The whip with jagged pieces of bone swirls in the air as the Roman soldier sets himself to deliver a brutal hit on his victim, Jesus. Jesus braces for impact as the whip slams into his body. Flesh is torn a part. Blood everywhere. The sounds of pain echoes through the chamber walls. The chants of…hit him again. Harder! Harder! Harder! Thirty-nine brutal hits rips a part the body of Jesus. No grace from the scornful crowd. No mercy from the soldier. No compassion. No seeing past their own ridiculous, scandalous and self-righteous attitude toward a man whose heart was pure, his life was perfect and his forgiveness was limitless toward anyone, whether they asked for it or not and his grace was without reservation and given freely with love, mercy and forgiveness.
It wasn’t enough to beat the living day lights out of Jesus, they had to mock him, blindfold him, spit in his face, ridicule him publicly, crown him with thrones as if he were the king of humiliation and nailed him to a cross as if he were wall art.
Jesus is set to die. He is hoisted before liars, and religious bigots who spew out their words of hatred. He is suspended before the mob of thugs who cast lots for his clothes and yelled obscenities. The crowd waits. The disciples wait. Mom waits.
Is it possible that God will not save his only Son? Is this really it? No last minute rescue. No hero to rise up and save the day? Nothing? Seriously, nothing?
Jesus is dead. Was his death really necessary? Did Jesus really need to endure an excruciating death that devastated everyone who knew him best? Did God not think about Jesus’ mom or siblings or disciples or himself?
Nothing about this story sound encouraging. There is confusion and heartbreak and anger and a blatant disregard for the hope Jesus said would be available if anyone would follow him. Death seems to have taken hope and placed in in the grave, too. What is good about this story?
The horrific scene on Friday demonstrated a loss of hope. The silence of Saturday paints a picture of hopelessness. The events of Sunday is a reminder that while everything may seem bleak and hopeless, God is always piecing every detail together so that we can ultimately see clearly how much he really love us.
When God declared that he loved the whole world that he gave everyone his Son, he meant it. When the Apostle Paul said in Romans 5:8, “God demonstrated his own love for us; while we were sinners, Christ died for us.” it was true. When we are at our worse, God is always at his best.
The way Jesus died is outrageous to say the least, but that is what God chose to demonstrate his love for us. If God didn’t love us, then he would never have created us; nor given us his Son so that our relationship would be possible with him.
Death was not the end of Jesus, but only a temporary moment in time in order to set everything into motion for what was to come…His resurrection. Friday was awful, but Sunday, was glorious. Hope is once again the headline news on the front page of every newspaper around the world! Peter said, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1st Peter 1:3)
The resurrection of Jesus gives us power, it defeated Satan and it restores hope that seemed to be lost when Jesus took his last breath. Never underestimate the power and timing of God. The way God chooses to play out life may not be what many of us would have chosen, however, He is God and he has every right to write the script any way he wants. Thankfully, God writes the ending with a dramatic resurrection of his Son!
May we all experience the blessings of the resurrection on this Easter Sunday!
Remember, Be God Controlled!