Christian singer/songwriter Jeremy Camp once asked an important question in his song entitled; “This Man”. He asked; “Would you take the place of this man?” referring to Jesus Christ. (See video below)
But before answering that question we should ask ourselves; what would it mean to take His place?
First, the Romans were notorious for their horrendous practices of torture and punishment. It was routine for them to whip a condemned prisoner before being put to death. The tool they used was called a “Scourge”. A small whip consisting of several cords of leather that protruded from a single handle.
What made these tools of human suffering so deadly were the small pieces of either bone or metal laced throughout the cording. When it struck the human body it tore open the flesh, pulverizing anything in its path.
After this brutal beating, they were moved out of the city to be crucified. Crucifixion was a form of punishment that can trace its inception to the ancient Egyptians (Genesis 40:19), as well as the Persians during biblical times (Ester 7:10).
“But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.”
The condemned individual would be fastened to a wooden cross either by ropes or by nails that were pounded through the wrists and feet. Then hurled into the air where they would hang; longing for death to knock at the door of their soul.
Usually death would result by asphyxiation because the accused would no longer have the strength to push up and take a breath. They would eventually succumb to their fate and give up. Which in some cases took days.
This was the destiny that awaited Jesus Christ who would ultimately allow Himself to be put through these things on our behalf. However, for Him it proved to be a lot worse. Not only did He face the barbarianism of the Roman crucifixion process.
But also suffered the consequences of being beaten beyond recognition and having His beard pulled out (Isaiah 52:14 & Isaiah 50:6). In addition, He endured a crown of thorns being thrust upon His head, as well as being spit on and stripped. He was also subjected to unbearable humiliation caused by the constant bombardment of insults from those He only came to help (Matthew 27:28-31).
“They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head
again and again.” (Matthew 27:30)
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him
we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
So I guess the answer to Jeremy Camp’s question would have to be no, but grateful that Jesus said yes.