Tag Archive: Torture



“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” -Hebrews 13:8

"Christ on the Sea of Galilee," by Tintoretto. oil on canvas, c. 1575-1580

As I have mentioned before, and indeed will probably mention again, Hebrews remains one of my favorite Books in the Bible. Chapter 12 especially was instrumental at leading me to the Lord. This particular verse I didn’t stumble upon until later, after the initial encounter, but it certainly added to my realization that God was real and not some made up thing, though I honestly thought for a while if I was putting it all in my head myself and I struggled with this, but when resolution came it pushed all doubts out of my mind. This verse is beautiful in form, in simplicity, and in meaning. I will tell briefly about some of my testimony and why this verse is so important to me.

For a time, during a particularly dark period in my life, I cried out to God for deliverance. He answered me not in just resolving my troubles, but He also spoke to me. As much as I would like to hear from Him again in like manner, to this day He hasn’t spoke to me the way He did in those dark days. I don’t know why, though I am sure He still does, but not in the same “hearing” sense.

Let me explain a little what I mean by “hearing.” When the Lord speaks to you in words its usually not a booming voice that comes out of the sky. It is a booming voice in your heart, mind a spirit. In fact, looking back I am not so sure that it wasn’t audible, but it was powerful. At the risk of sounding like I am some esoteric mystic, its really hard to describe unless it has happened to you. At any rate, in one word spoken from God I felt that I would be delivered, and I truly was by His grace. What was spoken and in what context I will save for another time, but I will say it was directly linked with Hebrews chapter 12.

The second time the Lord spoke to me was a time when I finally understood what Christ has done. It humbles one to a Godly sorrow, and it was in the midst of this sorrow, and me asking why, stating that I wasn’t worth the torture He suffered and it should have been me  instead, something only a Christian can understand (it is commonplace within the faith), that He answered: “I would do it yesterday, today and tomorrow.”

"Christ on The Cross," detail from the center panel of the Isenheim Alterpeice, by Matthias Grunewald. oil on panel, c. 1512-1515

At this time I was far from being a biblical scholar, and still am, but the Word was absolutely foreign to me, which is my shame because I did go to a Christian school, but my conversion was long after. When I eventually did come across this verse sometime later, I almost fell out of my chair, for the Scripture and what God spoke to me (I made sure to write it down) are in essence, identical. As far as I knew then and know now, I had no previous knowledge of this verse, I was never the sort to engage in any sort of memorization except the best places to go party.

There are a couple other times God spoke to me, but the last time He did, it was a little less positive. He indicated that due to a situation I was willingly walking into that, if I continued, I would, “suffer.” Indeed I did, and backslid heavily. Yet, the Lord by His grace has called me to Him once more. Looking back, its seems so amazing that I am tempted to think perhaps I was nuts, or somehow arranging past circumstances, either consciously or subconsciously in a way to make it appear I was in touch with some hard to reach mystical realm. However, my volumes of journals testify to the reality of the occurrences, the words given to me, and there are even witnesses that can testify to it as well. In full disclosure to the reader, I am actually quite hesitant about sharing all of that and posting it to complete strangers. In fact, I feel a little sick to my stomach due to the influence of my old friend cowardice.

With that foreknowledge, let’s turn to the verse. In life everything can at times feel like it is out to get us. The trust we place on people and possessions is so powerful that when we are let down, when we find our bank accounts lacking, and when people we thought would be there aren’t, our hearts get hardened, so that the resulting pain may never be felt again. We feel in essence that a hardened heart will act like a giant Tylenol that will elevate the pain in our lives and spirit. It doesn’t, for out of that only comes self-destruction and despair.

Christ went through the most ghastly experience, by being tortured and mercilessly put to death on the cross, but even in His suffering He did not harden His heart against man, nor does He even regret what He went through! In fact, He would do it tomorrow if it were required, but as He said, “it is finished.”


Christ is a truth we can rely on when others fail us. This doesn’t mean that we will always get what we want or that we will be spared pain, rather realize that because of what Christ has done pain isn’t eternal for those who believe upon Him and we will someday receive a gift that is beyond description and beyond what we could even dream to want, salvation in eternity with our Lord and all those who we know in Jesus Christ.

The banks may fail, but we can always bank on Christ. His blood is still flowing over us, cleansing us of the tarnish of sin and iniquity, just as it was decreed at the beginning and as it will last forever. We won’t have absolute happiness until we get there friends and cross the finish line, but in our silly “little” suffering, we can take heart that the Lord is there to comfort and guide us. We have a God that cares for us, is interested in the little things we go through day after day, and is eager to hear from us. Such a Lord no other can boast, but we can boast in Christ, who is the same yesterday, today and forever, and who would do it all over again yesterday, today and tomorrow.

"Christ on The Cross," by Albrecht Altdorfer. c. 1520

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“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the Law of Christ.” -Galatians 6:2

By far the greatest burden of man is sin and Christ carried this burden, not just for the individual, but for all mankind. It was a burden that only He was fit to bear and take upon the cross to have sin put to death with Him, that anyone who believes upon Christ, their sins may not be counted against them, for their sins, geivious and heavy upon our Lord, will have Perished along with Christ. Yet, unlike Christ, they will remain vanquished, so that like Christ, who on the third day arose victorious, we may come into our new dwelling at the appointed time of the resurrection of man.

Christ carried the disgusting burden of sin because of His great love of us. Even as He bled out, our savior prayed for those who pierced His flesh. We tend to put blame and despise the Romans or Jews who sent Christ to that tortuous edifice, but the shocking realization hits us one day, that we are as guilty as them, for it is because of our disobedience that Christ went to the cross. Therefore, we might as well been hammering the nails through his hands ourselves.

We should mourn and weep for this as well as be in awe at the fathomless love that was expressed that day. Jesus prayed for us instead of cursing us. Let us praise Him. He washed away our curse and guilt with His holy blood, the only thing worthy of atoning for the faults that marred our spirits and ripped open a great chasm between us and God. Jesus bridged that gap, took on our sin and provided the ultimate example of how we should love. As Christ lifted up our burdens, let us rejoice in the freedom He has granted us, but at the same time, let us be diligent and mindful of each other, for hard times and seemingly insurmountable hardship come into each and every one of our lives at some point. Though we can’t be as Christ completely, let us be representations of Him and pick up our brothers and sisters burdens and sacrifice our own comfort so that we may fulfill in some measure what we were called to be, representatives of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.


“Greater love has no one that this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” -John 15:13


I doubt that any mere mortal who has ever existed hasn’t pondered at least once the question of what love is and what it consists of. Indeed the question has been raised and pondered by theologians and philosophers alike and has resulted in some profound conclusions as well as some very strange ones.


For us Christians though, we know where we must go to seek the answers of such questions, and that is the Scriptures where the wisdom contained within transcends the numerological extent of the pages. This verse is important for another reason besides the insight on love and that is Christ, by His words, foretells of His quickly approaching death upon the cross. Yet, we can also carefully examine this verse, and by some quiet reflection and prayer we can begin to gain perspective on what some of the traits of such a great love as He displayed are.


First, a trait of a perfect love concerns the depths of protection one feels for another party. In a perfect love, represented and personified in Christ Jesus, to protect another or free them of calamity, one willfully lays down there life for another.


Second, a perfect love is humble and forgoes the self even unto the point of death. Christ’s love was so great that He, for a season, became lower and more scorned than all man, that through this unequivocal display of humility we may be saved.


Third, a perfect love is never faulty. This may be obvious by my inclusion of the word “perfect,” but regardless it’s a important thing to consider that no matter what relationship God has blessed you with and however far the love extends, which I pray is very far indeed, but realize it pales in comparison to the perfect love of Christ. This isn’t to belittle the love human beings are capable of, but though we may grow in love, we cannot approach the perfection of Christ due to our already present imperfection. Even things as momentary like mean spirited thoughts towards another, negate the perfection of that love, which was only manifest in fullness in the Lord Jesus Christ.


Fourth, perfect love does not concern the self. We must distinguish the love I am referring to in Christ, from the love that is represented in say a husband/wife relationship, though it can certainly be said in truth that the husband/wife relationship is representational of our relationship with the Lord. Yet, we also know that the love of Christ is not dependent on another party. Rather, Christ’s love was perfect in that it focused entirely on others.


Fifth, a perfect love doesn’t take count of one’s misdeeds towards us. The truth on this statement is evident in Christ’s sacrifice for those who, in a temporal sense, had came before and those that would come after, bearing even more sin upon His tortured form.


Sixth, a perfect love is free of bitterness. Christ wasn’t bitter at those who crucified Him, but rather He actually prayed for them. The though just comes to mind that if someone keyed my truck some night, I don’t think the thought to pray for the culprit would even occur to me, to my shame. Yet, these men brutally tortured and tore into Christ’s flesh, and He was still concerned for them and expressed it in prayer.


Seventh, a perfect love has a desire to protect those in the scope of such love, the scope itself being perfection. We see that Jesus wasn’t immune to being angry, for though Christ was perfect in love, He also had, what I will call perfect anger. In His perfect humility Christ didn’t focus on self, but Rather his friends, which He goes on to call us in the following two chapters, and more importantly God. When we see Christ get angry, a prime example being when He knocked over the tables of the money changers in the temple (Matthew 21:12), it’s usually because God the Father is being disrespected or misrepresented.


Thus, we come to our last trait though I concede there are probably many more. A pure love has its origins and focus on the Lord. For the word tells us in 1 John 4:19, “We love because He first loved us.” (See my note, “On Love’s First Cause”) If we, the children of God, truly want to strive to experience love in its fullness, we need only look to Christ and what He did for us. If we wish to love others the way Christ does, then we must develop a relationship with Him, so that His perfect love will be represented in us and bestowed onto others by our albeit, faulty nature. However, we take hope for the love manifest in us is not of the world and yet is readily seen by those who have opened their eyes and hearts to recognize the truth, salvation and perfect love offered to them by the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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