· Jesus Christ 

Dr. Pierre Barbet's book "Doctor at Calvary" describes the scourging of Jesus:

"The scourging is done with numerous thongs to which are fixed, at some distance from the loose ends, two balls of lead or small piece of bone. (Certainly, the stigmata on the Holy Shroud correspond to this type of flagrum.) The number of strokes is limited to thirty-nine by Hebrew law. But His executioners are legionaries without restraint, and they will go on to the point of making Him faint. There are, in fact, marks without number on the shroud, and they are nearly all on the back; the front of the body is against the column. They are to be seen on the back, on the shoulders and the loins. The lashes fall on His thighs and on the calves of His legs; and it is there that the ends of the thongs, beyond the balls of lead, encircle the limb and mark it with a furrow right round to the other side."

"There are two executioners, one on each side of Him, of unequal height (all this may be deduced from the direction of the marks on the shroud). They alternate their strokes, with great zest. At first, the strokes leave long livid marks, long blue bruises beneath the skin. Remember that the skin has already been affected; that it is sore owing to the millions of little intra-dermic hemorrhages brought about by the sweat of blood. Further marks are made by the balls of lead. Then the skin, into which the blood has crept, becomes tender and breaks under fresh blows. The blood pours out; shreds of skin become detached and hang down. The whole of the back is now no more than a red surface, on which great furrows stand out like marble; and, here and there, everywhere, there are deeper wounds caused by the balls of lead. These wounds, shaped like a halter (the two balls and the thong between them), will make their marks on the shroud."

"At each stroke, the body gives a painful shudder. But He has not opened His mouth, and His silence redoubles the Satanic rage of His executioners. It is no longer a cold-blooded, judicial execution; it is the unchaining of demons. The blood flows from His shoulders down to the earth (the large paving-stones are covered with it), and is scattered like rain by the lifted whips as far as the red cloaks of the onlookers. But the strength of the Victim soon begins to fail; sweat breaks out on His forehead; His head whirls with giddiness and nausea; shivers run down His spine; His legs give way under Him, and if He was not tied up by His wrists, He would slip down into the pool of blood. They have completed the count, even though they have not counted. After all, they have not received the order that He should die under the lash. Let Him recover a bit; there will be further chances for amusement."

Dr. Barbet continues with a description of the cruel mocking that our Lord endured from the Roman soldiers:

"And this great Fool claims to be a king, as if He held it under the Roman eagles, and what is more, to be King of the Jews; of all ridiculous things! He has had some trouble with His subjects; what matter, we will be His faithful supporters. Quick, a robe, a sceptre. He has been put to sit at the base of the column (not a very secure place for His Majesty!). An old legionary's cloak thrown over His naked shoulders confers on Him the royal purple; a reed in His right hand, and everything is complete, except for the crown; now for something original! (For nineteen centuries He will be known by this crown, which no other crucified being has worn). In the corner there is a bundle of faggots, cut from those little trees which thrive on the outskirts of the city. The wood is flexible and covered with long thorns, much longer and sharper and harder than those of the acacia. They plait with caution (ugh! it hurts!) something like the bottom of a basket, which they place on His head. They beat down the edges and with a band of twisted rushes they bind it on the head from the nape of the neck to the forehead."

"The thorns dig into the scalp and it bleeds. (We surgeons know how much a scalp can bleed.) The top of the head is already clotted with blood; long streams of blood have flown down to the forehead, under the band of rushes, have soaked into the tangled hair and into the beard. The comedy of adoration has begun. Each in turn comes forward and bows the knee before Him, with a horrible grimace, followed by a great blow: ``Hail, King of the Jews!'' But He answers nothing. His poor face, so ravaged and pale, displays no movement. It really is not funny! In their exasperation His faithful subjects spit in His face. ``You don't know how to hold the sceptre, give it here!'' There, a blow on the crown of thorns, which makes it sink further in, and then fresh blows.... But I can see that a blow from a stick delivered from the side has made a horrible bruise on His face, and that His fine well-shaped nose has been disfigured owing to the septum being broken. The blood is flowing from His nostrils. Oh, my God, this is enough!"