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Friday, July 29, 2011

Pretty Boy Jesus

The Image of Jesus

We need to stop depicting Jesus as a “pretty boy.”

The Word says HE was plain.  He was ordinary so why do we chose to depict HIM as this buff pretty little boy?  Can we really truly understand the nature and image of Jesus while He walked the earth?

For a while that image was OK but I recently had an experience with Christ Jesus that changed my perception and my thoughts about how we depict Jesus.  A true image of Jesus would consist of all the characteristic of all the races.  He would look ordinary.  It bothers me to see a crucified Jesus prettily laid out on a cross because the image HE gave us was not a pretty and cute Jesus that died for me.  HE said he was beaten beyond recognition.  That means HE was bloody and in a lot of pain with raw flesh showing from beatings he had taken.  They put a crown of thorns on Jesus’s head that means that there was blood running down his face as the thorns stuck HIM in his head.  Jesus was stripped naked that means HE bore our shame and guilt.  Then they drove stakes through HIS hands and feet. Can we imagine the agony that HE was feeling? They tried to give him vinegar which was bitterness and in the midst of all that pain and agony HE said Father forgive them they know not what they have done.

The image of a pretty boy Jesus does not compare.  Does it bring comfort or does it keep us in our mess with an unwillingness to change?  The image of a bloody Jesus will change and transform your walk with God because the true image of a Crucified Jesus will set you free and change your heart and mind.  Christ Jesus died a horrified death for your sins and my sins that is something a pretty boy would not do because with a "pretty boy"... it’s all about HIM and HIM alone.  

Jesus loves us so much why is it so hard for us to show each other love?  
When we have a true depiction of the crucified Jesus then we can love him and see HIM in the right light.

*full post copied from a friend 
and fellow bloggers site
*Her website is Unveiling The Woman Within

We really do need to consider Christ 
     We see crucified and why certain depictions of him make us comfortable and others make us squirm. The Bible says he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  

Do we really understand what that means?  

He was wounded - dissolved, profaned , broken, polluted, stained, slayed
to pay for our transgressions - rebellion, sin, trespass, revolt
he was bruised -crumbled, beat to pieces, crushed, humiliated, destroyed
to pay for our iniquities - perversity, evil, fault, mischief 
the chastisement - punishment, correction, discipline, rebuke
of our peace - to pay for our safety, welfare, health, prosperity, peace
was upon him - became his responsibility, his burden 
and with his stripes - bruises, pain, wounds
we are healed - mended, cured, repaired, 
made whole.

     The emotional, mental and spiritual toll of knowing in detail what He was about to go thru before, during and after His crucifixion caused Him in the garden to sweat drops of blood.  This is an actual well-known though rare medical condition that can happen under extreme physical or emotional stress.  (Luke 22:44)

     He was repeatedly hit in the head, slapped, punched & spit on not only by the Jews when He was on trial but also by the Romans once He was handed over to Pilate (Mark chapters 14 & 15)

     He was scourged, this was a public punishment, and a very painful preliminary to a Roman execution. The victim was tied upright to a post, stripped naked and beat with a whip containing lead balls and sheep bones tied into leather thongs.  The beating would include the back, buttocks and legs.  The lead balls would cause bruises leading to severe contusions and the sheep bones would cut and lacerate the skin and underlying tissue going deeper each time till the tissue was hanging by strands.  By the time they were done His body would have been in a serious case of shock from the injuries and the blood loss.  (Matthew 27:26)

     They braided and placed on His head a crown of thorns.  This was done to humiliate Him and cause Him even greater pain as the thorns dug into his scalp.  (John 19:2)

     In Isaiah 50:6 he says "I let them beat my back and pull out my beard. I didn't turn aside when they insulted me and spit in my face."  Consider on top of everything else that they also pulled out His beard which, in my understanding, is a travesty, a severe humiliation and disgrace for a Jew.... and it would be extremely painful.  

     When this was all done, they forced Him to carry the cross they were going to crucify Him on.  It doesn't matter if it was the cross member or the whole cross.  Think of the agony He'd already been thru, especially the scourging and then to have to carry on His wounded and lacerated back even just the cross member.  It doesn't matter whether He carried it 10 feet or a half a mile.... it would have taken every bit of strength He could muster to pick up the cross much less carry it on His already weakened and beaten body.  It became so hard for Him to carry that "someone else" had to be made to carry the cross FOR Him.  (Matthew 27:31, Mark 15:21)

     What He'd gone through wasn't bad enough.  The Romans place heavy wrought-iron nails in the depressions at His wrists and pound away till the nails have gone through His flesh and deep into the wood. Then they go to His feet and pound nails down through them till they are deep in the wood. If He pushes upwards to take the pressure off His arms then He feels the searing pain of all His weight on every muscle, tendon and bone in his feet.  When He can no longer stand the pain in his feet He sags transferring the pain upward.  With His weight now carried on His arms pain shoots up and down His arms as the muscles, tendons and nerves are screaming for relief. At some point in time He would have become too exhausted to raise Himself up on His tortured feet even one more time.  When this happened  He would then begin the horrible process of suffocation.  He can breathe in but in the position He's in and the fatigue and cramps that He's experiencing it's almost impossible here to raise Himself to exhale enough to clear His lungs for more oxygen.  It's becoming harder and harder for His heart to continue pumping with all the blood loss, injury, shock and exhaustion. In the midst of all of this He finds within Himself just enough strength left to raise Himself up and speak seven short sentences.

Father forgive them for they know not what they do.

Today thou shalt be with me in Paradise.

Behold thy mother. Woman behold thy son.

My God my God why hast thou forsaken me?

I thirst.

It is finished.

Father into thy hand I commit my spirit.  

And then He "gave up" the ghost.  He died.  By an act of His will He calmly and quietly took all this punishment.  He who had done no wrong took this punishment for us.  

Pretty Boy Jesus

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