How Do I Respond?

In Chapter 26 of The Story, we looked at the sufferings of Christ. I truly believe that if we recover from the cross, we will cease being the worshipers we can and should be. Fundamentally, worship is “the believers’ response of all that they are – mind, emotions, will, and body – to what God is and says and does.” Warren Wiersbe provided this great definition in his book Real Worship.  So, the question that I want to ask myself and the reader today is, “What is my response to Christ’s suffering?”

Not too long ago, I stumbled upon a study note that stated it was very likely that Christ was actually whipped two times during his passion. A “flogging” is a lesser form of whipping, where a “scourging” is the most severe. The gospels use both words. If you remember the movie The Passion of the Christ, think of the sticks the Roman soldiers used as a flogging and the whips made with pieces of metal as a scourging. A scourging was only given to those already condemned to die, since many died as a result. Since Pilate really wanted to free Jesus, he probably had him flogged first. This is when the soldiers would have mocked him, placed the crown of thorns on him, etc. Pilate wanted Jesus punished enough to appease the crowd. But they were not appeased. They called for his crucifixion, so Pilate would have had Jesus scourged before sending him to the cross.

Hebrews 5:7-8 states, “While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.” I don’t know about you, but I can’t wrap my head around the fact that Jesus learned obedience, but what I do gather from these verses is that he had many Garden-of-Gethsemane moments where he pleaded with his Father to be rescued from the cross.

When we think about what Jesus suffered for us, may we respond with a life of worship. My we respond in adoration, knowing that while we were still sinners, Christ responded to our condition by giving his life as our ransom.

– Jay LeBlanc

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