What is the most painful thing you can remember in your life? It can be physical, emotional, or psychological. Abuse can be so destructive in our lives that it leaves emotional scars that can cause us to question God’s goodness. We start asking questions like: “If God was so good, why would he let this happen to me?” The last part of this series, “Does God Really Understand Me?”, isn’t a way to belittle your pain or make you situation any less significant then what it really is. But as we read through Matthew 27:27-31, we will discover together the amount of abuse Jesus went through before He was crucified on the cross.
“Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him.
Now prior to this passage, Jesus, an innocent man, was sentenced to death and scourged. We read that Jesus was taken to the governor’s headquarters, where a battalion measuring up anywhere from 500-800 Roman soldiers were gathered before Him. Its more than enough pain to be abused like this by one person, but to have a whole battalion is unthinkable.
And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisted together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
Jesus not only felt the physical abuse, but also suffered the humiliation the battalion of Roman soldiers placed on Him. Have you ever felt humiliated? Jesus understands that pain. He was stripped of his clothing and made a crown of thorns to be put on His head. And yet before he was beaten he proclaimed this moment in Mark 10:34: “They will mock Him and spit on Him, and scourge Him and kill Him…” Jesus knew what was happening to Him, and yet, He still chose to undergo this intense abuse for our sake.
“And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.”
Sometimes, when we go through times when we are abused or struggle, we can forget the amount of turmoil and anguish our God went through to wash away our sins. Even as we read Luke 22:44 we see a very real picture of Jesus’ torment before He is taken into custody: “He prayed more fervently, and He was in such agony of spirit that His sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.” Jesus suffered the ultimate abuse, and you see it affect him not just physically, but also emotionally and psychologically. Jesus knows the feeling of pain, humiliation, and abuse, but he did it so that we can have hope in our affliction. That’s how good God is, that He would send his very Son down to be rejected, betrayed, and abused, for the sins of the world.
When have you ever been abused by someone? How can you look to Jesus through your pain? Take the time this week to speak to God, His answers are in His word. God understands your struggle, and wants to have a relationship with the very person He sent His Son to die for.