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Used by permission of Liz Lemon Swindle. Painting available through Foundation Arts.

"Suffer It To Be"

A cowardly gathering occurred, in the judgment hall that day.
A King for a convict traded, thirty pieces of silver paid.

A trial with no foundation, a conviction without a cause.
Stood Jesus before Pilot, as they broke the Jewish law.

In silence there He waited, no guile escaped His lips.
The vicious crowd it shouted, "Administer the whip!"

The painful stripes and lashes, that cracked across His back.
The body ripped and torn, blood flowed from the attack.

The Lamb of God, He suffered, the flogging and the scourge.
No murmur of resentment spoke, nor hatred ever heard.

The Son of Man returned once more, the governor presented him.
With words of truth implored the group, "In Him I find no sin!"

The violent mob with jeers and chants; angry, dissatisfied.
Pilot washed his hands and said, "To Him then crucify."

The pain of iron spikes, through his wrists and then his feet,
The Savior raised upon a cross, the Atonement near complete.

"Father forgive them! . . . For they know not what they do."
And in the final breaths he took, He pleaded for me and you!

The heavens rumbled, the earth was tossed, blackness filled the sky.
The darkest day in history felt, yet the world would wonder why.

And when it thought, that all was lost. The end had really come.
The Light appeared, and cleared the fear. The Prince of Peace had won!

POET'S COMMENTS

There are moments in this earth's history so sacred, that words fall short of any true interpretation. The experience of the Savior from the walk up the stoney path to the Garden of Gethsemane, to His last mortal breath on the cross at Golgotha, is one such moment.

I find my emotions most delicate and fragile, when addressing the suffering of our Savior in his last hours of mortal life. With my limited vocabulary, I will attempt to touch the surface of a subject so deep in meaning and significance. The topic of the Savior's suffering, demands a reverence that go deeper than words. Perhaps it is best understood by feelings and emotions brought on only by the Holy Spirit.

In pondering this period I found myself grieving for His suffering. In my morning, a testimony of him and the Atonement was reconfirmed. I am certain, that before our crown of glory is bestowed, we will have a perfect knowledge of this event. For it is said, "every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess" (Mosiah 27:31), that Jesus is the Christ.

One can scarcely discuss the Crucifixion without an involuntary tear emerging. Before this terrible, abhorrent injustice occurred, the Christ had suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane. Little is said about what took place there. We do know his pain was unimaginable.

"And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people" (Mosiah 3:7) (See Luke 22:44)

There he would have an infinite and eternal test, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. It would be commensurate with him taking upon himself the sins of all man. It must have been far worse than the Crucifixion. We know that angels administered to him through that lonely night. (Luke 22:43)

I would assume that from the Mount of Olives on, Satan saw his pivotal opportunity to thwart the Plan of God. The Father of Lies would seek revenge! In his wrath and fury, the dark angel would reek havoc, seek vengeance, and stir up rage and hate in the hearts of evil men. Certainly, the Crucifixion is clear evidence of this.

From Judas's kiss of betrayal to the derogatory sign "hail the king of the Jews" at the top of the cross, true blaspheme was witnessed, and godliness mocked. What the accusers blamed Jesus for, they themselves were guilty. Through it all, the Son of God showed courage, strength, dignity, love, and forgiveness.

After being bound, arrested, and taken to the high priest Caiaphas and the elders for a counterfeit trial, the scourging of Christ began. The Son must have been exhausted from the demands of the Atonement the night before. Yet, there he stood before Pilate fatigued, famished, dehydrated, and then faced with the brutal torture to follow. Adding insult to injury, the suffering would now be at man's hands. The scourging and flogging of any person is probably the most heinous form of torture in the history of man. Its origin could only have been inspired by the devil himself.

The actually instrument employed in scourging is not a whip but a flagellum. It is described as a group of braided leather straps with a handle (a whip with many strands.) These leather extensions had attached lead or brass balls, sharp bones fragments, and sometimes barbed hooks.

A lashing would be administered the same way as a whipping. The criminal would be tied standing up, to a post backside facing out, often naked head to heel. The results of this thrashing could be numerous. The lead balls would severely bruise the victim (Isaiah 53:5, 10), causing great pain and possible internal bleeding, as well as damage to ribs, neck, spine, and vital organs. The sharp bones or hooks were designed to tear the skin off the body. This would create swelling, inflammation, and profuse bleeding. Stripes (1 Peter 2:24) refers to the marks of the straps on the back side of the body after the inflicted flogging. They would be patterned across one's back side to side, each lashing parallel to the next. The traditional method of flogging was to never strike the same place twice. The whole back side would be covered side to side, and top to bottom. Punishment in the Jewish law allowed up to 39 lashings. (2 Corinthians 11:24) It was likely that Jesus received more than thirty-nine.

During biblical times in Jerusalem, religious hierarchy and political governance overlapped. The governor of the territory Pontius Pilate, and the High Priest of the Sadducee Party Caiaphas must have been acquainted and supportive of each other. Jesus was becoming a religious and political threat in the region. Local authority hated Jesus and the challenges presented by his teachings. The people were looking for a Messiah and freedom from captivity. The powerful, wanted to see him dead.

Scourging many times resulted in death. As Jesus survived this gruesome torture, the religious leaders must have been upset. The Christ was brought back to Pilate for further retribution. This time his fate was determined by the high priests, elders, soldiers, and the mob. Crucification was the consensus. The crucifixion was equally distressing as the scourging. A cross weighing up to 300 pounds would be carried to the hill where the victims would be displayed for their crimes. Spikes or nails would be driven through the palms, wrists, and feet. The placement of the nails would penetrate nerves. The victims would have been dehydrated, delirious, and near unconscious from the previous beatings. The whole practice from beginning to end, was barbaric and atrocious.

After many hours the hideous execution was near complete, Jesus voluntarily gave up the ghost. The Messiah declared when it was finished, and thus sealed the Atonement. The heavens and earth bore testimony of his death. Earthquakes covered the land and darkness the skies. With his passing, the resurrection was ushered in. The spirits of all men were freed from death, and would live forever. That was the gift of the Atoning Sacrifice, everlasting life and the resurrection. This preserved free agency (the right to choose). Man would not lose his privilege to choose his eternal destiny and celestial reward.

When I ponder his sacrifice, I will remember his suffering; the marks in his hands and feet, the stripes on his back that paid for my freedom. I will not worship the Christ crucified, but rather the Christ resurrected. For it is in that truth, that I will find hope to one day see him, and thank him, and love him. Because he suffered, he became the "Light and The Life" to the world. May we all one day understand the unfathomable suffering Christ endured for our freedom!

POEMS

All poems protected by copyright

A Bridge To Heaven's Gate

A Lighthouse Of Love

A Prayer To Heaven

A Ripple In The Water

A Shepard's Call

Abandoned Moments and Forsaken Memories

Adversity, My Friend

Anger's Prison

An Ocean of Pride

Become As A Child

Be Still

Born Again

Bound By Service

Burning Sparks

Christmas Eve Memories

Day And Night

Does Mercy Rob Justice?

Faith In My Trials

Father Is Waiting

Forever My Angel

Free From Hypocrisy

God's Gift

God's Poet

God's Witness

Heaven's Treasure

He Counseled God

Hidden In The Forest

Hope And Faith

If There Were No Light!

In Remembrance

In The Upper Room

My Father, My Knight

My Last Thoughts

My Mother

My Needs Are Great

Our Father's Love

Our Sweet Temples

Promises and Procrastination

Reconciliation

Reflections

Rescuing God's Children

Resurrection's Glory!

Shun Pride, And Forgive

Spiritual Gifts

Suffer It To Be

Sweet Feast

Tears

Tell Me! Why Dear Lord?

The Endless Road

The Hem Of My Garnent

The Message Of Hope

The Notes I No Longer Hear

The Power To Lift

The Prodigal Son

The Sabbath Hour

The Seven Days of Creation

The Story of Flowers

The War For Eternal Choices

Time To Become

To The Shores of Paradise

Walk With Me

When Doubt Puts Truth On Trial

Whisperings of Wisdom