Friday, 22 April 2011


Read Luke 23:1-37

1. The whole group rose up and took Jesus before Pilate,
2.  Where they began to accuse him: "We caught this man misleading our people, telling them not to pay taxes to the Emperor and claiming that he himself is the Messiah, a king."
3.  Pilate asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" "So you say," answered Jesus.
4.  Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, "I find no reason to condemn this man."

In spite of Jesus’ efforts to walk erect, the weight of the heavy wooden beam, together with the loss of blood, was too much.  Jesus stumbled and fell.  He tried to rise again, but his body had been pushed beyond its endurance.  An onlooker, Simon of Cyrene, was then selected to carry the beam for Jesus.  After reaching Golgotha, Jesus was again stripped of His clothing except for His loincloth.
The crucifixion began.
Jesus was offered a mild pain-relieving mixture-wine mixed with myrrh – but He refused the drink.  Simon was ordered to place the crossbar on the ground, and Jesus was quickly thrown backward with His bare and bleeding shoulders against the wood.
The soldier felt for the small, weak area at the front of the wrist and pounded a heavy, square wrought-iron through the wrist and deeply into the wound.  He quickly moved to the other side and repeated the action, careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some movement.
The crossbar was then lifted into place at the top of the vertical wooden beam, and the sign reading ‘Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews’ was nailed into place.
The left foot was pushed backward against the right foot.  With both feet extended, toes down, a nail was driven through the arch of each.  This left the knees slightly flexed.  Jesus was now crucified.
As the body of Jesus slowly sagged down, it placed more weight on the nails in his wrists.  Excruciating, fiery pain shot along His fingers and up His arms, exploding in His brain.  The nails in the wrists put pressure on the median nerve - large nerve trunks which travel through the middle wrist and hand.
As Jesus pushed Himself up to avoid this torment, He had to place His full weight on the nail through His feet.  Again, He experienced searing agony as the nail tore through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of His feet.
As His arms grew tired, great waves of cramps swept over the muscles and knotted them in deep, throbbing pain.  When these cramps overcame Him, Jesus was unable to push Himself upward.  Since He was hanging by the arms, His pectoral muscles were paralyzed.  The intercostals muscles were unable to move.  Air could be drawn into the lungs but couldn’t be exhaled. 
Jesus fought to raise Himself in order to get even one breath.  Finally, the carbon dioxide level increased in His lungs and bloodstream, and cramps partially subsided.
Very spasmodically, Jesus was able to push Himself upward to exhale and take in oxygen.  It was probably during these periods that He spoke the seven short sentences that He uttered while dying on the cross.

(Susie Shellenberger)

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