“Those with which I was wounded in the house of My friends…” (Zech. 13:6)

(jesus_christ)scourging_of_christ-001.jpgThisprophecy was fulfilled in the life of our Lord Jesus. For the sake of savingmankind from eternal perdition, the only begotten Son, God the Logos wasincarnated. Since death was in the way of our salvation, He yearned to gothrough it, because of His love to us. His life on earth was a chain ofsufferings, from His childhood till He went to the cross to suffer the judgmentof our sins. We are those who sinned and the Lord was the One who suffered. Weare those who were indebted to divine justice as a result of our sins and Hewas the One who paid off our debts.

+ Christ the Lord was disgraced from His childhood. He was born in apoor family from an orphan young girl. In the filthiest place in the world, astable, purity was born. The Omnipotence was wrapped in swaddling cloth in amanger. The manger and the cross stand at the two extremities of our Savior’slife. He accepted to be born in a stable because there was no room in the inn,and He accepted the cross because men refused to have this Man as a King. InHis childhood, He traveled in a dangerous escape from a wicked king, Herod, takingEgypt as a temporary home. He spent His childhood and His youth with a poor oldcarpenter, in a despised town (Jn. 1: 46).

+ Our Savior started His ministry by fasting fortydays in the wilderness, after which He started the battle with the evil forces.Being the pattern Man, He taught us how to defeat Satan and overcome histemptations. When He started His ministry in His own town, Nazareth, the Jews did not receive Him, rose up,thrust Him out of the city and led Him to the brow of the hill on which thecity was built, that the might throw Him over the cliff (Lk. 4:29). The Lordtold them: “No prophet is accepted in his own town”. The people inCapernaum also rejected him, despite the mighty works that the Lord did withthem, that He finally cursed them (Lk. 10:15).

+ Rejection was also repeated in Jerusalem andJudea. The Jews did not believe, persecuted Jesus and soughtto kill Him (Jn. 5:16). They took up stones several times to stone Him (Jn.8:59, 10:31). They tried to seize Him to kill Him, but He escaped out of theirhands. The scribes, the Pharisees, the priests and the Herodians tried severaltimes to destroy Him and plot Him to death (Mat. 12:14, Mk. 3:6, Jn. 5:18, 7:1,11:53). Herod, the fox was also planning to kill Him (Lk.13: 31). The Lord cameto His own people, and His own did not receive Him. This is a fulfillment ofthe prophecy of King David: “The kings of the earth set themselves andthe rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His anointed”(Ps. 2:2).

+ Our Holy blessed Lord was absolutely pure and never convicted ofsin or an imperfection. He could stand up before the great crowds and said:“Whichof you convicts Me of sin?” (Jn. 8:46). The Jews told Him: “Youare a Samaritan and have a demon” (Jn. 8:48). The Jews said that He didnot cast out demons except by Beelzebub, theruler of the demons (Mat. 9:34, 12:24). Some of the Jews called Him a deceiver (Mat. 27:63, Jn.7: 12), otherscalled Him a sinner (Jn. 9:24), andmany said that He has a demon and is mad(Jn.10: 20). In spite of the many signs, which Jesus had performed, theydid not believe in Him and rejected Him. The Lord’s soul was exceedinglysorrowful even to death for those people, who did not receive Him (Jn. 1:11).

+ He wept over Jerusalem, the city of the great King and over thechildren of Israel, because they did not know the time of their visitation(Lk. 19:41-44). He was exceedingly sorrowful for those who were perished. Thishappened before, in the time of Jeremiah. He said: “Oh that my head were waters andmy eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain ofthe daughters of my people” (Jer. 9:1). The Lord was grieving for thehard-hearted people, and the prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled: “He isdespised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrow and acquainted with grief, He wasdespised and we did not esteem Him” (Isa. 53:3).

+ The Lord’s soul was very sorrowful for Judas, His disciple whowent to the chief priests and said: “What are you willing to give me if I deliverHim to you?” (Mat.26: 15). They counted out to Him thirty pieces ofsilver. This was prophesied by the prophet Zechariah eight hundred years before(Zech. 11:12). The Lord was deeply agitated and said to His disciples thefulfillment of the prophecy of Psalm forty: “He who eats bread with Me haslifted up his heel against Me” (Jn. 13:18). The merciful Lord held opento Judas several times the opportunity for repentance, but the traitor did notlisten, because he delivered himself to Satan, who can possess only willingvictims. Our Lord suffered such betrayal from within the household. Judas wasthe wolf who was present in the midst of the sheepfold. The Lord made Hisbetrayal the condition of His cross.

+ The denial of Peter wasone of the wounds that made our Lord’s soul very sorrowful. Peter who said tothe Lord: “Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be” (Mk.14:29). He also said: “I will lay down my life for your sake”(Jn. 13:37). Peter failed twice when he kept himself away from Jesus. In thegarden of Gethsemane, he slept instead of watching and praying. Secondly, hedid not keep his eyes on the Savior and the physical distance was a symbol ofspiritual distance. He, who had drawn the sword in defense of the Master a fewhours before, denied three times the Lord whom he had sought to defend. He whohad called his Master “the Son of the living God” now calls Him the man,declaring in oath: “I do not know the man” (Mat. 26:27). The Lord turned and lookedat Peter, who went outside and wept bitterly (Lk. 22:62). The mercy of the Lordextended to the one who denied Him as to those who crucified Him.

+ The disciples left Himstruggling in prayers alone in the garden of Gethsemane. Being in agony, Heprayed more earnestly and His sweat became like great drops of blood fallingdown to the ground (Lk.22: 42). He said to the disciples: “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful,even to death, stay here and watch with Me” (Mat. 26:38). They weresleeping and did not stay with Him. When the Lord was arrested, all the disciplesforsook Him and fled (Mat. 26:56). It is written: “Strike the Shepherd and the sheepwill be scattered” (Zech. 13:7). The prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled:“Ihave trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me”(Isa. 63: 3). They were not true to their words, when they said: “Lord,to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (Jn. 6:68).Peter said: “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You” and sosaid all the disciples (Mat. 26:35). The Lord was praying for them that theirfaith should not fall.

+ The Jews were not faithful to Him. Theycried to Pilate: “Crucify Him, CrucifyHim”. The Lord was exceedingly sorrowful for those who listened to Histeachings, who were healed from their diseases, who were cleansed from theirleprosy and those who were freed from demon possession. The Lord had done amongthem many signs which no one else did (Jn. 15:24). They did not onlyacknowledge His good deeds to them, but they also blasphemed Him, when He washanged on the cross (Mk. 15:29). The sneered, saying: “He saved others, let Him saveHimself if he is the Christ, the chosen of God” (Lk. 23:35).

+ The Lord suffered humiliation during His trials. WhenHe was arrested, He was bound like a thief. In the house of the high priest,the Lord was beaten and the officers struck Him with the palms of their handsand spat in His face (Mat.26: 67). The same happened again in Pilateheadquarters. The soldiers stripped Him and put scarlet robe on Him, twisted acrown of thorns and they put it on His head. They spat on Him took the reed,struck Him on the head and they mocked Him (27:27-31). Pilate ordered thatJesus be scourged 39 stripes and delivered Him to be crucified. The trial ofChrist as a prophet was in front of the Sanhedrin and the trial of the Lord asa King was in front of Pilate.

+ The Lord carried the heavy cross on theway to Calvary. The scourging, the loss of blood, the crown of thorns and Hissorrowful soul could bring His end before the crucifixion. He could not walkbearing His cross and He fell on the ground. They laid the cross on Simon theCyrenian. It is the first time the Savior laid His cross on anyone.

+ The agony of crucifixion was unbearable. Therough nails were pierced in those hands from which the world’s grace flow. Hisfeet were also pinioned those feet, which sought the lost sheep among thethorns. Every prophecy was fulfilled. David looked forward to the role ofhammer and the nails to the Messiah, the carpenter, who made the universe: “Strongbulls of Bashan have encircled Me. They gape at Me with their mouth like araging and roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and My bones are out ofjoint. My heart is like wax, it has melted within Me. My strength is dried uplike a potsherd, and My tongue clings to My Jaws. …They pierced My hands and Myfeet. I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. They divide Mygarments among them and for My clothing they cast lots” (Ps.22: 12-18).Being stripped of His garments, Hewent to the cross naked to clothe us with the cloak of His righteousness. Forour sake He preferred suffering to comfort us, shame to glorify us and thecross to save us, leaving His throne, which is carried by the Cherubim. I amafraid that the Lord is still sufferingfor those who forsake Him, loving the world and its lusts more than Him.

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