The Crucifixion Of Jesus
The Roman Scourging
We read, in John 19:1, that “Pilate, then took Jesus and had him scourged.”
Scourging of criminals prior to Crucifixion to weaken the criminal was standard practice by the Romans. The Shroud of Turin reveals the use of a Roman scourge with 3 bar-bells. There were two soldiers. The Roman instrument used is called a flagrum, which is a short whip with 3 separate leather thongs, each terminating in a metal dumb-bell. Thus one lash would cause 3 separate wounds.
On the Shroud the scourging leaves circular dumb-bell shaped wounds all over the body. Jesus was draped over a pillar, and His naked body exposed to the flagrum. His arms were stretched and his back bent.
The Turin Shroud reveals wounds all over the body. Wounds are found on the back, the chest, the abdomen, the arms, the legs, and the pelvis.
Two Soldiers administered the Scourging
Early researchers on the Shroud realised that the marks on the Shroud came from two separate sources. They concluded this because the angles of the marks fan out from two points. One set of marks came from Jesus’ left side, while another set came from Jesus’ right side. The only requirement for soldiers administering a Roman scourging prior to Crucifixion was that the victim survived.
The number of lashes on the Shroud is excessive – about 120 lashes. Crucified victims commonly took up to 3 days to die, but Jesus took 6 hours to die – an indication of the severity of the scourging. This is possibly why Jesus was too weak to carry the Patibulum, which weighed 80 – 100 pounds
The Pulling Off Of Jesus’ Beard
According to Isaiah 50:6, “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.” In fulfilment of prophecy, Jesus’ beard was pulled off.
The early Dehydration of Jesus
Jesus had not drunk any fluids since the night before, at the Last Supper. Following the Scourging,
- His body was shredded, with muscle and subcutaneous tissue exposed.
- His beard had been pulled out.
- He would already have been severely dehydrated, in the early stages of cardio-respiratory collapse.