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"Before the scourging began, Jesus was stripped of His garments and bent low over a low post, with wrists and ankles shackled into that position. The instrument used for scourging was a piece of wood fourteen to eighteen inches long, circular in shape, to which were attached long, leather thongs. Into these leather thongs or straps were sewn bits of glass, bone and metal...The flagellum was brought all the way back and whistled forward, making a dull drum sound as the strips of leather smashed against the back of the rib cage...It was designed to reduce the naked body to strips of raw flesh and inflamed, bleeding wounds. It was not uncommon for a man to die on the stump...It is easy to forget that Jesus was tortured, brutalized, and mistreated for an extended period of time before He was led to the place of execution. He had become so marked and swollen that His individual features were scarcely distinguishable...

"Jesus was not a helpless victim of fate. He was not a pitiful martyr...Planned by God so that you and I might have our sins forgiven, the death of Jesus opened the pathway to Heaven -- a pathway prepared and paved with His blood."

--Charles Swindoll, The Darkness and the Dawn

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