Adrian Ow• Timely Word •

Journey to the Cross: The Flogging

By 8 March 2020 March 26th, 2020 No Comments

1Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. 2And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. (John 19:1-3)

 63Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. 64They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who  is it that struck you?” 65And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him. (Luke 22:63-65)

It’s a brutal scene. There were no gentle words here, only loud, stinging, mocking insults. The air was filled with rage and darkness and evil. The smell of blood and sweat intermingled with the heat of human bodies crowding round to land the next strike. Jesus’ accusers took the crown – a symbol of royalty and majesty – and twisted it into something painful and degrading (the crown of thorns). The almighty kingship of Jesus was thrown into the dirt and spat upon.

And in the middle of it all, a humiliated, bruised and crushed Jesus. He remained silent before those who accused Him; He let himself be led like a lamb to the slaughter (Isaiah 53:4-7).

Even as this scene presents itself afresh before my eyes, a question of self-reflection begins to form in my heart and spirit that I pose to us as well:

“Is my voice amongst the scoffers?”

While I might not have been physically there, I realise that I too often mock the kingship and goodness of Christ in my life. “Jesus, you won’t know how I’m feeling! This can’t possibly be for my good! I think I’ve had enough of “Jesus-time” today, let me do my own thing!” The lines of How Deep the Father’s Love comes to mind:

My sin upon His shoulders

Ashamed I hear my mocking voice

Call out among the scoffers

Jesus was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our sins. The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him; and by His wounds, we are healed (Isa 53:5)

We are quick and eager to seek healing when we are physically sick – this season more than ever. But I pray that we grow to become more and more aware of the virus called SIN in our lives and the effects it has on our spiritual condition. May we be equally eager to seek spiritual healing for our souls.

During this season of Lent, I echo what Ps Jan exhorted us to consider doing in his pastoral message last Sunday.

Pray. Pray against spiritual apathy.

Read Scripture. Let’s read and experience Scripture afresh instead of thinking that we are familiar with it and brush it aside.

Humility before the Holy Spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas in our life where we need to repent from and need spiritual healing.

Fast. Abstain from the things that can often distract us from the Lord (food, mobile phones, newspapers, television, social media, etc) and spend that time worshipping and praying. Turn “Phone-Time” into “Jesus-Time”.

May the Lord do His deep work of spiritual healing in our lives.

By Adrian Ow, Assistant Pastor (YCKC Bulletin 8 March 2020)