Nuggets 92: Spitting on Goodness
- B. Shelburne
- Mar 30, 2008
- Series: Nuggets
They mocked Jesus, beat him and spit on him. They tied him to a post and bared his back. The Roman instrument for flogging was called a flagrum. It had a short handle and two to three thick leather thongs which were weighted with pieces of lead or bone designed to bruise and tear. Some prisoners died under flogging. The person wielding the flagrum was called a lictor. He needed to be burly and strong. To work at his best, he also needed to be hateful.
The lictor brought the flagrum down across Jesus' back with all his strength, again and again. The blows represented punishment Jesus bore for our sins. "By his stripes we are healed." The blows also symbolized the hate of the fallen world for everything good.
Why, why would anyone hate goodness? Why would anyone see goodness as bad? Satan's first move in the garden was to discredit God in the minds of Adam and Eve. "God is not as good as you think. He is holding out on you." Satan keeps working at this until the world sees God as evil. Our hearts break as we watch this process in our culture today. Isaiah writes of those who call evil good and good evil. At its extreme this is the ultimate lostness, for a person cannot see to repent and turn back to what is good.
Why flog Jesus, of all people? Jesus is Goodness personified. He never hurt anyone. "He went about doing good." He was kind even to his enemies. Yet they spit on him. Today there are sons and daughters who bitterly hate their parents, even parents who did the best they could and who weep for their child. Today there are estranged Christians who hate the church, though the church members pray for them and long to have them back. There is plenty of fault in any church or parent. Yet one wonders if the hate is not partly fueled by self-hatred and by unrelated pain. Like a spider Satan plays on our bitterness, weaving strand after strand until we are completely enslaved.
What a contrast between the hatred of the lictor and the love of Jesus! Jesus' passion brought evil out into the open as nothing else ever did. Evil is seen attacking Perfect Goodness. Evil is what it is. Goodness is what it is. If we still have eyes, the choice is ours.
Matthew 26:65-68; 27:26-36; Mark 14:65; 15:15-24; Luke 22:63-65; 23:24-33; John 18:12,13,19-23; 19:1-3,16-18; Isaiah 53:3-12; Genesis 3:1-7; Isaiah 5:20; Luke 4:18,19
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Copyright 2007 by G.B. Shelburne, III. May be freely reproduced or forwarded for non-commercial purposes provided content is unchanged and this copyright notice is included. These shepherding messages are sent to members and friends of New Beginnings Church (www.nbchurch.com), to students and alumni of South Houston Bible Institute (www.shbi.org), and to other interested persons.
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