In my last blog, I wrote of the blood that was shed from Jesus during a prayer and the scourging that took place before the crucifixion. In this blog I want to talk about a very familiar story; the crucifixion. I want to focus on the suffering of Christ that took place on Calvary. I know these blogs aren’t favorable in the mind of some people, and I don’t blame them. I don’t want to think about all the suffering that someone went through just so I could have life. Its easy to always talk about the wonderful things that Christ brought us. But, I feel that we can’t truly appreciate the love of Christ, which has just turned into something simple that we say to people, without seeing what he went through for us. When we tell people that Jesus loves them and his blood will cover all their sins, why don’t we prove to them this fact by telling them of what he did, just for them. Not only did he die, but he suffered before he died. Hopefully, I can share enough of his suffering in this blog to make us truly appreciate these sayings: “the blood of Jesus”, “the love of Christ”, and “Jesus loves you.”
So, just how bad is death by crucifixion? What did Jesus go through?
Well, after the scourging, the Romans returned his garments back to him, and the patibulum, which is attached to the cross later, is tied to Christs’ shoulders. This weighed about 110 pounds normally. Next Christ and the two thieves head down the Via Dolorosa. This is the path going to the scene of the crucifixion at Golgotha. On the way, the weight of the cross, along with all of the blood loss, becomes too much for Jesus to withstand and he collapses. The rough beam then digs into the already lacerated skin and muscles of Jesus. He tries to rise and keep going, but he cannot carry it any longer. So, Simon of Cyrene is appointed to carry the cross as Jesus follows behind. Finally, the 650 yard journey to Golgotha is complete. Then the Crucifixion begins…
Simon is ordered to lay the cross down on the ground. Jesus is then thrown backward with His shoulders against the wood. Then the legionnaire drives a heavy, square, wrought-iron nail through the wrist and into the wood. Then quickly he moves to the other side doing the same, being careful not to pull the arms too tight, but allow some flexibility and movement. The patibulum is then lifted in place at the top of the stipes (the verticle wood of the cross which is set prior to the crucifixion) and the titulus(a board at the top of the cross telling why the person is being crucified) reading Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews is nailed in place. Next, 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, leaving the knees moderately flexed. Then Jesus hangs until the point of death. I know there is much more that goes on while Jesus is hanging on the cross, but for the sake of the length of the blog I won’t go into them. But what a horrible death!
Imagine yourself hanging by the nails, trying to pull yourself up through the pain just to get a gasp of air into your lungs. It should have been you. It should have been me. But Jesus took my sins and your sins, and covered them with his blood, at Calvary, so that we can have eternal life with him.
John 3:16 — For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
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