The Cruelty of the Human Creature

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings
Leviticus 17-18; Matthew 27:27-50


27 The governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the governor’s house, and they gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28 They stripped him and put a red military coat on him. 29 They twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They put a stick in his right hand. Then they bowed down in front of him and mocked him, saying, “Hey! King of the Jews!” 30 After they spit on him, they took the stick and struck his head again and again. 31 When they finished mocking him, they stripped him of the military coat and put his own clothes back on him. They led him away to crucify him (Matthew 27:27-31, Common English Bible).

As I was looking for a picture for this post I found myself appalled at what I saw. I typed into Google “Human Cruelty.” The pictures were awful. There was a picture of a man covered in dry mud with a chain around his neck and the excess could be used to escort him. There was another picture of a baby elephant being beaten by a couple of men. There were pictures that showed mutilated humans and the cruelty to many animals including a group of monkeys chained together. And then, there were the dogs, lots and lots of dogs. Being a dog lover, it broke my heart.

I selected the picture above for the way it demonstrates the act of human cruelty without actually being cruel itself. For many of the pictures I saw, the photographer was witnessing and chronicling stories showing human cruelty and suffering at it’s worst. Many people suffered but these photographers did nothing to put an end to the cruelty they witnessed.

Then there was one more picture. It was a pen and ink drawing of an innocent but cruelly treated man, a man who hung on a cross. His name was/is Jesus. Our lesson for today talks about the cruelty Jesus faced It was more than just the cruelty of crucifixion and that would have been difficult enough. When a person was crucified it wasn’t waiting for the person on the cross to die from dehydration or starvation or even from the pain of having the hands and feet cruelly nailed to the cross.

Death in crucifixion came by suffocation. As the crucified hung on the cross the body weight would pull down, forcing pressure on the lungs. To get relief the crucified would lift the body weight up at the pierced feet and hands. When the pain would become too much, the crucified would drop back down, putting pressure on the lungs once again. When they broke the legs of the thieves crucified with Jesus, it was to hasten deal because they could no longer lift themselves to take pressure off the lungs.

It was a horrible way to die. But for Jesus, and perhaps even for others who faced crucifixion, it didn’t start with nailing hands and feet to the cross or even carrying the cross. Jesus was stripped of his clothing. He was beaten. He was spat upon. He had a crown of thorns sticking him in the head. Thorns in the head? That isn’t my idea of a good time.

It is amazing to think or to see the cruelty the human creature is capable of pouring out from someplace inside. At least to me, even more amazing, that one is not only capable but sees nothing wrong with such behavior.

There, at least according to Luke, was one more amazing thing, the most amazing of all. Despite the cruelty he saw, experienced and received, he was able to say, “Father, forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing.” That is grace. Grace that is unmerited. But, it is grace freely given, despite what he experienced, despite what was done to him, Jesus could forgive.

For all of us, despite what we may have done in life, we can still find grace and forgiveness from the One who died for us. That is great news for all of us

Have a blessed day in the Lord

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved



Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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