I spent a week last month on the Love of Christ, and spoke on this subject to our youth group at church on what Jesus went through for us.
I would like to share this with you as well.
Jesus- from the Old Testament times- knew that He was going to come down and die on the cross for the sins of man. The reason we know this is that the Word says that God is all-knowing. If this was not the case we will not find evidences in the old testament that point directly to that fact, almost as if to tell us in advance, that He will be coming, with glimpses of Christ from as early as the times of Abraham.
So, knowing now what Christ went through for us, we now also know that He in advance knew exactly the amount of pain and torture He would go through, but yet when God needed a plan for redemption, Jesus in all His glory stepped up and said, He will leave everything He knows, step out of his Glory State, and come and pay the ultimate price, by becoming flesh, and die on a tree, so that nobody will automatically perish, but we will all have direct access to forgiveness. But what I have found is that Jesus not only knew what he was going to have to go through, but he also knew the amount of stress that this will involve. My reason, if you know you are writing a big life changing exam tomorrow, how do you feel? Nervous? Did you know that Jesus was under stress the night he was captured for he knew the test he had to face tomorrow? The bible says in Luke that 22:44 that Jesus’ sweat in the garden became as drops of blood. Many think he was emphasising the amount of sweat, but if you look at it in a medical term (and I have done my research on this), you will find that bleeding through your skin is possible. (Though very rare there is a thing called Hemitidrosis, also called bloody sweat. It is well documented that under great emotional stress, tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can break, thus mixing blood with water. The results of this happening alone can result in weakness and possible shock). So as we now know, Jesus did not just go through the motions, he knew exactly what he was going to have to go through for us. And that is why you will find preachers preaching that the victory did not come at the cross, but in the garden. Moving on… (by the way, after being arrested we often forget how far Jesus had to walk in his weakened state… 4 km)
After being arrested Jesus was taken to the high priest and this is where the first physical trauma was inflicted. Jesus remained silent and for doing that he was struck by a soldier in the face. After that they mockingly blindfolded him and said he should identify them as they all walked passed him, spat in his face and struck him in the face… early the next morning, Jesus, battered, bruised and dehydrated and exhausted from not sleeping was forced to walk all the way to Judea to face Pontius Pilate. As you all know the story, the mob encouraged that Barrabas be released and Jesus be sentenced to scourging and crucifixion.
Preparations for the scourging are then carried out. Jesus was stripped of his clothing and his hands tied to a post above his head. The Jews had a rule where they cannot give more than 40 lashes, but they usually stopped at 39 just in-case of a miscount.
The roman legionnaire, taking into account the size of the man, equal to an American football player of today, approaches with a flagrum in his hand. It consisted of 7 heavy leather thongs, with 2 small balls of lead – equivalent to a decent sinker for fishing today. Some believe that pieces of broken bone was also attached to the leather. The heavy whip is brought down with full force on Jesus’ shoulders, back and legs. At first the thongs cut through the skin only, but then as the blows continue they cut deeper and deeper into the subcutaneous tissue, producing first an oozing of blood from the veins and the capillaries, and finally spurting arterial bleeding from the vessels in the underlying muscles. The balls of lead first produce large big bruises which are then eventually broken open by the repeated blows. Finally the skin on the back is hanging in long ribbons, and the entire area is an unrecognisable mass of torn bleeding tissue. The beating is stopped when the centurion sees that the prisoner is near death. Keep in mind Jesus is all-know. He knew what he was going to have to go thru for you. Half fainted Jesus was then untied and allowed to slump to the pavement, wet with his own blood. The Romans laughing at the One who claims to be a king. They throw a robe over hid shoulders and place a stick in his hand as a sceptre, and then they took a bundle of flexible branches with very long thorns, and planted to make a crown, and is pressed into his scalp. As you should know the head is the most vascular area of the body. That causes more copious bleeding. After mocking him, the soldier shrike him thru the face, they grabbed the stick from his hand and bashes it on his head driving the long thorns even deeper into his head – again more bleeding. After they grow bored they decided to pull the robe off Jesus back, not slowly, but as you would a bandaid, and as the blood already dried up and form clots, when they pulled it off there was excruciating pain almost, according to medical view, as if he was being whipped all over. Again more bleeding, and keep in mind that with loss of blood comes loss of life and energy. Keep in mind… Jesus knew. And could at any time stop what was happening.
The heavy patibulum of the cross (110 pounds), is tied on his shoulders. Jesus walked to the hill of Calvary.
Jesus had to walk 650 yards still bleeding, and sweating the cold sweat of shock. At the crucifixion location they strip Jesus clothes again only. As the crucifixion begins they offer Jesus wine mixed with myrrh, which usually helps with the pain. The nails are driven through the wrists not the palms (medical evidence will show that the palm cannot carry the weight of a man). And then the nails are driven straight through the feet on top of the cross a sign, Jesus of Nazareth, king of the Jews. Jesus is now hanging. As he slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrist, the nails pull in, excruciating, fiery pain shoots up the fingers and up the arms and explodes in the brain- the nails in the wrist are putting pressure on the nerves. To avoid the stretching torment Jesus lifts himself up and as he does the same excruciating pain follows as the nail is putting pressure on the nerves in the feets bone.
At this point, as the arm fatigue, the muscles start to cramp, knotting in deep throbbing pains in the muscles. With these cramps come the inability to pull one self up with means in this position air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be released out. Jesus raised himself up with all his might to get a short breathe. When this is done carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and blood stream and the cramps partially subside. Jesus then also exhales and breathes new life giving oxygen into his lungs. And it is during this period of pulled up strength and breathing that Jesus spoke the 7 sentences.
After his 2nd last sentence: it is finished: Jesus finally can allow his body to die. And with all his might again he pulled himself up, wrists tearing, torn feet against the nail, he takes a deep breathe and says it is finished.
An average crucifixion can last to up to a few days 4-5 according to Tenney before the crucified died on the cross. The longest recorded crucifixion took 9 dies. It was hardly ever the crucifixion that killed people; it was usually due to the suffocation or due to the damage done at the scourging. According to the bible, Jesus died very quickly. mark 15:44 says that Pontius was surprised that Jesus went so quickly.
Now why did Jesus die so suddenly if it takes an average man a few hours to days tom die? This is the reason:
Jesus did not die by physical factors which ended his ability to live. He gave up His life on his own accord. The crucifixion did not kill him, the stabbing in his side did not kill him, the scourging did not kill him, and Man did not kill him, coz who can kill the king of kings? Who dare boast on that? No, Jesus came with a plan and when he accomplished his goal, he used his last strength and breathe and said: father, into thine hand I commit my spirit, and then willingly, layer his own life down by breathing his own last breathe.
How do we know Jesus did not die a physical death? When they came to Jesus the saw he was dead, but to make sure they stabbed a spear into his 5th rib and water and blood came out of his side.
Medical post mortem will now show and tell you that Jesus died, not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of ….. heart failure, also known as a broken heart.
Ending… the hour that Jesus stepped out in heaven saying, I will go. He knew everything. He knew the pain, he new the stress but he said: “Father, Send Me”. From that moment on, He set His love on you, he lived every moment to save you, so he can have a love relationship with you. Jesus made a choice. And when he thought of you there was simply no place in him to compromise. When it came to you He did not compromise, He did not compromise with sin, and he did not compromise with the world even though it was offered to Him ON A silver platter. He did not compromise.
Keeping in mind He knew all and could have stopped everything at any time as the word says He had legions waiting for Him to give the word so they can destroy earth.
He set His heart on us. There was no grey area for Him. He did not save us on certain days, and entertained Himself in the world on other days! We should do the same. He did not compromise with us, we should not compromise with our decision with Him. We either live for Him and give Him our all, or we don’t. God does not like the area of being indecisive, being tossed around by the wind, and being lukewarm. Revelation says that He will puke out the Luke-warm. We need to make a decision in our lives… what are we willing to offer up for Jesus, are we willing or are we living with compromise?
What are we compromising with tonight?