Back in 2008 I read this awesome book called “Paid in Full” by Rick Renner. I would encourage anyone and everyone to read it. I felt like I should share some of it so others can read it as well. I shared it in a note on Facebook back in 2008 and happened to stumble across that note recently and felt I should re share it all here.
The book goes through what Jesus did for us, in great detail. Making it even more real, and less like a fairy tale story that so many try to make it sound like. Celebrating Jesus’ birth, learning how much He loves us, Him dying on the cross, and coming back to life. That’s the gist of what we know.
We put so much focus on the cross and how horrible it had to be to be nailed to a tree. I don’t disagree with this at all, but we overlook what Jesus went through before He was crucified. The crucifixion was just the end to the torture. The thing that stood out to me the most is that Jesus was scourged! Yes we’ve been taught this as well, and if you’ve seen “The Passion of Christ” movie you’ve seen a small glimpse of what it’s like. But even with how grotesque and torturous the movie made it look, it was even worse than that.
I beg you to read these excerpts from this book.
Yes, it is horrible.
Yes, it is cruel.
Yes, it makes you sick to your stomach.
Yes, it will be difficult to keep reading.
Yes, you NEED to read this.
Why? So you can better understand what Jesus did for you, and just how much He loves you. Even if you think you already know. So you can see it more as a real life event and not just a story. It wasn’t pretty, it was excruciating!
(Excerpts from the book: “Paid in Full” by Rick Renner)
What is a scourge:
The scourge itself consisted of a short, wooden handle with several 18-24-inch-long straps of leather protruding from it. The ends of these pieces of leather were equipped with sharp pieces of metal wire, glass, and jagged fragments of bone. This was considered to be one of the most feared and deadly weapons of the Roman world. It was so ghastly that the mere threat of scourging could calm a crowd or bend the will of the strongest rebel. Even the most hardened criminal recoiled from the prospect of being submitted to the vicious beating of a Roman scourge.
When a decision was made to scourge an individual, the victim was first stripped completely naked so his entire flesh would be open and uncovered to the beating action of the torturer’s whip. Then the victim was bound to a two-foot-high scourging post. His hands were tied over his head to a metal ring, and his wrists were securely shackled to that ring to restrain his body from movement. When in this locked position, the victim couldn’t wiggle or move, trying to dodge the lashes that were being laid across his back.
Most often, two torturers were utilized to carry out this punishment, simultaneously lashing the victim from both sides. As these dual whips struck the victim, the leather straps with their sharp, jagged objects descended and extended over his entire back. Each piece of metal, wire, bone, or glass cut deeply through the victim’s skin and into his flesh, shredding his muscles and sinews.
Every time the whip pounded across the victim, those straps of leather curled tortuously around his torso, biting painfully and deeply into the skin of his abdomen and upper chest. As each stroke lacerated the sufferer, he tried to thrash about but was unable to move because his wrists were held so firmly to the metal ring above his head. Helpless to escape the whip, he would scream for mercy that this anguish might come to an end.
Every time the torturers struck a victim, the straps of leather attached to the wooden handle would cause multiple lashes as the sharp objects at the end of each strap sank into the flesh and then raked across the victim’s body. Then the torturer would jerk back, pulling hard in order to tear whole pieces of human flesh from the body. The victim’s back, buttocks, back of the legs, stomach, upper chest, and face would soon be disfigured by the slashing blows of the whip.
Historical records describe a victim’s back as being so mutilated after a Roman scourging that his spine would actually be exposed. Other records how the bowels of a victim would actually spill out through the open wounds created by the whip. The Early Church historian Eusebius wrote: “The veins were laid bare, and the very muscles, sinews, and bowels of the victim were open to exposure.”
The Roman torturer would so aggressively strike his victim that he wouldn’t even take the time to untangle the bloody, flesh-filled straps as he lashed the whip across the victim’s mangled body over and over again. If the scourging wasn’t stopped, the slicing of the whip would eventually flay the victim’s flesh off his body.
With so many blood vessels sliced open by the whip, the victim would begin to experience a profuse loss of blood and bodily fluids. The heart would pump harder and harder, struggling to get blood to the parts of the body that were bleeding profusely. But it was like pumping water through an open water hydrant; there was nothing to stop the blood from pouring through the victim’s open wounds.
The loss of blood caused the victim’s blood pressure to drop drastically. Because of the massive loss of bodily fluids, he would experience excruciating thirst, often fainting from the pain and eventually going into shock. Frequently the victim’s heartbeat would become so irregular that he would go into cardiac arrest.
According to Jewish law, the Jews were permitted to give 40 lashes to a victim, but because the fortieth lash usually proved fatal, the number of lashes given was reduced to 39. But the Romans had no limit to the number of lashes the could give a victim, and the scourging Jesus experienced was at the hands of Romans, not Jews. Therefore, it is entirely possible that after the torturer pulled out his whip to beat Jesus, he may have laid more than 40 lashes across Jesus’ body. In fact, this is even probable in light of the explosive outrage the Jews felt for Jesus and the terrible mocking He had already suffered at the hands of Romans soldiers.
So when the Bible tells us that Jesus was scourged, we now know exactly what type of beating Jesus received that night. What toll did the cruel Roman whip exact on Jesus’ body? The New Testament doesn’t tell us exactly what Jesus looked like after He was scourged, but Isaiah 52:14 says, “As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men.”
If we take this scripture literally for what it says, we can conclude that Jesus’ physical body was marred nearly beyond recognition. As appalling as this sounds, it was only the overture to what was to follow. Matthew 27:26 continues to tell us, “…and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.” This scourging was only the preparation for Jesus’ crucifixion!
This is absolutely horrible, and to think that it was only the beginning of the torture!
I couldn’t imagine anyone going through this, not to mention the love that Jesus has for us. He could have called it quits any time He wanted. He didn’t have to go through with it. But in order for us to be saved and spend eternity with Him, Jesus had to. It is a miracle that He didn’t die just from the scourging. Let alone everything else he endured. But He chose to keep going to save you and me!
Don’t you see just how special and priceless Jesus sees YOU as?
He took it ALL to save you!
He would have still done it if you were the only one on earth and you were the one giving him the scourging.
That is just how much He loves You!
YOU are priceless and worth it ALL to Him!
Ephesians 2:4-5 (AMP) — But God, being [so very] rich in mercy, because of His great and wonderful love with which He loved us, even when we were [spiritually] dead and separated from Him because of our sins, He made us [spiritually] alive together with Christ (for by His grace – His undeserved favor and mercy – you have been saved from God’s judgement.)