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Abundant Life

by Steve Countryman  
5/13/2011 / Bible Studies

John 10:10 I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. Life for the here and now and for the hereafter. Jesus endured so much for us to have that abundant life. Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. When Pilate ordered Jesus to be scourged it was to appease the angry crowds. In the Roman Empire scourging was carried out using whips with small pieces of metal and/or bone at the tips. Such a device could easily cause disfigurement like the loss of an eye and serious trauma, such as ripping pieces of flesh from the body leaving exposed bone. In addition to causing severe pain, the victim would approach a state of hypovolemic shock due to loss of blood. The Romans reserved this treatment for non-citizens. Typically, the one to be punished was stripped naked and bound to a low pillar so that he could bend over it, or was chained to an upright pillar so as to be stretched out. Alternated blows from two or more guards, lictors, from the bare shoulders down the body to the soles of the feet. Some victims died while still bound to the post. Scourging was referred to as "half death" because many died shortly thereafter. Jesus received thirty-nine lashes by scourging because it was believed that forty lashes would kill a man.

Jesus knew at all times that He being the Son of God had command of legions of angels. Jesus also knew that He could at any time call down angels to destroy the guards, free Him and have His wounds all healed. Jesus had to suffer the torture and shame of the scourging as foretold in the Old Testament. While Jesus was being scourged He showed continued awesome restraint. Jesus had thirty-nine reasons or thirty-nine opportunities to call down angels but He didn't out of obedience to God the Father. Jesus knew that this day would come when He would suffer for our total healing, our afflictions and did so in total obedience to God the Father.

Father God had to watch all of this from heaven as terrible as it was. God the Father also had tremendous restraint as His one and only Son was beaten and near death. What earthly father could stand by and watch his child tortured and not want to jump in and do something about it. I pictured an earthly father who would have to chain himself up to keep himself from rescuing his son. Then there were the angels too, they wanted to do something but were not allowed. Father God had to keep His eyes fixed on Jesus the entire time so as to help strengthen and comfort Jesus while He endured the punishment. For God to look away would be for God to turn His back on His only Son and separate Himself and His love from Jesus which He would not do until all of mankind's sins were laid on Jesus at the cross. How difficult that had to be for Father God and yet not let earthquakes, thunderous clouds of lightening, tornadoes and heavy winds and rains rip through the land. As awful as it was, as horrible a thing to watch, as much as God the Father wanted to rescue His Son Jesus He knew that His plan had to be fulfilled.

For great is God's love toward us and love was the restraint used by both God the Father and Jesus His Son. And yes God the Father loves His Son Jesus and God the Father loves you too! This was part of the abundant life that Jesus said He came to give us for the here and now. Total healing for our bodies His temple so we could be God's witnesses of His love to the world. The rest of the abundant eternal life He gave to us on the cross for the hereafter. Pain and suffering that the Creator of all things went through for His creation, us. No expression of love has ever been so extremely expressed as it was in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus all for us!

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