We don’t know exactly how many lashes Jesus received before his death on the cross. Some claim he endured 39 lashes, which is the punishment Paul indicates in his chapter; however, this is uncertain.
The Romans tortured Jesus by flogging him after his unfair judgment was presided over by the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate in Pilate’s Court. But what number of lashes or beatings did he receive? What does the Bible say about Jesus’ painful lashes? And what are the various degrees of lashing punishment in Roman Law?
- 1 Flogging According To Roman Law
- 2 How Many Lashes Did Jesus Get?
- 3 How Does The Bible Describe Jesus’ Lashes?
- 4 Conclusion
Flogging According To Roman Law
Roman Law Established Three Different Levels Of Flogging
Even in the often-remorseless ways of the Roman government’s punishing system, getting lashes was one of the most awful punishments someone could get. It was so hideous that it was forbidden to impose this certain punishment on their own Roman citizens. It was frequently employed by the Romans to question outsiders and penalize them for violations they committed.
In accordance with the seriousness of the crime, there were three categories of flogging. Fustigatio was considered the mildest kind among the other Roman punishments and was reserved for minor infractions. It featured a limited number of lashings inflicted by just one individual. Fustigatio served as a warning for people not to commit the same crime again.
Flagellatio, which was the next degree of flogging, was applied to those who were convicted of significant crimes. Flagellatio had a significantly more powerful punishment element than fustigatio. It was substantially more than a simple restorative or corrective measure in the instance of a repeat violation. This degree is intended to cause the offender a lot of agony.
Without a doubt, the most brutal flogging was what happened during Jesus’ confinement, rather than flagellatio or fustigatio. Verberatio was perhaps the most extreme lashing punishment possible, and it consisted of multiple soldiers giving painful blows.
The whip was constructed with bone, lead balls, metal, or glass. When lashed, the offender was sometimes chained to a pole. Prior to their crucifixion, verberatio might at times kill the offender.
The soldiers of the Roman Empire did not kill Jesus with the flogging because they were gentle, but because they wished to lengthen his sentence and increase the agony he’d experienced on the cross.
According to Grant Osborne, a New Testament intellectual, “In the case of Jesus, it was most likely the verberatio and thus undoubtedly terrible, but so controlled that he could go to the cross. He was indeed the suffering Servant of Isaiah 53:10–12.”
How Many Lashes Did Jesus Get?
The total number of lashes Jesus Christ suffered is not recorded in the Holy Scriptures. Only the awful occurrences that took place before and after the execution of Jesus by Roman troops are recorded. Deuteronomy 25:3 specifies that an offender shouldn’t be punished with more than forty lashes. To prevent mistakenly disobeying this rule, the Jews were only going to give an offender 39 lashes every single time.
In the passage 2 Corinthians 11:24, the Apostle Paul pointed out, “Five times I received from the Jews the forty stripes minus one.” However, Jesus was subjected to torture by the Roman Empire, not the Jews. No evidence supports the idea that Roman rulers would adhere to Jewish law and customs.
The Romans’ Distorted Thinking
Moreover, during Roman times, it was thought that a flogger must kill an offender with forty lashes in order to properly execute the sentence. If he failed to finish him off after forty lashings, the flogger had to die. This distorted, bizarre thinking was utilized to ensure that the flogger did not hold back in administering the punishment.
In Roman scourging, they adopted the same illogical reasoning to determine that thirty-nine lashes shouldn’t be enough to kill somebody. Therefore, in the absence of the death penalty, the maximum form of punishment is 39 lashes.
Others speculate that the flogger was afraid of the death sentence if Jesus lived after his fortieth lash. According to historians who have studied flogging extensively, 39 lashes were implemented in order to bring a common offender close to his demise but not completely kill him.
How Does The Bible Describe Jesus’ Lashes?
All four Gospels recount Roman soldiers beating Jesus before he was crucified on the cross. Mark, Matthew, and John all utilize Greek terms that explicitly allude to the act of giving some lashes. Although different terms are utilized in the passages of Matthew 27:26, John 19:1, and Mark 15:15 for the act of giving someone lashes (which are scourged, flogged, and flogged with a lead-tipped whip), they have almost identical implications.
Nonetheless, there isn’t any Biblical context that describes Jesus getting lashes; the Scriptures just reference Pilate lashing Jesus. Mark 15:15 reads that in order to calm the throng, Pilate agreed to free Barabbas. He whipped Jesus and offered him to be crucified.
In ancient Roman law, flogging was the act of being lashed or whipped. These revelations allow us to make assumptions about how Christ was flogged; this is not recounted in the Holy Scriptures because it appears to be a barbaric Roman tradition.
The Holy Bible merely speaks of Jesus being insulted by the Roman forces of the governor, who was known as Pontius Pilate. As expressed in Matthew 27:27–31, “Then the soldiers of the Governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.”
Here, they stripped him naked and dressed him in a red robe. Then, after placing a thorny crown on the top of his head and a reed in the palm of his right hand, they knelt down in front of him and yelled, “Hail, King of the Jews!” After, the soldiers spit on him, grabbed the reed, and smacked him on the head. After mocking him, they stripped off his robe, dressed him in his raiment, and brought him away to be crucified.
Isaiah 53:3-12 and Luke 22:37
The Scriptures also reveal how Jesus Christ would endure suffering in prophesied proclamations made by Isaiah recorded in his writings (Isaiah 53:3-12). This passage clearly demonstrates the trials and tribulations that Jesus would encounter as he continued his service to the world.
In the words of Luke 22:37, Jesus said that this prediction was carried out by him: “It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors,” and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me.” Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”
No matter how many times Jesus was whipped—39, 40, or another number—the punishment was excruciatingly agonizing. Jesus endured an unfair judgment and death for his people’s wrongdoings. He leads us into a better relationship with God, takes on the anger of God that we deserve, and makes atonement for the transgressions we committed through his suffering, trial, crucifixion, and death.
He gave his life for us. Therefore, regardless of how many lashes Jesus endured, we know he took them so that we could be completely free. And from the three years of his earthly mission, which started with his baptismal commitment to God’s will, we know that Jesus fully suffered them in complete obedience to God.