Devotion 146 – Friday of the Third Week of Lent

Opening Prayer

Lord, let it become clear to us what You suffered and why You suffered so. Amen.

Text: John 19:1

So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him.

Four soldiers tied Jesus to a post and scourged His back with leather whips that had iron barbs. “I gave My back to those who struck Me” (Isa 50:6). “Scourging belongs on the back of fools. How then does it come on Your back, You who are eternal Wisdom? A disobedient servant should be beaten with many stripes. How then have You, God’s righteous Servant, deserved them? You are wounded for my transgressions and bruised for my iniquities (Isa 53:5). You are scourged for me so that I shall not be scourged in the wrath to come.”

But when the scourge of God’s discipline falls sharp and harsh upon us, then let us stop and take a good look at the stripes on the only-begotten Son. Jesus, who has taken on Himself our load of guilt, faces God’s wrath. It is the scourge of wrath He tastes. He is punished for sin. The fire of God’s righteous anger burns in each stroke and each wound and burns into His soul. But because He took the punishment, it is no longer that punishment that strikes His believers. It is not the sword of judgment, but the rod of the merciful heavenly Father that strikes you, dear Christian. Nevertheless you shall have the honor that your stripes are the kind Christ suffered and the blessing of such discipline is that it makes you partaker of His holiness. Our God disciplines every child whom He receives (Heb 12:6).

Here in the stripes that Jesus receives from unrighteous hands, see what you have deserved. That’s how you should be flogged with the scorpions of hell for your wicked desires. If you acknowledge it and understand the significance of the Lord’s scourging, then the holy Lamb gives you healing for the wounds that Satan may have struck in your conscience. The Lamb will give you power to suffer patiently when the world is unfair to you. He will free you from the power of sinful desires which still stir in your flesh, and He will clothe you with His holiness. Since we know that the believer is united with Christ, then His pure life is ours, and His holy suffering is ours, not just to forgive our sins, but also to cleanse our heart, and to sanctify our life. Our sinful desires are punished in Christ and mortified in Him, so now we can present our members as servants of righteousness (Rom 6:19). — You who are Jesus’ disciples, don’t forget His scourging! Never forget His scourging!

Closing Prayer

Lord Jesus, we pray You heartily: Clothe us with the power of Your victory and take us into the fellowship of Your sufferings. Grant us Your holiness and Your patience in all our conduct during trial and tribulation, whenever we may be scourged by Satan and the world, and grant us finally to share in Your glory. Amen.

Hymn

Whip and scourge we must remember
Beating Jesus all about,
Ev’ry tired and weakened member
Till the blood comes streaming out!
Ev’ry lash brings deepest woes;
To the flesh and bone it goes;
As a worm we see Him wringing
And His heart within is stinging.

O my Jesus, how I wonder
That my heart for Thee must bleed,
For my conscience sad doth ponder
How I scourged Thee oft indeed.
And my sins, so crude and rash,
Hang upon each strike and lash,
Every time that Thou art smitten
And with many woes art beaten.

Kingo: Vil dog Himlen intet tale L 326:2.5 tr. DeGarmeaux;
tune: Freu dich sehr (ELH 256);
alternate hymn: O Love, how deep ELH 281