Sever skin from bone
-Snap- the screams echo through the halls. It’s dark and dry. Thirst. Need. Fear. Pain. -Snap- another shriek. Your turn next.
Trembling. Is this an illusion? A nightmare? No. The tearing at your skin from the rats shows that’s not true. Is anyone out there? Someone to save you. -Clink- Doors open. “Leave!” Gruff voice. Daylight. Tears. Relief.
Not yours. Out comes a man. His face is twisted and he drags his body as he walks. You run over just in time to catch Him.
“Sir. Are you alright?” Blood soaks your palms. A weak smile. Sweat. More tears.
A whisper. “For you, I did this.” Death.
3 days. Arms lift you up and spin you around. ALIVE! RISEN! FREE!
I hear the best torture professionals could sever skin from bone with a single lash. Have you ever had a cut bone deep? I have; it’s agonizing, I still have the scar.
Imagine 49 of those covering your body.
They spare some details in the movies because I am sure that Jesus wasn’t free standing, He most likely was tied to something to hold him still when they beat Him. Also. He probably threw up blood till He couldn’t anymore. The screams and cries of anguish, (anguish we should have bore) would have been sickening to the audience. It would not have been anywhere near as gentle as we see it in our minds.
Image one hundred billion names or more tattooed on the end of the whip. Look closely. There is your name. No! Don’t look away! Watch as it drives itself into your savior’s back. That is why we serve Him.
I know most people will walk away from this and shake their heads and try to remove these images. But don’t. Lest we ever forget that Jesus SUFFERED and died. Those lashes were yours, and mine.
Pain and grief build like the thick muggy atmosphere before a storm. You tell yourself you are okay but after awhile your heart and mind fill until the storm clouds break and you are left in a downpour of tears and a thunderstorm of racking shakes until through the midst of the rain you see Jesus. Scarred hand reaching out and taking you into His arms. As you cry into His heart you slowly feel better, His reassuring voice trickles in through the sobs and you hear Him tell you He loves you and that you will be okay. Suddenly your pain stops and feel like air after a big storm…refreshed…renewed…clear…. better. Thank you Jesus.
I have often heard it said that God can’t relate to pain of romance. That is an interesting point of view. I have a question. What is the most painful thing that can happen in the search for ‘love’?
Rejection! You got it on the first try right?
You may then say that the Jesus being rejected situation is different. You’re right. It is.
But God sends out His whole heart full of love to us every single day. He wants a commitment, a relationship, our trust and our love. If God is the lover of our soul and the soul is what He seeks then He is being rejected by the one He is in love with. So He gets it. He is rejected by many people each day, He feels sorrow at that. Is sorrow to proper of a word?
Then how about agony? Grief? Heartbreak? Longing? He longs to have us come to Him. He feels EVERYTHING we feel.
Never think God doesn’t get it.
We don’t always spring back up, sometimes we need to kneel first and that’s okay too.
When we fall, to get back up, first we have to get onto our knees. Sometimes on those knees is all we can do until someone comes and offers us a hand to lift us back onto our feet.
When we fall in life and spiritually, first we must climb to our knees and turn it all over to Jesus in prayer. Sometimes it takes a long time of prayer and kneeling before we see an answer, but that is waiting in God’s timing. As my Poppa says, ‘in the waiting we gain sustenance from the knowledge that God is doing something.’
Eventually we will look up from our folded hands to see Jesus reaching down an open hand and smiling brilliantly as He lifts us to our feet.
Home is behind, the world is ahead, (J.R.R. Tolkien). I usually see this phrase of this song as a sentence of awe and thrill. Images of camping and wooded trails, tall mountains and pounding waterfalls overtake my mind and I breathe deeply. However that was not the scene around this statement. In the Lord of The Rings masterpiece epic, ( I mean the novels) Pipin sings a song of what would seem to be great adventure, in fact it is a song of war. They left their homes behind and took to war. Trenches and hill tops and beaches. Skies, oceans and forests. Deserts and mountains and jungles. Comfort left behind, loving arms and gentle words long forgotten as feet ache in heavy boots and backs sweat under heavy packs. You almost don’t dare make friends because you don’t know how long you will get to hold to these people around you, but you become family. Our soldiers learned the line Jesus said about true friends, and what Paul said, Rare for a person to lay down their life even for a righteous person; perhaps for a good man one would dare to die for.-Paul ( this is not a direct quote)
Our soldiers dared to die for those they never met. War is UGLY! Suffering and death happen and it is awful! But freedom doesn’t come by hoping for it. We should always honor those who suffered and died, AND those who suffered and live, because our freedom came from their blood. Hate war always, hate our soldiers NEVER! They did not ask for the wars they fought and fight in, but they saw the suffering of the innocent and had the courage to stand up and do something about it. God bless our soldiers! Semper Fi.
I found the cover image on the internet and hope that it is okay that I used it because it is so powerful. My uncle was in Vietnam and this painting reminded me of the few stories that he was able to tell when he got back.
Can you hear me?
There is a novel series I enjoy that is based in medieval times. In one part of the series, the sea ports have been affected by a group of human traffickers (which is still a big problem in many parts of the world).
One scene has a big city wide party going on with loud music and cheering and fireworks. In this scene you can notice the slight screams of the people that are being silently stolen out of the crowd.
In this scene the protagonist asks a companion if they had also heard an odd noise, to which the other character answers, “yes. The sounds of the party covered it, but there were screams.”
I wonder how often we miss the screams in the midst of the party. The laughter, the excitement, the fireworks. Noise. Sounds of pleasure that cover the sounds of pain and distress. The people we don’t see due to the crowd who are silently being stolen away. The world has so much suffering that we just don’t notice.
Question. How many of you were at least a little bit surprised when I mentioned that human trafficking is still a problem? How many were angered and disgusted? If I said that many of the people on the streets in large cities have jobs, sometimes several jobs, but the cost of living is simply too high, would you be confused or argue with me?
I grew up near the large city of Vancouver, a city I love and miss, but even the beautiful lady has a dark side. A very dark side. Because of friends who were cops we learned of the on going and somewhat large problem of human trafficking that was happening right out of the inner harbor. A problem that the police struggled to control because of it’s strength. So you didn’t walk the streets alone.
Because of ministry friends we learned of the plight of the hard working man who lived in a cardboard box in the downtown area. There were many just like him. Steady job. Not enough to get by on.
We learned also that we were far from the only city with these problems. In Canada and the US especially it is easy to live the party life because we can have so much. But there are screams that we can’t hear that are happening just down the street.
This is not a criticism. Feel free to enjoy life. But now you are aware of the pain that you cannot see. What can you do about it?