Grace and Prison – Jesus in Chains

Grace and Prison – Jesus in Chains

Grace and Prison – Jesus in Chains.

“While Jesus was still speaking to His disciples, Judas, one of the Twelve, with a great multitude with torches, swords, and clubs, came to Jesus in the Garden. Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ’Whomever I kiss, He is the One; Seize Him!’ Immediately Judas went up to Jesus and said, ‘Greetings, Rabbi!’ and kissed Him on the cheek. But Jesus said to Judas, ‘Friend, why have you come? Are you really betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?’ Then the mob came to Jesus, laid their hands Him and arrested Him. They then bound Him as they took Him away.” (This scene is in Mattthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, and John 18).

For those of us who are a prisoner of war, which includes all of us, whether the battles are within an inner prison like fear or shame, or waging the spiritual battle against the Enemy, or trying to survive in a literal prison with a Warden and cell doors, we can be assured that the Lord Jesus has experienced the same things. That’s right, God Himself, Yahweh in the flesh, has been a helpless prisoner, powerless before the authorities, physically abused, emotionally traumatized. Regardless of your personal type of prison, Jesus has personally experienced it.

Jesus had to endure long periods of time without food, shelter, or rest. He had to weep through the intense fear of Gethsemane, and the tragic betrayal of a friend. He was required by the Father to experience the complete rejection of His hometown friends, when they wanted to execute Him for blasphemy. He went through the heartbreak of His best friend denying Him when it mattered most. A mob took Him prisoner in handcuffs in the middle of the night, and delivered Him to the brutal killing machine known as the Roman soldiers. They proceeded to beat Him without mercy, spit onto His face, strip Him and humiliate Him by mockingly draping on Him a royal robe. The soldiers jammed a crown of 3- inch thorns onto His scalp, and they scourged Him with a Roman whip fashioned with pieces of metal at the end of the leather straps.

In the midst of a fake trial, a travesty of justice, the religious leaders of the High Council rejected Him, sentenced Him to death, spit in His face, beat Him with their fists, slapped Him, and all the while jeered and mocked Him with hatred and venom.

And now we come to the worst part of Jesus’ ordeal… His torturous execution on the Cross…

“The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and elders also mocked Jesus. ‘He saved others,’ they scoffed, ‘but he can’t save himself! So he is the ‘King of Israel,’ is he? Let him come down from the Cross right now, and we will believe in him! He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if He wants Him! For He said, ‘I AM the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:41-43).

What emotional trauma seems to go the deepest? What emotional injury is the most traumatic to experience? Abandonment? Abuse? Shame? Jesus experienced all three. Much emotional damage occurs in an unfortunate combination of all three. According to the psychologists, shame belongs right there near the top. Without a doubt, Jesus had to endure a lot of shame while on the Cross.

Jesus, writhing in pain as His whole body was in spasm, was exposed for all to see, ashamed of His public nakedness. The Innocent One judged and condemned as a blasphemer of the God He loved, and considered a rebel and menace to society. And now, literally adding insult to injury, the tormentors come, the religious leaders, and He has to endure mockery, scorn, and revulsion. Through shame and ridicule, by disgracing the Gracious One, they fulfilled the prophecy of Psalm 22:6-8: “I am a worm and not a man – I am scorned and despised by all! Everyone who sees me mocks me, they sneer and shake their heads, saying, ‘Is this the one who trusts in the Lord? Then let the Lord save him! If the Lord loves him so much, let the Lord rescue him!‘” These priests and scribes certainly knew this Psalm, they were well aware of this particular passage. Did they ever realize they were the ones who fulfilled it through their words of mockery?

Jesus submitted to the huge spikes being driven through His wrists/palms, His feet nailed to the wood, the ongoing pain, the mockery and shaming. He bore it all on the Cross, the Blessed One becoming the cursed one. Enduring physical torment, He had to embrace emotional trauma as well. In His humanity, Jesus felt all the pains of body and heart and mind that anyone could possibly experience.

There is one complaint that is wildly inaccurate when it comes to disbelief in Jesus. It would be the complaint… “But how would you know? You don’t know how this feels!” Actually, yes He does.