Archive for June, 2010

23
Jun
10

The Blood of Jesus: The Crucifixion


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.

Please feel free to leave comments… If you agree, disagree, like, or dislike any of the blogs…. let me know… just click leave a comment above each blog.

Advertisements
15
Jun
10

The Blood of Jesus: Prayer and Scourging


I apologize for the length of the blog  in advance. Please keep reading. I wanted to give a full description of everything.

A phrase known and often quoted by christians is “The Blood of Jesus.”  What a horrible but wonderful thing. I heard my pastor a couple of weeks back talk about how the blood of Jesus covers our sins. And I have heard countless messages on the blood of Jesus, but for some reason my mind went to wondering about the actual physical blood of Jesus. Just thinking about the “physical blood” has given me a new appreciation for the sufferings that Jesus went through for me. What a price he payed for an undeserving me!

Luke 22:41-44 says:                 

41 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

This is when Jesus is with the disciples at the Mount of Olives just before the betrayal of Judas. He is praying for God to remove what is about to happen from him unless it is his will that this is to happen.(Great example to how we are to pray) What happens? An angel comes down from heaven and strengthens him. Then notice verse 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. This is actually physically possible. The clinical term is “hematohidrosis.” This is where someone under a great amount of stress can rupture the blood vessels around their sweat glands and it pushes blood out with the sweat. This is the first account of the blood of Jesus in Luke.

Next is the Scourging. What is the scourging? How does the process take place?  

Well, first preparations for the scourging are carried out.  The prisoner is stripped of his clothing and his hands are tied to a post above his head. Some say it is doubtful whether the Romans made any attempt to follow the Jewish law in this matter of scourging.  The Jews had an ancient law prohibiting more than forty lashes.  The Pharisees, always making sure the law was strictly kept, insisted only thirty-nine lashes be given.  (In case of a miscount, they were sure of remaining within the law.)  The Roman legionnaire steps forward with the flagrum (or flagellum) in his hand. This is a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached near the ends of each. 

The heavy whip is brought down with full force again and again across the shoulders, back, and legs of Jesus.  At first the heavy thongs cut through the skin only.  Then, as the blows continue, they are cut deeper into the 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 broke 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 finally stopped.

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.  They still need a crown to make their travesty complete.  A small bundle of flexible branches covered with long thorns (commonly used for firewood) are plaited into the shape of a crown and this is pressed into His scalp.  Again there is more bleeding (the scalp being one of the most vascular areas of 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.  This had already become adherent to the clots of blood and serum in the wounds, and its removal, just as in the careless removal of a surgical bandage, causes exruciating pain…almost as though He were again being whipped – and the wounds again begin to bleed. Most of the facts of the scourging come from http://www.csun.edu/~hbeng151/icc/studies/account.html.

In the beginning of this blog I said the blood of Jesus was a horrible but wonderful thing. Let me explain. It is horrible because of what Jesus went through and what is above is not even close to all of the suffering. There is still the Crucifixion and the mockery of the past and present and much more. But, O how wonderful is his blood! Because of his blood we can spend eternity with him. He paid the ultimate sacrifice. His blood is what covers our sins. Jesus died a brutal death for all. Now an undeserving me can spend eternity with him because of his death and resurrection. I cannot thank or praise him enough but I can try to spread the love that He has through this blog and conversation with others. He didn’t have to endure all the suffering, but he did because he loves us. Thank you Jesus.

I almost didn’t put this video on the blog. But I think sometimes it takes a visual for people to understand what Jesus did for us. I warn you though, don’t watch if you have a weak stomach or don’t feel as if this should be shown to people.

05
Jun
10

The Love of Christ #2


 

Not only did Christ show us his love by giving his life but also through how he lived here on earth…

While Jesus was on earth he was the prime example to how we should strive to live our lives. He went around teaching the ways we should live, he performed miracle after miracle (alot of the time to people who didn’t deserve it), and he did not give into temptations of the devil. Yes, we are all human, and we are going to fall sometime… that is why we have grace.  No we cannot perform miracles on our own, but we can pray for them and let God decide what his will is.  

Mark 10:27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”

But we can teach what the scripture says on how we should live our life. Remember the old saying “What Would Jesus Do.” (yeah I know that turned into something kinda corny, but how true it is!) In all situations why dont we ask ourselves what would Jesus do?…Lets all try to show love through everything we do.

A great description of love and how it is to benefit us is in

1 Corinthians Chapter 13

13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;  6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

04
Jun
10

The Love of Christ #1


In my last blog I wrote on something that christians should be careful with… discussing negative things of the church instead of the love that Christ has for everyone… So what is the love of Christ?

Well lets just say its not even in human comprehension. But I will do my best to explain it… Imagine yourself in heaven. There are no tears. There is no hurt. There is no arguing.  You’re enjoying the perfectness of  God. You know no sin. (Hard enough to even imagine that.) But then you look back at the Earth and see just the opposite. You see the enemy destroying everything that God made to be good. Then you say to yourself  I think I will go down to earth and be mocked, be beaten, and even die on a cross for these people who have turned their back on everything that God has done for them. Yes, there are some that are still favorable to God… But you decide that you will die for all… This is what Jesus did.

   John 3 : 16 – 21

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. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

How much love does that take, just to come down from a perfect place to die for people who are going to despise you?! (He died for those who love him and also those who hate him.) (And as a side note, notice the verse says WHOEVER believes…this means ALL RACES and BOTH GENDERS)

So Christ comes to Earth to be the ultimate sacrifice. No more sacrificing animals to roll back our sins but instead Jesus took our place on the cross and died and then rose again so that we might have eternal life with him.

Now in switching directions, it is the end of this memorial week, but I want to thank those who are serving and have served in our military and in our police department. Thank you for your service. And a special thank you to “Grandpa.” Sgt. Major James Phillip Maddox. Grandpa had the ultimate love explained in the verse below… Thank you and you will never be forgotten.

John 15:13   Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.