Today I wanted to share an email I received from Pam Kanaly. If you don’t know who she is, you should definitely check her out HERE. She has one of the sweetest spirits I know and also has a huge heart for single mothers. Her ministry is called Alive Ministries and is based in Oklahoma. Check out their Survive ‘N’ Thrive Conference for single moms in Oklahoma City. She also has a book/bible study called “Will the real me please stand up” that is fabulous and you will love her fresh approach and enthusiasm for the Lord……Ok. let me share this as we prepare for Good Friday and Easter Sunday…
When I was a college student at Texas Tech, a friend of mine in ministry gave me a paper authored by Dr. Keith Maxwell depicting the cross and Jesus’ suffering from a medical viewpoint. The manuscript was penned from his perspective. He quoted, “What if Jesus came into my emergency room after the crucifixion?” He continued to expand on the idea that as a doctor he’d seen multiple life-threatening injuries with people hanging on to life by a shoestring: motorcycle accidents, gun shot wounds, barbed wire beatings, and much more. He somehow “thought” He was ready for what he would discover in his research.
I don’t like horror movies or gruesome stuff, especially when it involves someone I love, like Jesus my Lord. Goodness, at Easter I’d much rather focus on the loveliness of spring and the yellow daffodils. But not to take the time to remember Jesus’ suffering on the cross would rob me of a deeper Easter experience. After all, isn’t that what His followers should feel compelled to do?
Jesus was 100% God and 100% man, which meant He fully felt the pain of the cross in a physical way just like you and I would. Though we cannot begin to comprehend it, we can ask the Lord to enable us to glean from the research done on this subject.
– By the time Jesus was crucified, He’d been up well over 24 hours without sleep.
– Jesus had already that day walked 2 and ½ miles before He carried His own cross.
– Twelve to fourteen times in the world the phenomenon of a health condition known as hemathidrosis has been recorded with humans. One of them was Jesus Christ. It’s a condition due to severe stress and agony where a person actually exudes blood from every sweat gland. Instead of perspiring sweat, they drip blood and eventually die. However, in the case of Jesus He didn’t bleed to death. The cool Israeli night air chilled the capillaries constricting the blood flow, only prolonging the suffering.
– Scourging was a hellacious procedure invented by the Romans for criminals (forbidden to ever be imposed upon a Roman citizen.) The victim was stripped naked and tied by his wrists to a post with his back and legs exposed. Thirty-nine lashes from the neck to the top of the ankles were inflicted by two robust soldiers. At the end of the whip dangled leather straps, 6 to 7 feet long with a shod made of cattle bone at the end, similar to a sinker you would use for fishing. Upon each blow, it’d lift small shards of muscle out of the skin. Each lash embedded nine lacerations, two inches long and ¾ of an inch deep – perfect bait for the birds.
– Every strike made upon the flesh would have taken 180 stitches. Multiply that by thirty-nine lashes and you have 2000 stitches.
– Jesus was beaten in the face and head. Certainly His mouth was tattered thin like paper where His teeth were likely protruding through His lips.
– The cross itself was made of rough unfinished splinters of wood. Jesus carried the cross through the streets with the Romans’ purpose of total humiliation.
– Jesus was mocked as “King of the Jews,” and wore a crown of thorns. Each thorn, as sharp as an ice pick, was ½ inch long. Blows to the head hammered the crown into his head touching the outer bone of the skull.
– Jesus bore the wounds on His wrist and feet. Romans learned that if they drove spikes through the wrists instead of the palms, the arteries and veins would be avoided allowing the criminal to hold up his body weight. Such a procedure allowed the victim to hang on the cross longer. Crucifixion was never intended to kill quickly but to torment slowly.
– The tough part of hanging on the cross was breathing out. In order to do so, the sufferer would have to pull up against the spikes in his feet to get air, scraping his back against the splinters. Such a reality infers a deeper meaning on Jesus’ last words which were uttered in vigorous labor: “Behold your Son. It is finished.”
– Jesus physical suffering alone is beyond our ability to comprehend, but it was only a sign of a much deeper kind of suffering: His anguish of the spirit. When Jesus died, the face of His heavenly Father was hidden, and He was torn from the presence of God. He had enjoyed unbroken fellowship with The Almighty from all eternity and now faced hell itself.
Why did Jesus suffer?…..because all our sins were placed on Him. He took the punishment we deserved: judgment and hell. And why did He do this?…..because of His love for you and me and His desire for us to enter into a heavenly eternity.
Today Jesus Christ sits victoriously at the right hand of God. I rejoice. I celebrate. I shout songs and praises of glorious hallelujahs! His love for us is totally incomprehensible, and I receive it with intense appreciation (the best I know how). As long as God gives me the opportunity to breathe, I shall live for Jesus MY King.
Now, my beloved friend, with all that being said, I ponder: How will you approach good Friday and Easter morning?