Beyond Recognition

“Then he shall flay the burnt offering and cut it into pieces.” Leviticus 1:6 (ESV)

I’ve never seen the Passion of the Christ. I am so thankful for everything Jesus went through on my behalf, but I cannot bear to watch it. The things they did to him are too horrible. I do not wish for that type of treatment on any man; yet alone, the Savior of the World.

When I was little we would always go to a Passion Play at a nearby church at Easter. I could never watch the flogging scene. It was much too real. (It was so real that one year the man playing Jesus broke his nose when they whipped him and he hit it on the post he was tied to.) I would bury my head in my hands and pray for the scene to be over. I think several years my mom actually took me out of the auditorium during that scene. I just can’t handle watching it.

Honestly, this is probably the hardest post of the 40 Day Lent Devotional Series to write. It pains me to imagine the torture that Jesus endured. I know I should be thankful that I am only watching it and imagining it and not actually living it. And I am! But that doesn’t make the process any easier.

When a burnt offering was sacrificed, the priest would flay the burnt offering and cut it into pieces.

The definition of flay is: to beat or whip (someone or something) in a very violent and severe way.

“Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!’ and struck him with their hands” (John 19:1-3)

The flogging was basically Jesus being flayed. As his skin was ripped from his body, the blood squirting everywhere, his body was beaten beyond recognition.

“His appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind” (Isaiah 52:14).

Imagine that! He was not even recognizable. He didn’t even look human anymore. I will never understand how one person can do that to another person, no matter who the person being tortured is. Evil is evil!

Jesus was flayed for you! He was beaten until his skin was ripped off him and his body no longer looked human. For you! Because he loves you!

Personal Reflection: How does it make you feel to know that Jesus endured such torture for YOU? Because he loves you!


“Flay.” Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2016.

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