“The Servant’s Suffering”
“So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified” – Mark15:15
Crucifixion is one of the most horrible forms of capital punishment ever devised, and yet that was how our Lord died. It is interesting that the Gospels provide few details on crucifixion. Perhaps it was because it was common knowledge in that day. But today, over two thousand years removed, we get more insight into how our Lord died through Old Testament prophecies like Psalm 22 and Isaiah 52-53.
Another interesting thing is that these prophesies were written many years before crucifixion was known. Deuteronomy 21:23 says, “Cursed is anyone who hangs on a tree.” Psalm 22:16, “they have pierced my hands and my feet.” Psalm 22:14, “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.” These scriptures, hundreds of years prior to Roman rule, describe with utmost accuracy Roman crucifixion. This, yet again, affirms the accuracy of the Bible.
Why was Jesus not stoned as was the custom in Jewish law? Because the Scriptures must be fulfilled. The curse of sin would be nailed to a tree as described in Deut 21:23. His hands and feet nailed to a cross to fulfill Psalm 22. He would take up our infirmities and carry our sorrows. He would be smitten and afflicted, pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities, and on Him would be laid the iniquity of us all [ref. Isa. 53:4-6]. And interestingly enough, the authority for Israel to exercise their own way of capital punishment [by stoning] was stripped away not long before Jesus was born.
What does this all mean? It means that the Bible that we have today is the Word of God and can be trusted! And that means that right here and now we can have our sins forgiven and removed through the Cross of Calvary just as the Bible says. Our only work is to believe on the One Whom they crucified. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” [2 Cor 5:21]
But that is the qualifier, by faith believe: “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” [Rom 10:9]
Pilate asked the crowd, “What shall I do with the one you call the king of the Jews?” It is the same question for us today. What will we do with this One called Jesus?
Our answer truly has eternal consequences. We must receive Him and follow Him. According to the Bible, there is no other way to eternal life.