This morning I was looking through a songbook, playing through potential songs to work on with my fellow Christian worship team members.

I came across an incredible song (new to me) titled simply “Redeemer, Savior, Friend”.

As I sat at my piano, and played the notes, the WORDS of this incredible song touched my soul very deeply.

“Every Stripe upon Your battered back, Every Thorn that pierced Your Brow, Every nail drove deep through guiltless hands, Said that Your Love knows no End!”

Indeed.  He, the KING of KINGS and LORD of LORDS, God With Us (Immanuel) truly commanded (and yet commands) immense power.  He raised people from the dead.  He who could command LEGIONS of angels was not FORCED to be scourged and crucified.   He ALLOWED it – because of His incredible Love.

There simply are no words in the English vocabulary to adequately describe such a selfless act of sacrifice and redemption.  Yet, far too  many prideful and ignorant humans daily choose to ignore His priceless gift of Grace to us.

I then extended my research on the song, Redeemer, Savior, Friend – to the internet.  There I came across a video on You-Tube – a video with only a small number of views.   This video comes with a warning label:  CAUTION – EXTREMELY GRAPHIC – TOO INTENSE FOR YOUNG VIEWERS!

It is the graphic Crucifixion Scene from Mel Gibson’s movie: “The Passion of The Christ” with the song Redeemer, Savior, Friend being played.  Graphic indeed – but yet – it’s REAL.   The “stripes” on His back (caused by scourging) was clearly excessive, and would have killed any other human.   Inflicted by a deadly vicious whip with three sharp tips.  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 clearly reveals the body wrapped in it was wounded by a Roman scourge with 3 tips. There were two soldiers that inflicted the damage. 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 with razor sharp edeges. 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. Deep wounds are found on the back, the chest, the abdomen, the arms, the legs, and the pelvis.

Early researchers on the Shroud realized 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 only 6 hours to die – an indication of the severity of the scourging. This is possibly why Jesus was too weak to carry the cross, which weighed 80 – 100 pounds.

Keep in mind as you watch this video, that American JEWS screamed in protest over the film when it was released in 2004.   Bowing to their pressure, Gibson edited out parts of the movie concerning the depths of the foul, lying, EDOMITE CONSPIRACY involved in the event.  Amazingly, at approximately the same time,  The LDS (Mormon) Church also publicly denounced the movie, supposedly because of it’s “R” rating.   LDS Church spokesman Kert Howard, commenting on “The Passion of The Christ” said “officially” that church members are admonished to “avoid R rated movies for whatever reason.”  And so, not willing to “disobey the ‘Brethren’ and think for themselves – the vast majority of LDS Mormons have never seen this movie.

But here is the real reason for LDS leaders black-balling the movie to their flock: Mormons are taught that the “atonement” did not occur at the Cross.  They maintain it all happened the night before in the Garden of Gethsemane.  For instance, Mormon “Prophet” Ezra Benson declared: “It was in Gethsemane that Jesus took on Himself the sins of the world, in Gethsemane that His pain was equivalent to the cumulative burden of all men, in Gethsemane that He descended below all things so that all could repent and come to Him” (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pg.15).   This is completely un-biblical, and in fact, quite damning heresy.  The Apostle Paul wrote, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross (Colossians 2:14). The New Testament writers consistently stress the importance of the cross (not the garden) when it comes to the atonement.  In fact, denying the CROSS is synonymous to denying the atonement.    No wonder the Mormons have an almost vampire-like revulsion to the Cross of Cavalry.

Paul preached clearly about the vital importance of “The Cross” to the Saved Christian – not “The Garden”.  He couldn’t make it any clearer when he wrote:  “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish (i.e. those who are unsaved and damned) foolishness; but unto us who are saved it (the preaching of the cross) is the power of God.”   1 Corinthians 1:18.