What Happened from the Passover Supper to the Cross? – Part 2


Jesus was spit upon by the priests, scribes and temple police while in Caiaphas’ custody. They did not just spit, but spatter spit. This means that they got a mouthful of saliva and spit it all on Him. By the time more than 100 men had spit upon Him, His hair, beard, face, and clothing were dripping with the spit of these people. Then, they turned to smiting Him. They viciously beat Him with their fists. Remember, the temple police were hardened soldiers and more than capable of doing damage on someone. Then they mocked Him by playing silly games with Him at His expense. They were making Him a laughingstock to the people.


After the mocking came the smiting. To smite means to beat as one would beat a servant. In Roman times, it was also used to denote flaying such as flaying the flesh from an animal. Then He was blindfolded and struck by slapping with the hands or another instrument. After being struck, He was blasphemed. This is exactly what it means. Their purpose was to ruin His reputation and humiliate Him. And all this happened BEFORE He was delivered to Caiaphas, the High Priest. Jesus was scourged and beaten multiple times before He finally made it to Golgotha. The scourging, the smiting, the striking, and the mockery lasted for hours at different times through the night.


 Jesus was sent from Caiaphas’ palace to Pontius Pilate, from Pontius Pilate to Herod, from Herod back to Pontius Pilate. All along the way, He was mocked, blasphemed, and scourged. And He said not a word. Jesus had the power available to deliver Him at any point along the way, so He said nothing. As a lamb to the slaughter, so was Jesus led to His death. ANY word of life from Him would have stopped the plan of God. This is why He did not defend Himself to Pontius Pilate.


The horror that was a Roman scourging is something that will literally make you sick to your stomach. As graphic as we think some movies on the crucifixion of Jesus have been, NONE of them accurately depict the gut wrenching reality of a real scourging. The weapon used during a scourging had a short handle and several 18 to 24 inch leather straps attached to it. On the end of each strap was a rock, sharp glass, metal, wire and bone fragments. These scourging whips were designed specifically to rip and tear the flesh of the victim. And they not only ripped the flesh, but also the tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. Many times they would also rip and tear the internal organs. Victims were tied, completely naked, to a 2 foot high scourging post in such a way that they could not move or wiggle. And most Roman scourging was accomplished with two torturers. Historical records show that victims of Roman scourging had their bowels ripped out, spinal columns exposed, muscles and blood vessels torn and ripped. By the time the Roman soldiers got done with Jesus, He was virtually unrecognizable. His body was literally shredded, like hamburger. He had been beaten, spat upon, whipped and scourged multiple times. It was no wonder He needed help carrying the cross to Golgotha.



After Jesus was scourged, He was led away to the common hall where the soldiers put a scarlet robe on Him. The scarlet robe denotes a ruler or high ranking official. They were mocking Him again. Then they took a crown of thorns and thrust it down on His head. The word thorns describes a plant of thorns so sharp that by itself could cause delirium and even death if one was pierced by them. This crown of thorns was forcibly thrust and shoved on Jesus’ head so the thorns would pierce His head.



Crucifixion was one of the cruelest and most barbaric forms of punishment in the ancient world. Crucifixion was reserved for the most serious offenders. When the offender reached the place of the crucifixion (with the crossbeam that he carried himself), he was laid on the crossbeam. The soldiers then stretched out his arms and would drive five-inch iron nails into his wrist (not the palm of the hands) and into the crossbeam. Then the crossbeam was hauled up by ropes and dropped into a notch on the upright post. The wrenching of the crossbeam caused severe pain to the offender and the weight of his body eventually caused his arms to be pulled out of the sockets. Then the feet were positioned on the post so the soles were flat against the post and then nailed into place. The very effort it took to breath would eventually cause the arms, elbows and wrist to all be dislocated making them nine inches longer than normal. And every time He attempted to breath, His already raw and bloody back would scrape against the post causing more pain. All of this made it hard to breath so asphyxiation would occur, meaning the body would shut down because the heart and lungs would fill with fluid.



The cross of Jesus Christ was a disgusting, revolting, nauseating sight. It was a horrific punishment reserved for the most hardened criminals. There was not anyone in the ancient world that wanted anything to do with crucifixion.


When we beautify the cross in our modern world, we forget what Jesus really endured on the cross. His flesh was ripped to shreds and His wounds became a full body bruise from head to toe. His hair, face, beard and body all oozed blood due to the multiple lacerations and open wounds caused by the scourging. A crown of thorns had been thrust onto His head and nails had been driven into His wrists and feet. And every time He breathed, He had to push up on the nail in His feet. The pain and agony Jesus suffered was indescribable. He also suffered the emotional and mental pain of bearing the sin of the entire world. He who knew NO sin took the sin of the whole world upon Himself so we might become the righteousness of Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

 This weekend is a time to remember what Jesus did for us. None of us have ever had a day as bad as the day Jesus had when He died for us. He always knows what we are going through because He has been through it already. He was mocked, blasphemed, betrayed, ridiculed, and deserted by others, including those close to Him and those in authority. His body was whipped, beaten, ripped to shreds, and broken for our healing. His head was pierced with delirium causing thorns for our peace. His blood was shed for the forgiveness of our sins.

Galatians 3:13-14 says, “ But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” 14 Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised[b] Holy Spirit through faith.” (NLT)