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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

"Struck Again and Again"

"Again and again they struck Him on the head with a staff" (Mark 15:19).

Photo of staff (walking stick)Brooksyne and I enjoy taking long walks in the country and I like to use a walking stick. I am not sure how much it's like a staff but I can imagine how painful it would be if someone were to strike me on the head with it repeatedly. But that's just what happened to our Lord.

This week we are considering the various forms of pain and shame our Lord endured from Gethsemane to His final cry on the Cross. Of course the entire ordeal brought excruciating pain, emotionally, physically and most especially spiritually. Today's text specifically states that "again and again they struck Him on the head with a staff."

I've never been physically beaten up. I've always avoided fighting any way I could. I recall in 8th grade the class bully got the word out that he was going to beat me up. I have no idea why since I didn't even know him, but I sure lived in dread for a couple of months! I was tall for my age but very skinny at that time and I sure didn't have any confidence in winning a street fight.

I've been "beaten up" several times through my years of ministry. That's just part of the turf. Once a 6 foot 6 inch mentally disturbed man pummelled me with his fists while I sat across from him at my desk as I was offering spiritual counsel to him though I wasn't hurt. But most pastoral beatings are emotional and spiritual rather than physical.

A careful study of the events in the life of Christ from the Garden of Gethsemane to His final breath on the cross reveals a sequence of beatings endured in various horrendous forms. Each assault would have been indescribably painful and terribly degrading.

But I consider the additional aspect of pain in the sequence of painful beating after painful beating. It's very painful to have a fresh wound but to have that open site beaten again is doubly painful.  And Christ went through it again and again.

Following major surgery in my abdominal area a number of years ago I can still recall how tender the surgical site was.  I would do anything to avoid having any pressure applied to it.  I consider how awful it would be to have this tender site punched or torn. As a matter of fact I cringe at the thought.

But my personal Illustration is miniscule in comparison to the atrocious events that took place in our Lord's life. Once again just consider the daily verse describing just one way he suffered, "again and again they struck Him on the head with a staff."

"Amazing love! How can it be that Thou, my God, should'st die for me?"

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's Prayer:  Lord Jesus, I contemplate the infinite grace and self restraint You displayed as You were repeatedly assaulted by those who crucified You.  As they hurled insults You prayed for them.  As they ripped human flesh Your blood flowed for their sin.  As they blasphemed Your name, You brought their name before the Father.  With each pounding of the nail Your heart pounded with irrepressible love for all who mocked You.  You took our sins and made them Your very own as You bore our burdens on Calvary.  How marvelous and incomprehensible is Your selfless love for me!

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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