to be free of that condition. He bore those stripes so that, today, there is no sickness, no disease left for you to bear. By His stripes you have been healed!
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