Monday, April 17, 2017

What's Love Got To Do With It?

"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; 
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, 
and by his wounds we are healed." - Isaiah 53:5

**Photography by Melissa Talbot**

This song was made famous by Tina Turner in the 1980's, even grabbing a Grammy Award as part of her fifth solo album at the time, Private Dancer.

Turner began her music career in the mid 1950's alongside her husband, Ike Turner, as a featured singer with Ike's Kings of Rhythm (as provided by Wikipedia). Her slim figure and powerhouse voice made her a force to be reckoned with.

Her rise to stardom, however, didn't come without its challenges. Tina wrote an autobiography revealing several instances of severe domestic abuse leading up to her 1976 split with Ike.

The Grammy winning hit, "What's Love Got To Do With It", didn't come until later but it makes me wonder if it wasn't a private lament of hers, made public.

Have a look at the chorus of that song:

What's love got to do, got to do with it
What's love but a second hand emotion
What's love got to do, got to do with it
Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken

While I certainly can't relate to Tina's stardom and successful music career, I can relate to her story of abuse.

During a period of my life, I was going in and out of shallow and meaningless 'relationships' with men. A couple of them being emotionally and physically abusive. At the time the abuse was happening, my skewed perspective told me the attention was all part of being loved.

That their control and manipulation was a way of protecting and caring for me. Pretty messed up, isn't it? However, it was mine and today's reality in which many people live, even children.

I never really knew any different until God became a part of my mixed up life and turned my mind right side up. It was only then that there was a paradigm shift in perspective.

Today, my heart is burdened by the rampant occurrence of abuse in our world and how quickly innocence is lost when an iron fist, literally, rules over a person. There is no sane explanation as to how or why a person is abused and, sometimes, killed as a result.

There certainly wasn't any logical reason why extreme abuse came upon an innocent man over 2000 years ago, resulting in his death. The man was Jesus and He was whipped, scourged*, then crucified.

What's love got to do with that? An innocent man nailed to a cross after having been beaten within inches of his life. There can't, possibly, be any love in that...but there was.

The love was from Jesus, for all of us. See, He willingly took the foul accusations, the beatings, and the torture leading to His death so that you and I wouldn't have to. He was the mother who stood in front of her child to take the brunt of the abuse in order to save the child's life.

I find that incredible, humbling, even incomprehensible. To wrap the mind around something so horrible that was taken on by an innocent man says that love had everything to do with it. A love I can never repay but fully receive in a relationship with Him today.

Encouragement for the week:

Have you ever suffered at the hands of an abuser? Let me tell you that love has nothing to do with it.

No one has the right to abuse or be abused. It's insanity. An insanity I pray, each day, to be eradicated.

If you are a Christian, you know the freedom you have from all things abusive because of what Jesus did for you on the Cross.

If you are not a Christian, you can look for Jesus and find Him and be set free from the abuse that may be in your life.

*The Roman scourge instrument or Flagrum was designed to quickly remove the flesh from the body of a victim. The Romans would, according to custom, scourge a condemned criminal before he was put to death. The Roman scourge, also called the "flagrum" or "flagellum" was a short whip made of two or three leather (ox-hide) thongs or ropes connected to a handle. The leather thongs were knotted with a number of small pieces of metal, usually zinc and iron, attached at various intervals. Scourging would quickly remove the skin. According to history the punishment of a slave was particularly dreadful. The leather was knotted with bones, or heavy indented pieces of bronze.

Sometimes the Roman scourge contained a hook at the end and was given the terrifying name "scorpion." The criminal was made to stoop which would make deeper lashes from the shoulders to the waist. According to Jewish law (discipline of the synagogue) the number of stripes was forty less one (Deut. 25:3) and the rabbis reckoned 168 actions to be punished by scourging before the judges. Nevertheless, scourging among the Romans was a more severe form of punishment and there was no legal limit to the number of blows, as with the Jews. Deep lacerations, torn flesh, exposed muscles and excessive bleeding would leave the criminal "half-dead." Death was often the result of this cruel form of punishment though it was necessary to keep the criminal alive to be brought to public subjugation on the cross. The Centurion in charge would order the "lictors" to halt the flogging when the criminal was near death. 

**This description of scourge was taken from an article on**

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