365 Prophecies: Prophecy 230
The Messiah shall be so severely beaten and tortured that He will be barely recognizable as a man.
Old Testament Prediction:
Isaiah 52:14 Just as many were astonished at you, So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men…
New Testament Fulfillment:
Matthew 26:67 Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands…
It is clear that after Jesus suffered through the scourging, beating in His face, and crucifixion, His body was torn to shreds. It was well known that 39 lashes from the scourge would leave a man with a body that was a medical catastrophe. As the flesh has been torn from the body, the muscles and ligaments are exposed, often leaving vital internal organs exposed to the outside elements. Many a man died after just 10 or 15 lashes from the scourge. The fact that Jesus survived all 39 lashes is an indication of His strength, but also sure proof that His body was barely recognizable as a human being.
We know that after Jesus rose from the dead—He bore scars from the torture He suffered against His body. When the frightened disciples gathered together after His death, suddenly the Lord appeared in the room where they were hiding, in fear of the local authorities. Thomas was apparently not with the other men when Jesus appeared, and so one of the disciples told Thomas later that Jesus had appeared alive before them. Thomas was skeptical that the Lord could be alive after such a horrific death that He had suffered. Later, as Thomas is with the other disciples, Jesus appears again a second time and asks Thomas to touch the scars which are still in His body to confirm that He is in fact Jesus.
John 20:24-28 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
When Mary Magdalene came to the tomb where they had laid Jesus after His death, Jesus had already been resurrected. Mary did not recognize Him when He was standing near her at the tomb. Only after Jesus spoke Mary’s name did she realize that it was the Lord. This may have been due to the massive injuries that had disfigured Jesus’ face and body, resulting from the torture He had endured.
John 20:1-16 Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).
On one of the roads leading out of Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus, some of those who had witnessed Jesus being beaten and crucified were discussing amongst themselves the events of Jesus’ death. Suddenly, Jesus appears unknown to these men and asks them why they are so sad. They explain that Jesus, whom they had hoped was the Messiah, had been crucified and died.
These men did not seem to realize that the one to whom they were speaking—was Jesus. It was not until the Lord took bread and broke it and handed it to the men, that they realized it was Him. As Jesus reached out His hands, they noticed the nail holes where He had been pierced. Surprisingly, they did not recognize that it was Jesus by His appearance, most likely because He had been so badly disfigured by His torture and death.
Luke 24:13-31 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?” And He said to them, “What things?” So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.” Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them. Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
The testimony of this event describes Jesus as He guided these men through the many Old Testament prophecies which describe the Messiah as beaten, crucified, and risen from the dead. Jesus applied each of these prophecies to Himself and informed these men that He is the object of all the scriptures concerning the Messiah.
When John describes Jesus in the Book of Revelation, he details His appearance as One like a lamb as though it had been slain. In heaven, Jesus is apparently still bearing the scars on His face and body from His torture and death, even after His resurrection.
Revelation 5:6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain…
It is difficult to imagine the Creator of all things—brutally butchered for us. The fact that Jesus allowed these evil men to so disfigure Him that He was barely recognizable as a man—gives us a glimpse into how severely God hates the sin that had made it necessary for Him to die by such vicious and violent acts. God must surely love us so greatly that He would permit His only Son to be beaten beyond recognition.
If anyone should ever accuse God of not loving us, all they must do is see Jesus face to face in all His disfigurement. Jesus will heal the scars of everyone of us in heaven. We will all be perfect and beautiful while He will bear the scars of His terrible death for all of eternity. Jesus will heal all our scars, but He will not heal His own.
How great is His love!
 1. Tenney SM: On death by crucifixion. Am Heart J 1964;68:286-287.
2. Bloomquist ER: A doctor looks at crucifixion. Christian Herald, March 1964, pp 35, 46-48.
3. DePasquale NP, Burch GE: Death by crucifixion. Am Heart J 1963;66:434-435.