I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.
Matthew 26.67, 27.26 and 27.30 describe precisely the events which Isaiah predicted – the abuse, physical and verbal, by the Sanhedrin in chapter 26 and by the Romans in chapter 27. Matthew does not mention them pulling out the hair of Jesus’ beard, though I have no doubt that is something they did. He does however add other details in 27.28-29 – the crown of thorns and the mocking.
I find all this hard to imagine: whatever was it like for Jesus to go through such terrible suffering when he deserved none of it? And then the nails, and being made a public spectacle … not to mention the betrayal by one of his own followers, and being abandoned or denied by the others.
Can we ever understand the enormity of what the New Testament writers summarise as “he suffered death” (Heb.2.9) … “he himself bore our sins in his body on the tree” (1 Peter 2.24)?
A line in the song “Light of the World” says “And I’ll never know how much it cost, to see my sin upon that cross”. I suspect eternity will not be long enough!