Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Death of Jesus

Tomorrow is GOOD FRIDAY, the day on which we commemorate the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, the act that brought salvation to all who believe. I have read many descriptions about the death of Jesus, but this one was hard to read and brought tears to my eyes. I cannot imagine the suffering He endured for us.

At the age of 33, Jesus was condemned to the death.
At the time, crucifixion was the "worst" death. Only the worst criminals were condemned to be crucified. Yet it was even more dreadful for Jesus ~ unlike other criminals condemned to death by crucifixion ~ Jesus was to be nailed to the cross by His hands and feet.
Each nail was 6 to 8 inches long.
The nails were driven into His wrist. Not into his palms as is commonly portrayed. There is a tendon in the wrist that extends to the shoulder. The Roman guards knew that when the nails were being hammered into the wrist, that tendon would tear and break, forcing Jesus to use His back muscles to support Himself so that He could breathe.
Both of His feet were nailed together. Thus He was forced to support Himself on the single nail that impaled His feet to the cross. Jesus could not support Himself with His legs because of the pain, so He was forced to alternate between arching His back then using his legs just to continue to breathe. Imagine the struggle, the pain, the suffering, the courage.
Jesus endured this reality for over 3 hours.
Yes, over 3 hours! Can you imagine this kind of suffering? A few minutes before He died, Jesus stopped bleeding. He was simply pouring water from His wounds.
From common images, we see wounds to His hands and feet and even the spear wound to His side. But do we realize how the wounds were made in His body? A hammer driving large nails through the wrist, the feet overlapped and an even larger nail hammered through the arches, then a Roman guard piercing His side with a spear. But, before the nails and the spear Jesus was whipped and beaten. The whipping was so severe that it tore the flesh from His body. The beating so horrific that His face was torn and His beard ripped from His face. The crown of thorns cut deeply into His scalp. Most men would not have survived this torture.
He had no more blood to bleed out ~ only water poured from His wounds. The human adult body contains abuot 3.5 liters of blood ~ just less than a gallon.
Jesus poured all 3.5 liters of blood. He had three nails hammered into His members. A crown of thorns on His head. A Roman soldier stabbed a spear into His side.
All this without mentioning the humiliation He suffered after carrying His own cross for almost 1.242 miles, while the crowd spat in his face and threw stones.
Jesus had to endure this experience to open the Gates of Heaven for us. There is no stronger love.
Take a few minutes tomorrow to think about Him and the suffering He endured.
Sunday will be a day for celebration ~ Easter ~ the day He arose from the dead.


La Dolce Vita said...

happy Easter to you too dear Audrey! xx

Dosfishes at Sparkle Days Studios said...

Happy Easter to you Audrey, enjoy your family time. xox Corrine

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