WHAT PHYSICAL TORTURE WOULD THE MESSIAH ENDURE?
Even before Jesus was crucified, he underwent a merciless beating and public mocking that were meant not only to inflict maximum pain but also to humiliate him. Isaiah prophesies this torture and abuse that the Messiah would have to endure.
Isaiah 50:6 foretells that the Savior would offer his back to those who beat him, which prophesies the vicious flogging that Jesus endured. In ancient Roman times, flogging was often administered before crucifixion and was done with a whip made of strips of leather embedded with lead balls and shards of bone to inflict gaping wounds that caused the victim unbelievable agony. The church historian Eusebius described a later Roman flogging by saying, “[The victim’s] veins were laid bare, and the inner muscles and sinews, and even the bowels, were exposed.” The New Testament confirms that Jesus received the prophesied flogging (see Matthew 27:26; John 19:1).
Isaiah also predicts that the Messiah would endure mocking and spitting. Jesus experienced the cruel taunts of the temple guards (see Luke 22:63–65), of the Roman guards (see Matthew 27:27–31), of the onlookers, of the religious leaders and even of the robbers crucified with him (see Matthew 27:39–44).
Despite his innocence, Jesus did not fight the intense physical and verbal abuse heaped upon him. Instead, he accepted the pain, fulfilling the Messianic prophecies of Isaiah and proving, “Surely he was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54).