“The plowers plowed on my back; They made their furrows long.”
In the verse above, we see a powerful and graphic agricultural imagery being used to help us understand the violent suffering our Lord Jesus endured for our healing.
Psalm 129 is a messianic psalm, and this is a picture of the scourging Christ went through. I was reading this verse one day, and I felt the Lord saying to me, “Meditate on why I used words that are associated with farming.” That made me wonder, Why did the Lord say, “They plowed My back” rather than beat, scourged, or hit?
Plowers drag a sharp plow that digs into the soil to break up the soil and make deep furrows in preparation for seeds to be sown as pictured on the following page. I believe that was what happened to our Lord Jesus’ back. When He was scourged by the Roman soldiers, it was as if His whole back had been plowed.
Furrows made in the ground by a plow allow for the planting of seeds and irrigation. In Psalm 129, the furrows speak of the scourging Jesus received for our healing.
Victims of Roman flagellation were scourged using a whip made up of several long leather thongs embedded with shards of broken bone, metal, and hooks. With each stroke, the thongs would wrap around the victim’s body, and the shards would lodge in his flesh. When it was jerked away, the flesh of the victim would be ripped off and left in shreds, making deep, long furrows across his back. By the time our Lord’s tormentors were done, I believe there wasn’t a single sliver of skin left on His back. Psalm 22, a messianic psalm, tells us that even His bones were exposed and stared back at Him (Ps. 22:17).
It was not by coincidence the language of sowing was used to describe our Lord Jesus’ horrific scourging. Furrows are made so seeds can be sown. When you feel like you have no faith to believe in healing, our Lord Jesus says you just need faith as small as a mustard seed (Luke 17:6). It is not about how strong your faith is—just sow your little seeds of faith into the good ground of our Lord. The more you see what He has done for you, the more your faith will grow and the more you will experience a harvest of healing.
When His back was lashed into furrows, He was allowing the seed for your specific healing to be sown, whether it is high blood pressure, a tumor, or your child’s asthma. Whatever condition you or your loved one might be suffering from, Jesus’ suffering and sacrifice speak of how the price for your healing has been paid in full. It speaks of how you are so loved. Now reach out by faith and receive your healing. And even as you wait for your hundredfold harvest, may you experience His love for you like never before!
This devotional is adapted from the book The Healing Power of the Holy Communion—A 90-Day Devotional.