Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Cross of Christ Pt. 3 - Christ's Physical Suffering Pt. 1

Matthew 27:26-31, "Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered Him to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before Him. And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in His right hand. And kneeling before Him, they mocked Him, saying, 'Hail, King of the Jews!' And they spit on Him and took the reed and struck Him on the head. And when they had mocked Him, they stripped Him of the robe and put His own clothes on Him and led Him away to crucify Him."

We are going to be spending the majority of our time looking at these verses, but first, I want to start with the physical aspects of the garden. Remember, in Part 1, when I talked about hematidrosis. Hematidrosis is a rare physical condition, where extreme anguish or physical strain causes one's capillary blood vessels to enlarge and then, finally, burst, mixing sweat with blood. Jesus, under great emotional strain at that time, contracted this condition due to his anguish of foreseeing the Father's cup of wrath. His intense anguish led to this condition, which will also come to play in the final chapters of Jesus' crucifixion. Hematidrosis can be fatal when not treated.

Now, we are led into the following verses above, which lead us to the end of Jesus' trial with Pilate and the beginning of Jesus' scourging.

Traditional Roman flogging, known as scourging, was, by far, the worst form of cruel and unusual punishment at the time of Jesus. Victims were tied to a post and beaten with a leather whip. This was not just any handy dandy leather whip. This whip was interwoven with pieces of bone, pottery, metal, and any other hard device that would lacerate (tear) the flesh. The Roman soldiers, who were used to flog victims, were the strongest men in the empire. Now, you have a strong man hurling down his nasty whip upon our Savior. Can you see the word picture? Whip! Jesus screams in pain. Whip! Again Jesus screams in agony. Whip! Jesus cries out in absolute terrible pain. Over and over again - forty times. Jewish law commands 39, but Jesus was not even spared 39. At the end of the scourging, Jesus' back is lacerated, literally, in shreds of flesh and tissue. His bones are exposed and many of his organs, as well.

After the flogging, they put Jesus' own clothes back on Him. Since Jesus' back is torn to shreds and tissue is exposed, Jesus' clothes act like a bandage. The blood and tissue clots extremely fast when something is up against it. In this case, Jesus' clothes help the blood and tissue to clot quickly. This leads to verse 28, "and they stripped Him." That is bad news. They strip Jesus' clothes off of Him. Have you ever had a parent or some older person rip a bandage off of you and you were dreading the fact of having it torn off? This is exactly what happened to Jesus, but it was a bit bigger of a bandage. Jesus yelps in pain. The veins and arteries, that were once healed, have reopened to spill more blood. Jesus is losing blood at an irregular pace and death is fast approaching until the soldiers place a scarlet robe on Him. Jesus is relieved. Once again, this time, the scarlet robe is acting as a bandage. The veins, arteries, tissue, and pieces of hanging flesh are healing up once again. The soldiers start twisting together a crown of thorns. These thorns are not small rosebush thorns, but gigantic thorns that came off of a Jerusalem plant that grew along the outskirts of town. This crown of thorns was carefully twisted together and jammed onto Jesus' head with a Roman soldier's full strength. End of Part 1


Jenna said...

Hi Joshua,
As you probably know, I am Josh's twin sister, and Bethany's best friend! If you don't mind, I'll follow your blog too.
I really appreciate the blog "series" that you're going through. I am SO Thankful for all that Jesus did to save me, and as Bethany said, I am extremely grateful that I am a daughter of HIM.
May He be honored and glorified,

Bethany said...

Very well written. Our family just watched a movie last night called The Book of John and it had much about what you are talking about here. Our dear Lord went through so much for us and I am so thankful to Him!

Regan Family Farm said...

We're on our way to church meeting , and will be celebrating the Lord's Supper (weekly around the Lord Jesus Christ). This is EXACTLY what we meditate on...thanks for your blog...what a great encouragement to my Josh, and others.

'becca said...

The way you describe Christ's suffering...amazing. That He went through that for me! Sinner that I am!! My awesome Savior!

Joshua said...

Mrs. Regan,
Weekly. I wish that our church did communion every Sunday. We come to the Lord's table once a month. Always the first Sunday of the month. I am glad that I could be an encouragement to Josh. He is a great brother in Christ. I also struggle with God's will for my life so I can easily attribute to what he is feeling. Thanks for the comment. :)

Rachel said...

I can not even begin to fathom what Jesus went through on the cross. What He went through--all that pain and mockery. My Jesus. Loving and compassionate. He is worthy to be praised and daily, we should look at the cross and remember what He went through for each one of us so we can go to heaven someday.

Joshua said...

Thanks for following my blog. I knew that you were Josh's sister, but I didn't know that you were his twin sister. I guess that I always learn something new each and everyday. Wow, twins. Sometimes, I wish that I had a twin, but, overall, I am thankful for the family that God has given me-- two sisters and two awesome parents. As for the other part of your comment, I am also very thankful for what Jesus did for me on the cross. He died a brutal death, but my sin is what killed Him. I will talk about that in my next post. Until then, To God Be the Glory. Joshua :)

P.S. You can follow my blog as long as you want. Thanks for the comment.

Joshua said...

Sorry about posting another comment. I misspelled a word. Between Jesus and for towards the bottom of the comment, the word should be died instead of did. Sorry.

Joshua said...

I think I have seen that movie also. It may have been the Gospel of Matthew or Luke though. I always close my eyes during the part of Jesus' beatings and when he is nailed to the cross. It agonizes me to hear His screams, but He did it all for guilty sinners like you and me. Thanks be to God for His Son!
Joshua :)

Joshua said...

I will probably post Part 2 of Christ's physical sufferings tomorrow. Glad you like it. Yep, I totally agree with everything that you said. Thanks for the comment. :)

Elliot said...

Hi Josh! The Regans introduced me to your blog, and I just wanted to say thanks for everything you've been sharing about Christ's death and suffering. Like you said, the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ is absolutely central to everything else we believe as Christians. Thanks again, and God bless!

Josh said...

As my mom already mentioned, this was really a great thing to meditate on during our celebration of the Lord's supper on sunday.

Thanks for the comment on my blog!
I'm doing well,although very busy. Hence, not posting in a while. I'm still waiting on the Lord for an answer but I know He'll answer me.

Thank you for praying, you are a great encouragement to me, and I really appreciate you as a brother in Christ!!!

Joshua said...

Thanks for stopping by Elliot. My Savior died a cruel death for ME on the cross. The God of the Universe. I cannot comprehend it at all. Thanks for the comment. :)