"My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Psalm 22:1 (See also Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34)
Throughout Psalm 22 we see prophetic revelation of our Suffering Messiah in such detail that it leaves little doubt that David is not speaking of himself but is fore-seeing the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Note the following verses:
"All they that see me laugh me to scorn; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on The Lord that he would deliver him; let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him." Psalm 22:7-8 (See Matthew 27:43, Luke 23:35).
"They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me; the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me; they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones; they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture." Psalm 22:13-18 (See Matthew 27:35, Mark 15:24, John 19:24).
Crucifixion was one of the most horrible forms of execution that man could inflict upon another human being. Believed to be first practiced by the Persians, it was then adopted by Alexander The Great and the rest of the Mediterranean world. The Romans learned it from the Carthaginians of North Africa and soon developed their own skill and efficiency in carrying it out. Normally the upright post, known as the stipes, was permanently fixed to the ground on site; while the cross beam, the patibulum, would be carried by the convicted to the execution site. This cross beam could weigh up to 110 pounds. A titulus was included. This was the small sign upon which was written the crime of the accused and carried in front of the procession to the execution site; to be later affixed to the top of the cross beam.
The physical suffering of Jesus began at The Garden of Gethsemene. While Jesus prayed under the great stress of knowing what He was about to face Luke records of Him, "And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground." Luke 22:44. While very rare, the medical field has noted this process, known as hematidrosis, can take place when one is under such tremendous stress that tiny capillaries in the sweat glands actually break and become mixed with sweat. This condition would also begin a weakening of the body.
The real horror would begin later after trumped up charges and a mock of a trial took place. The following is based on historical information and medical information as to the physical suffering that Jesus Christ endured.
The preparations for Jesus' scourging begin. His clothes are stripped from Him and His hands are tied to a post above His head. A Roman soldier steps forward with a flagrum; a short whip made with several leather straps with two small lead balls attach to the end of each. The soldier begins striking Him across the shoulders, back, and legs. At first only deep bruises appear, but very soon the repeated blows begin to cut deep into His skin and tear at His flesh. Near unconsciousness, His back a mass of blood and torn flesh, the flogging ends. The soldiers mockingly put a robe around Him and a stick in His hand for a sceptre. They form a crown of branches with long thorns and thrust it upon His head. The scalp, being one of the most vascular parts of the body, begins to run with blood. After their sadistic mocking the stick is taken from Him and the robe, which has already adhered to His back, is removed as tearing a bandage violently from a wound.
The heavy cross-beam is tied to Jesus' shoulders and the procession to Golgotha begins. In spite of His efforts to walk, the weight of the heavy beam and the weakening from loss of blood and shock of pain is too much for Him to bear. He stumbles and falls, unable to rise. Anxious to get on with the crucifixion, a Roman centurion pulls a man from the crowd, Simon of Cyrene, to carry the cross. Weak and bleeding, Jesus follows. The 650 yard journey from the Roman fortress to Golgotha, in what seemed an eternity to take, finally ends.
The crucifixion begins.
The cross beam is placed on the ground and Jesus is thrown backward with His shoulders against the wood. The Roman soldier feels for the depression at the front of the wrist and quickly drives a heavy, square, wrought-iron nail through the wrist of Jesus and deep into the wood. This is repeated with the other wrist. The cross beam bearing Jesus Christ is then lifted up and attached to the top of the upright post. The sign reading Jesus' crime, "Jesus of Nazareth, King of The Jews", is affixed to the very top. His left foot is then pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each.
As Jesus sags down with more weight on the nails in His wrists, excruciating, fiery pain shoots along His fingers and up His arms to explode in the brain. As He pushes Himself upward to avoid this torment His weight pushes down full force on the nails in His feet. Again there is searing agony of the tearing through of the nerves between the bones of His feet. As His arms soon begin to fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over His muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain; making it impossible for Jesus to push Himself upward. Hanging by His arms, the chest muscles soon become almost paralyzed. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but not exhaled. As carbon dioxide builds in His lungs and blood stream the cramping subsides somewhat and Jesus fights to spasmodically push Himself up to exhale and breath in short breaths of oxygen.
After hours go by of this limitless agony; cycles of twisting joint-rending cramps, intermittent asphyxiation, the failing of internal organs through extreme dehydration and loss of blood, and searing pain from torn nerves in His hands and feet as well as the pain from the torn flesh of His back rubbing against the rough wood another agony begins. A deep crushing pain begins to take place as fluid builds up in His chest cavity and presses against His heart. His heart struggles to pump blood and becomes weaker and weaker. His blood pressure begins to fall and oxygen can no longer properly reach the brain.
With the last struggling breathes in the life of Jesus Christ, His blood poured out in the agony of The Cross, he says, "It is finished." "Father, into Thy hands I commend my Spirit."
Our All-Knowing Heavenly Father; knowing from the beginning of eternity that this was the only price that could purchase your salvation pictured you in His mind and said,
"YOU'RE WORTH IT!"
And His Son, Jesus Christ said, "I AGREE!" "I'LL GO!"
How can you not fall on your knees and worship, love, and serve Him forever?
If My Father never did one other thing for me... this one act of Love would be more than I could ever dream of.
Those who crucified our Lord said to themselves, "There, that should take care of that!"... But it didn't! After you've worshiped a moment and caught your breath, please go to the following link and celebrate with me the rest of this story of love and victory. God bless you in bunches!
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WOW! breaks my heart to read in detail what my savior did for me. all that i suffer fails in comparision. We all should be more grateful. thanks for posting this and i pray that you will be encouraged. i hate to think that my oversite could cause another person to feel let down, just keep up the good work and thanks again.
Thank you my brother, Sometimes we take for granted the awesome price that Jesus paid for us. I wonder which was worse, the physical torture and pain or the fact that as He who had no sin bore the sins of us all. I shudder to think the pain He bore as his Father had to avert His eyes and Jesus cried out "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?". Thanks so much for the reminded Ben
Galahad, Thank you for this reminder of what it actually cost for our salvation. Sometimes we forget to look at the bill that Jesus paid. I don't get how we can know these things but let them slide to the back of our minds. I do it too, just think about the here and now, what God is doing in my life now, and forget what He did for us before we were even born.
Thank you for this blog. I think it's one thing to be a helping 'savior' when the wood is green and there is abundance of love resources we can give of. But there are times when we feel lonely, abandoned, cheated, malaigned, disdained or rejected and or abandoned, that the Lord asks to do something for the one who has done all this thing to us. And the spirit is just not with us be the loving, helping, supporting person a Christian is expected to be...
When we are wiped out is when I fear for myself the most. The faith is gone. The confidence is gone. The trust is gone. And our Lord implored his Lord in heaven not to abandon him at this critical moment when he want to see the vision clearly of why he was in the cross. And thus he said to the Father, "My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me...?" And it will come to us sometime when we will call and say to God, "Please, Please do not abandon me now... when I need you the most...!"