Thursday, January 08, 2009

Never had a woman endured so many terrible tortures

Last night, my discipleship group was discussing Stephen's martyrdom in the book of Acts. Someone made the comment of how it must have encouraged and emboldened the Christians at the time to see someone joyfully enduring a painful death in order to make Christ known.

I started thinking about stories I've read about martyrs throughout the ages of have given their lives in similar ways. I remembering reading and being amazed of what they were willing to endure for the sake of Christ. Blandina was one such martyr who died in 177 AD in Lyon.
"For while we all trembled, and...feared that on account of the weakness of her body, she would be unable to make bold confession, Blandina was filled with such power as to be delivered and raised above those who were torturing her by turns from morning till evening in every manner, so that they acknowledged that they were conquered and could do nothing more to her. And they were astonished at her endurance, as her entire body was mangled and broken; and they testified that one of these forms of torture was sufficient to destroy life, not to speak of so many and so great sufferings...

...on the last day of the contests, Blandina was again brought in, with Ponticus, a boy about fifteen years old. They had been brought every day to witness the sufferings of the others, and been pressed to swear by the idols. But because they remained steadfast and despised them, the multitude became furious, so that they had no compassion for the youth of the boy nor respect for the sex of the woman.

And, after the scourging, after the wild beasts, after the roasting seat, she was finally enclosed in a net, and thrown before a bull. And having been tossed about by the animal, but feeling none of the things which were happening to her, on account of her hope and firm hold upon what had been entrusted to her, and her communion with Christ, she also was sacrificed. And the heathen themselves confessed that never among them had a woman endured so many and such terrible tortures."
"Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come." - Hebrews 13:12-14

No comments:

Post a Comment