The Crucifixion And Death Of Jesus Christ.



The Following Was Sent To Us Via Email And We Felt That It Was An Appropriate Post For This Easter Season. It Was Condensed From "The Crucifixion Of Jesus Christ" By C. Truman Davis, M.S. March, 1965

A MEDICAL DESCRIPTION OF THE CRUCIFIXION
OF JESUS CHRIST

After the Passover Meal, Jesus and His Disciples went to the Garden Of Gethsemane so Jesus could pray.

THE BLOODY SWEAT

The physical trauma of Christ begins in the Garden Of Gethsemane with one of the initial aspects of His suffering - the bloody sweat. It is interesting that the physician of the group, St. Luke, is the only one to mention this.

Luke 22:44 (NASB) says And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.

Though very rare, the phenomenon of hemathidrosis, or bloody sweat, is well documented. Under great emotional stress, tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can break, thus mixing blood with sweat. This process alone could have produced marked weakness and possible shock.

JESUS IS ARRESTED

After His arrest in the middle of the night, Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin (the ruling council) and Caiaphas, the High Priest. A soldier struck Jesus across the face for remaining silent when questioned by Caiaphas. The palace guards then blindfolded Him and mockingly taunted Him to identify them as they each passed by; they spat on Him and struck Him in the face.

JESUS CONDEMNED TO CRUCIFIXION

In the early morning, Jesus, battered and bruised, dehydrated, and exhausted from a sleepless night, was taken across Jerusalem to the Praetorium of the Fortress Antonia. It was there, in response to the cries of the mob, that Pilate ordered Bar-Abbas released and condemned Jesus to scourging and crucifixion.

THE SCOURGING

Preparations for the scourging are carried out. The prisoner is stripped of His clothing and His hands tied to a post above His head.

The Roman legionnaire steps forward with the flagrum in his hand. This is a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached to the ends of each.

The heavy whip is brought down with full force again and again across Jesus’ shoulders, back and legs.

At first the heavy thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continue, they cut deeper into subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin, and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles.

The small balls of lead first produce large, deep bruises which are broken open by subsequent blows.  Finally the skin of the back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue.

When it is determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death, the beating is stopped.

THE MOCKERY

The half-fainting Jesus is then untied and allowed to slump to the stone pavement, wet with His own blood.

The Roman soldiers see a great joke in this provincial Jew claiming to be a king. They throw a robe across His shoulders and place a stick in His hand for a scepter.

A small bundle of flexible branches covered with long thorns is pressed into His scalp.  Again there is copious bleeding (the scalp being one of the most vascular areas in the body).

After mocking Him and striking Him across the face, the soldiers take the stick from His hand and strike Him across the head, driving the thorns deeper into His scalp.  Finally, they tire of their sadistic sport and the robe is torn from His back.

The robe had already started sticking to the clots of blood and serum in the wounds, and its removal, just as in the careless removal of a surgical bandage, cause excruciating pain - almost as though He were again being whipped, and the wounds again begin to bleed.

THE WALK TO CRUCIFIXION

The heavy beam of the cross is then tied across His shoulders, and the procession of the condemned Christ, two thieves and the execution detail, begins its slow journey.

The weight of the heavy wooden beam, together with the shock produced by copious blood loss, is too much. He stumbles and falls. The rough wood of the beam gouges into the lacerated skin and muscles of His shoulders. He tries to rise, but human muscles have been pushed beyond their endurance.

The centurion, anxious to proceed with the crucifixion, selected a stalwart North African onlooker, Simon of Cyrene, to carry the cross.

Jesus followed, still bleeding and sweating the cold, clammy sweat of shock. The 650-yard journey from the Fortress Antonia to Golgotha was finally completed. The prisoner was again stripped of His clothing except for a loin cloth which was allowed the Jews.

THE NAILS OF CRUCIFIXION

At Golgotha, the beam is placed on the ground and Jesus is quickly thrown backward with His shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square, wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood.

Quickly, he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flexion and movement. The beam is then lifted in place at the top of the posts and a sign reading “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” is nailed in place.

THE PAIN OF CRUCIFIXION

The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each. As he pushes Himself upward to avoid the stretching torment, He places His full weight on the nail through His feet.

There is searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones through the feet.

As Jesus slowly sagged down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating, fiery pain shot along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain. The nails in the wrists were putting pressure on the median nerve, large nerve trunks which traverse the mid-wrist and hand.

As He pushed himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, He placed His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again there was searing agony as the nail tore through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of this feet.

THE MEDICAL EFFECTS OF CRUCIFIXION

As the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain.

With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by His arms, the pectoral muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath.

Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically, He is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen.

Hours of this limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from His lacerated back as He moves up and down against the rough timber.

Then another agony begins. A deep crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart.

The compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissues - the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. The markedly dehydrated tissues send their flood of stimuli to the brain. Jesus gasps, “I thirst.”

THE LAST GASP

He could feel the chill of death creeping through His tissues. This realization brought forth little more than a tortured whisper: "It is finished."


His mission of atonement had been completed. Finally, He could allow His body to die. With one last surge of strength, He once again pressed His torn feet against the nail, straightened His legs, took a deeper breath, and uttered His last cry: "Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit."

The common method of ending a crucifixion was by crurifracture, the breaking of the bones of the leg. This prevented the victim from pushing himself upward; the tension could not be relieved from the muscles of the chest, and rapid suffocation occurred.

The legs of the two thieves were broken, but when the soldiers approached Jesus, they saw that this was not necessary.

Apparently, to make doubly sure of death, the legionnaire drove his lance between the ribs, upward through the pericardium and into the heart.

John 19:34 (NASB) says But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.”

Thus there was an escape of watery fluid from the sac surrounding the heart and the blood of the interior of the heart. This is rather conclusive post-mortem evidence that Jesus died, not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium.

RESURRECTION

In these events, we have seen a glimpse of the evil that man can exhibit toward his fellowman and toward God.

But the Crucifixion was not the end of the story. How grateful we can be that we have a sequel: a glimpse of the infinite mercy of God toward man -- the gift of atonement, the miracle of the resurrection, and the expectation of Easter morning.

Our Note: Jesus loved us so much that He was willing to suffer and die a horrific death on the cross to pay the penalty due for our sins so that you and I could have our sins forgiven, be saved and have everlasting life.

7 SALVATION SCRIPTURE REFERENCES

John 3:16 (NASB) says “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

John 3:36 (NASB) says He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

John 5:24 (NASB) says “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”

John 6:40 (NASB) says For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

1 John 5:11 (NASB) saysAnd the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.”

John 14:6 (NASB) says Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

Romans 10:8-10 (NASB) says But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”

God’s Gift Of Salvation Is Free! To be saved, become an Adopted Child Of God, and have everlasting life, all we have to do is confess that we are a sinner, ask God to forgive us, accept Jesus as our personal savior and make Him Lord of our life. We encourage you not to wait – do this today!

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