How many times was Jesus whipped/scourged?


By BibleAsk Team

The Bible records two different incidents where Jesus was whipped/scourged before the sentence of death. Different translations render the word whipped (CSB) in Luke 23:16 as: chastise (KJV), punish (NIV), flogged (NET), or scourged as in John 19:1 (KJV).

The First Whip/Scourge

The Bible refers to the whipping of Jesus when Pilate said, “I will therefore chastise Him and release Him”; “Pilate, therefore, wishing to release Jesus, again called out to them”; “Then he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has He done? I have found no reason for death in Him. I will therefore chastise Him and let Him go” (Luke 23:16, 20, 22). “So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him” (John 19:1). The purpose of the first whip/scourge was to elicit, if possible, the compassion of the bloodthirsty mob.

The Second Whip/Scourge

The Bible records, “Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified” (Matthew 27:26; Mark 15:15). The mockery of Matthew 27: 27–31 actually preceded the scourging and release for crucifixion of verses 26, 31. The purpose of the second scourge, was to administer the punishment preliminary to crucifixion according to Romans law (Matthew 27:26; Mark 15:15). Josephus the Jewish historian (War ii. 14. 9 [306]) stated that Florus, a later Roman governor of Judea, flogged certain inhabitants of Jerusalem prior to their execution.

The Number of Lashes

Whipping administered in the ancient days often caused death (Matthew 10:17). For this reason, Moses instructed that the number of lashes should not exceed forty lashes:

“If there is a dispute between men, and they come to court, that the judges may judge them, and they justify the righteous and condemn the wicked, then it shall be, if the wicked man deserves to be beaten, that the judge will cause him to lie down and be beaten in his presence, according to his guilt, with a certain number of blows. Forty blows he may give him and no more, lest he should exceed this and beat him with many blows above these, and your brother be humiliated in your sight” (Deuteronomy 25:1-3).

Later, the Jews set the number at 39 lashes, lest inadvertently more than 40 lashes should be given and kill a man. Paul referred to the number of lashes in 2 Corinthians 11:24.

Prophecy Fulfilled

The prophet Isaiah prophesied about the strips of the Messiah that would bring healing to mankind, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24). This prophecy was fulfilled by Jesus Christ who suffered in order “to heal the brokenhearted” (Luke 4:18), and all “that had need of healing” (Luke 9:11), both physical and spiritual (Mark 2:5, 10).

Sin was imputed to Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21) in order that righteousness might be imputed to man. By bearing man’s sins on the cross, Christ paid for their penalty (Hebrews 9:26). His death was vicarious and substitutionary (Hebrews 9:28). “He is the propitiation … for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). Christ had no sin of His own but carried men’s guilt in order to redeem all (Matthew 1:21; John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 15:3; Galatians 1:4).

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The supreme expression of divine love is the Father’s gift of His own Son, through whom it becomes possible for us to be “called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1). “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). While God’s love embraces all mankind, it directly benefits only those who accept it  (John 1:12).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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