I was reading from John’s Gospel this morning and this verse stood out to me: “Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip.” (John 19:1 NLT)
I can’t imagine how terrible it must be to be flogged with a lead-tipped whip. I don’t really want to think about it.
Why did Jesus have to be flogged with a lead-tipped whip?
I take it that it was part of the suffering he had to undergo to pay the penalty of my sin and yours. The full weight of that penalty would be borne when he hung on the cross and experienced the abandonment of his Father. But the lead biting into his back was part of it. And perhaps it is there to graphically present to you and I the depth of our sin and the horror of judgment that Jesus would endure on the cross.
There are no small lapses or minor sins or little white lies or mere indiscretions. There are only sins that caused Jesus to endure the lead-tipped whip.
Every sin we commit has a consequence. For those outside Christ those consequences add up to eternal hell. But there are consequences, too, for the sin of those in Christ. For us Christ endures the lead-tipped whip. Cause and effect. My actions; his suffering.
He was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
So let’s make 2009 a year of self-control and holiness, secure in the freedom and forgiveness of God’s grace.