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Chapter Eight

In His Passion Jesus suffered excruciating physical pain and suffering

The torture that Jesus endured before His crucifixion was absolutely horrific.
Mel Gibson’s moving film “The Passion of Christ,” gives a graphic description of the sufferings of Jesus, and one has to thank God that a factual account of the sufferings of Jesus have at last been presented to the whole world. However, the sufferings of Jesus were actually worse than His sufferings portrayed in the film. Mel Gibson states that he had to hold back from the full facts because people would not be able bear it. Tender-hearted people have found it difficult to watch, and even non-Christians have been reduced to tears by it. The film gives the shocking and gruesome facts about our Lord’s sufferings and death. The physical pain that Jesus suffered through His beating and crucifixion was horrendous. People often died through the beating that Jesus experienced. Crucifixion was also totally agonising, and was a prolonged torture. In addition to the unbearable pain, the person who was being crucified, was all the time fighting off asphyxia because of the position of the arms. However, this was not all the pain that Jesus suffered, He also endured an excruciating internal emotional pain and distress, and experienced a horrendous and agonizing fight of faith. Jesus bravely conquered a soul-destroying fight with fear, depression, and the hatred of men.

Jesus bravely conquered the soul-destroying fights with evil men and evil angels.
A tremendous insight into the great inner grief and conflict that Jesus experienced is seen in Ps.22. The opening verse, Ps.22v1., is quoted in Mt.27v46., “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Why are You so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning? AMP. Jesus had read this psalm many times and knew well that it was describing His future crucifixion, and that when He took upon Him the sins of the world, He would experience being cut off from God the Father. Jesus “prayed with strong cryings and tears,” Heb.5v7., in Gethsemane over this forsaking by the Father. The soul of Jesus was made an offering for sin, Is.53v10., and this forsaking by His Father was a major part of the price of the atonement for our sin.

Dying at any time can be a most soul-trying thing, crucifixion is about the worst way to die.
Just before my earthly father died he was in considerable distress, he said, “If this is dying, I only want to do it once.” His doctors, kindly eased his suffering with morphine and he died peacefully in sleep. Jesus had no pain relief; He refused the drugged drink, and only had a vinegar drink just before He died, in order to fulfil the Scripture. Ps.69v21. with John.19v28-30. His suffering was quite appalling. To redeem us Jesus lost both His body and spirit at death. Lk.23v46. Eccles.12v7.

The horrors of crucifixion recorded in Psalm 22.
In Ps.22v6-8,12-18., this prophetic psalm graphically foretells the terrible physical sufferings, and the vicious verbal abuse that Jesus would have to endure during His crucifixion. The description of crucifixion is graphic and totally accurate, even though crucifixion was completely unknown at this time. The amazing accuracy of these prophecies cannot be denied or refuted; the casting of lots for Christ’s garments is even foretold. Ps.22v6. But I am a worm, and no man; I am the scorn of men, and despised by the people. [Matt.27:39-44.] v7. All who see me laugh at me and mock me; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, [Matt.27:43.] v8. He trusted and rolled himself on the Lord, that He would deliver him. Let Him deliver him, seeing that He delights in him! [Matt.27:39,43; Mark.15:29,30; Luke.23:35.] v12. Many [foes like] bulls have surrounded me; strong bulls of Bashan have hedged me in. [Ezek.39:18.] v13. Against me they opened their mouths wide, like a ravening and roaring lion. v14. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax; it is softened [with anguish] and melted down within me. v15. My strength is dried up like a fragment of clay pottery; [with thirst] my tongue cleaves to my jaws; and You have brought me into the dust of death. [John.19:28.] v16. For [like a pack of] dogs they have encompassed me; a company of evildoers has encircled me, they pierced my hands and my feet. [Isa.53:7; John.19:37.] v17. I can count all my bones; [the evildoers] gaze at me. [Luke.23:27,35.] v18. They part my clothing among them and cast lots for my raiment (a long, shirt like garment, a seamless under tunic). [John.19:23,24.] The Amplified Bible.

In Ps.22v22,25,27-31., the glorious victory of Jesus over this verbal abuse, pain and suffering is prophesied. v22. I will declare Your name to my brethren; in the midst of the congregation will I praise You. [John.20:17; Rom.8:29; Heb.2:12.] v25. My praise shall be of You in the great congregation. I will pay to Him my vows [made in the time of trouble] before them who fear (revere and worship) Him. v27. All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall bow down and worship before You, v28. For the kingship and the kingdom are the Lord's, and He is the ruler over the nations. v29. All the mighty ones upon earth shall eat [in thanksgiving] and worship; all they that go down to the dust shall bow before Him, even he who cannot keep himself alive. v30. Posterity shall serve Him; they shall tell of the Lord to the next generation. v31. They shall come and shall declare His righteousness to a people yet to be born — that He has done it [that it is finished]! [John.19:30.] The Amplified Bible. These verses declare the fruits of Christ’s redeeming love, salvation for multitudes of believers through faith in His Name and His atonement, and how Jesus will welcome the great congregation of the redeemed into His kingdom. He will surely see the fruit of the travail of His soul and be satisfied. Is.53v11.

The Scriptures warned Jesus that He would be smitten “in the house of my friends.” Zech.13v6-9.
We read in Zech.13v6-9. "And one shall say unto Him, What are these wounds between thine arms? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded ““nakah” 5221, “smitten”) in the house of my friends. v7. Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith Jehovah of hosts: smite (“nakah” 5221, “smite”) the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered; and I will turn my hand upon the little ones. v8. And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith Jehovah, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. v9. And I will bring the third part into the fire, and will refine them, as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried. They shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people; and they shall say, Jehovah is my God. (ASV)

In Zech.13v8,9., the prophecy goes forward to Christ’s return, and informs us that at His second coming Jesus will execute two out of every three Jews, because most of the godly Jews will be killed by Antichrist, and most of the remaining Jews will be corrupted by Antichrist.

The Jews erroneously thought that Jesus was stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted for His own sins.
In Isaiah.53v10., “He hath put Him to grief,” “grief,” is “chalah,” 2470, it is the same Hebrew word, which in another form occurs in Isa.53v4., “choliy” 2483. sickness. “Chalah,” means, “to be or become weak, to be sick or to become sick, to be diseased or to become diseased, to be grieved or to become grieved, to be sorry or become sorry.” Keil & Delitzsch translate Is.53v4., “Verily He hath borne our diseases and our pains: He hath laden them upon Himself; but we regarded Him as one stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” The Jews erroneously thought that Jesus was stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted for His own sins, when He was in fact paying the penalty and bearing the sins of the whole world. The Jews made this false belief the reason for their extreme hatred, contempt and rejection of Jesus, but the real reason was that Jesus had exposed their great and many sins and reproved them for their iniquitous lives. Jesus said they had sinned in the full light of the mighty divine miraculous, and ultimate divine truth, preached in an incomparable way by Jesus Himself. Jesus said that they had clearly and unmistakably seen and hated both Himself and the Father. John.15v22-25.

The Jews erroneously thought that Jesus was being judicially stricken and abandoned by God.
In, “yet we did esteem Him stricken,” in Is.53v4., the Hebrew word for “stricken,” is “naguwa” 5060, it means, "struck," or "smitten." The thought is, “yet we thought Him judicially stricken with great and severe punishment for His sins by God, smitten from the presence of God, and afflicted.” The Jews felt that the terrible sufferings of Jesus meant that He had been abandoned by God, and was experiencing the divine judgement for His sins. We should particularly note that Isaiah does not say that Jesus would be smitten, accursed, and abandoned by God; but only that the Jews, who rejected Him and put Him to death, would think that this was so. Isaiah states that the Jews were badly mistaken and in great error, Jesus was bearing our sorrows, not suffering for His own sins. (The Hebrew "naguwa," which is translated as "stricken," is also used in the Scriptures to speak of someone who was afflicted with a horrible disease. Gen.12v17. 1Sam.6v9. Leprosy, was called "nega"` 5061, see 2Kings15v5.)

The Jews erroneously thought that God was judicially smiting Jesus.
In Is.53v4., the Hebrew word for “smitten” is “nakah” 5221, it means, “to smite, to strike,” it is used to speak of a person smiting by the sword, etc. It is even used of Balaam’s Ass objecting to her master smiting and beating her in Numb22v28., “And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? However, it is also often used to speak of divine judgment. Of the people in Sodom being smitten with blindness in Gen.19v11., and with haemorrhoids in 1Sam.5v6.. Of divine judgement on Egypt by turning water and the river Nile to blood in Exod.7v25., the hail judgement on Egypt in Ex.9v25., the judgement on Egypt’s firstborn in Ex.12v29., and judgement by pestilence in Numb.14v12.. God directed Saul to smite and destroy Amalek in 1Sam.15v2,3., and David to smite the Philistines in 1Sam.23v2.. In Mal.3v24. Elijah is sent before the Lord’s coming to save the land from being smitten with divine judgement.

A common belief among the Jews was that great suffering meant that a person was guilty of great sin, and was proof of divine judgement. This is the thought behind the phrase, “smitten of God,” in Is.53v4. The Jews felt that the sufferings of Jesus proved that God had inflicted a curse on Jesus, and that He was suffering what His sins deserved. This was the very area of conflict and argument between Job and His “friends.” The truth was that the Jews had concocted and twisted evidence to attempt to prove that Jesus was a blasphemer, and deserved to die. See Lk.23v34. Jn.16v3. Acts.3v17. 1Cor.2v8. Jesus was certainly not actually smitten of God, except for our sins. However, the Jews treated Him as such, and regarded Him as being under the judicial condemnation and judgement of God, and rejected and condemned Him.

The Jews thought that Jesus was being judged by God for His sins, but He was purchasing healing for us.
We read in Isaiah.53v4., “Surely he hath borne our griefs ("choliy" 2483, sickness) and carried our sorrows ("mak'ob" 4341, pain): yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” The Hebrew for “borne” is “nasa” 5375, which means “to bear, to carry away,” it carries the double thought, that Jesus took our sicknesses on Himself, and so took away our sicknesses. When Jesus died for us He personally bore in Himself all our spiritual and physical infirmities and sicknesses, as well as our sins. Is.53v5,6,8,12. Mt.20v28. John.1v29,35. Heb.9v28. 1Pet.2v24.

In Mt.8v17., this bearing and carrying away of our infirmities and sicknesses is given as the reason why Jesus healed all the sick that came to Him for healing. In Mt.8v17., the word “Himself,” confirms this, Jesus took on Himself, and so took away our sicknesses and infirmities. Jesus lifted up and bore our sicknesses and infirmities away. This does not mean that Jesus became sick in the place of the sick, or that our sicknesses were transferred to Him, it means that His atonement made physical healing the natural attendant of healing of the soul. Jesus took sicknesses away by His atoning death and removed them.

“And carried,” is “cabal” 5445; it means, to carry as a burden. The primary idea is undoubtedly that of lifting, bearing and carrying a burden. The verb with its derivative noun occurs in twenty-three places relating to the carrying of burdens, twice in relation to sins. "Cabal" 5445, speaks of the hard slog and grind that Jesus experienced in bearing the burden that He had taken up.

The Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament translates Is.53v4., "Verily He hath borne our diseases and our pains: He hath laden them upon Himself; but we regarded Him as one stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." Matthew translates Is.53v4., in Mt.8v17., "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying: Himself took ("elaben" 2983) our infirmities ("astheneias" 769) , and bare ("ebastasen" 941) our diseases ("nosous" 3554)."

When Is.53v12. declares that Jesus “bare the sins of many,” it does not mean that when He took those sins on Himself, that He became a sinner, but that He took upon Himself the penalty for our sins through His atonement. The Hebrew construction of "nasa" 5375, shows that Jesus took the debt of sin upon Himself, and looked at it, and felt it, and carried it, as if it was His own.

The word translated as sorrows in Is.53v4., means "pain, sorrow, grief." It means that Jesus not only took our diseases, and bore them away, but he also took and carried away both our physical and mental pain and griefs. Jesus voluntarily subjected Himself to the mental and physical pain and distress, which was necessary to remove them from us. In Mt.8v17. Matthew uses the Greek word “nosos” 3554, which means properly sickness, disease, as in Mt.4v23,24. 9v35.. Matthew confirms the statement of Isa.53v4., that Jesus took upon Himself, and was afflicted with our sicknesses, sorrows, pains, and trials of life, and removed them by the sacrifice of Himself. Why, then, is the promise of healing not fulfilled, or regularly seen, in our Churches?

The major hindrances in our Churches that stop God from fulfilling His Word to heal us.
In Ps.90v10., Moses informs us that natural aging of the body cannot be avoided. Old age can be a burden to the godliest soul, however, God can heal us in our old age; God healed me of a tumour on the brain and blindness when I was 71. God can, and does, heal every kind of sickness, including simple sickness. Ps.103v3. But God often allows minor sickness, to be healed by the natural healing processes of the body. Simple sickness can often be cured by sufficient sleep, simple remedy, and correct diet. Ps.103v5. 127v2. However, severe sickness is another matter altogether, and this is what I am considering here.

The lack of full New Testament apostolic, prophetic and evangelistic ministry.
We read in Mt.9v35,36. that in His third tour of Galilee, Jesus was moved with compassion, when He saw the pitiable state of the multitudes. “Moved with compassion,” is “esplangchnisthe,” the aorist passive indicative of “splagchnizomai” 4697, to have the bowels yearn, so, to be moved with compassion, sympathy and pity. Jesus was, and is, deeply moved with compassion. Mt.14v14. 15v32. 20v34. Mk.1v41. 6v34. 8v2. Lk.7v13. 15v20. Jesus was deeply moved and grieved over the totally deprived and wretched state of the multitudes. They were “distressed,” “eskulmenoi,” the perfect passive participle of “skullo” 4660, to flay, to lacerate; they were flayed, rent and mangled as if by wild animals. “Scattered” is “errimmenoi,” the perfect passive participle of “rhipto” 4496, to throw or cast down. The perfect tenses show this was their normal state and abiding condition, the multitudes were in a permanent state of mental and spiritual dejection. They were cast down, dejected, bewildered, harassed, wounded and prostrated by their religious teachers, who laid heavy burdens on them, and hindered them from entering into an experience of truth, and God’s kingdom. Mt.23v3,13. Lk.11v45-54. N.B. 52. They were sheep without a caring shepherd, until Jesus came. Jesus asked the apostles to pray for apostolic labourers, as the answer to this great need, and this is how we should pray, for when these ministries exist, the Church is revitalised, great needs are met, and great miracles occur.

Lack of healings in a Church is often due to lack of spiritual power or faith in the elders.
However, even if the poor spiritual condition of the elders stops them from being a channel of salvation, healing and blessing, it is still God's will to heal, as we can clearly see from the healing of the demoniac in Mk.9v14-29. Sin in the elders will also hinder and stop people from being healed. The list of sins can be long and range from immorality to prayerlessness.

James, in James.5v13-20., makes it quite clear that elders have the responsibility to pray the sick through, in the same manner that Elijah prayed for rain. This is not a two-minute prayer, but prolonged compassionate and dedicated praying. When the famous missionary William Burton was staying in our home, I asked him how they prayed for the severe sick in Congo. Willie told me, that if the sick were not healed on the first and second day, they would pray for a third day, until the person was healed, or they had a word from God. This is James 5v13-20., you pray until you have a positive answer from God.

Lack of healing is very often due to the fact that the Church is too spiritually lazy, or too worldly to defeat Satan.
The prayerlessness of the elders can often infect the rest of the Church, and the Church expects no miracles. When people are prayed for week after week, and nothing happens, the faith of everybody almost completely disappears; the people expect defeat, not victory. Their faith in the power of the Name of Jesus is badly shattered and they can be almost destroyed.

Serious unrepentant sin, or a sin like Achan’s can stop people being healed. Josh.7v1-26. 8v1
Until Achan’s sin was dealt with all the people of God were in defeat. In the Corinthian Church many were sick and many had died because they failed to examine their lives, and clean them up before they partook of the Lord’s Supper. 1Cor.11v27-32. Paul told them in v30. “For this reason many “polus” 4183, are weak (“astheneis” 772) and sick (“arrostoi” 732), among you, and many (“hikanos” 2425) sleep. NKJ) Many Corinthians lost their health and lives by divine judgement through sickness.

Christians can be at sixes and sevens, and have a bitter spirit towards one another.
Wrongs should not be allowed to fester. Christ commanded us to put right any things that were wrong. If we want to move mountains we have to walk in forgiveness. N.B. Mt.18v15-35. Mk.11v22-26. Jn.13v34,35. 15v12-14. 1Cor.3v1-3. Very often the premature death of a Christian through sickness is not “God's will” at all, it is often due to the sin and spiritual poverty of Christ's Church. The phrase, “If it be thy will”, is often quoted in direct contradiction to the clearly revealed will of God in the Scriptures. “If it be thy will”, is very often used as a declaration of unbelief, and as a God limiting and faith destroying statement, instead of the positive affirmation and testimony that it is God's will to heal us if we will put our lives right with God. The phrase, “If it be thy will” has its place in prayer, but let us make sure that we use it within the confines of the Word of God. Doubtless, when a Christian dies because of the spiritual failure of the elders, or their own lack of faith, it is always “gain” for them, when they go to be with the Saviour they love. Jn.17v24. 2Cor.5v6-10. Phil.1v20-25. Thank God for His wonderful grace, power, love and wisdom, and for the immortality brought to us by our dear Lord Jesus. 2Tim.1v10. God is forever the same, and His promises are Yea and Amen in Jesus. Mal.3v6. Heb.13v8. 2Cor.1v20. See my book, “God Our Healer,” on The Secret Of Eternal Life

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