The soldiers beat Jesus on the way to the *cross

The Life of Jesus Christ - Chapter 10 - Jesus' arrest and appearance at court - Part 11

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An online Bible Study course by Barrie Wetherill about the life of Jesus. This book is in EasyEnglish Level B. Use the links below for other online Bible Study books and commentaries that will help you. Or go to the Word List, which explains words with a *star.

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The Romans always beat their prisoners in a very cruel way. The law of the Jews allowed them to beat men no more than 39 times. The Roman law had no limit. When their prisoners fell down, the Romans picked them up. Then they began to beat them again. Sometimes they killed their prisoners like this. The prisoners' backs became like a field that a farmer has ploughed. Pieces of skin hung from their backs. The Romans had decided that Jesus must die. Now they beat him, by Roman law.

The soldiers also made cruel jokes about Jesus. They made him a crown out of pieces of sharp branches. (It is unlikely that Jesus wore this to the *cross. The Roman officer would never have allowed it.)

What did Jesus look like?

What must Jesus have looked like by this time? They had beaten him with hands and whips. They had pulled his beard. They had forced the sharp crown on his head. People have painted pictures of Jesus on the *cross. None of them can show us what Jesus was really like by that time. Isaiah’s description is better:

Isaiah 52:14  Everyone was afraid of how he looked. He did not even look human. Nobody would recognise him as a man.

Simon of Cyrene carries Christ's *cross

Usually the prisoner had to carry his own *cross. [The *cross was two heavy pieces of wood that the soldiers tied together.] Soon the soldiers saw that Jesus was too weak to carry his own *cross. Simon of Cyrene carried it for him. Jesus had enough strength to speak to some women. As the soldiers fastened him to the *cross with nails he prayed to God. He said, 'Father, forgive them.' Later, he spoke some words from the *cross.

To *crucify a man is terrible. The prisoner had painful injuries. The sun burned him and insects crawled over him. Most of all, the weight of the body was so heavy that the man had to struggle for every breath. All the time there were the shouts of the crowd. 1000 years before Jesus died on the *cross, David wrote Psalm 22. Yet Psalm 22 describes Jesus' experiences very well.


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