The day Jesus died for all my filthy sins. I didn’t deserve it. It amazes me every time I think of it.
Technically my sin should have me hanging there begging for breath. I am filthy and disgusting. Even on my “best days” things don’t turn out quite like He would want them to. I lust, I’m selfish, self serving. I worry about my little plans. The list goes on and on….and on.
Jesus was the only one who could die for all of our sins. Past, present, and future. He did nothing wrong ever. This is more impressive as this world (myself included) finds new ways to sin every day. Christ was wounded for all of those.
I was bought with a high price. Therefore, I am to live for Him and let Christ call the shots.
Crucifixion was invented by the Persians in 300 BC, and perfected by the Romans in 100 BC.
1. It is the most painful death ever invented by man and is where we get our term “excruciating.”
2. It was reserved primarily for the most vicious of male criminals.
Jesus refused the anesthetic wine which was offered to Him by the Roman soldiers because of His promise in Matthew 26: 29, “But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
3. Jesus was stripped naked and His clothing divided by the Roman guards. Psalm 22:18, “They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.”
4. The Crucifixion of Jesus was a horrific, slow, painful death.
5. Jesus’ knees were flexed at about 45 degrees, He was forced to bear His weight with the muscles of His thigh, you are not able to do this for more than a few minutes without cramping.
6. Jesus’ weight was borne on His feet, with nails driven through them.
7. Within a few minutes of being placed on the Cross, Jesus’ shoulders were dislocated. Minutes later Jesus’ elbows and wrists became dislocated.
8. Jesus limbs were dislocated so that His arms were 9 inches longer than normal.
9. Prophecy was fulfilled in Psalm 22:14, “I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint.”
10. After Jesus’ wrists, elbows, and shoulders were dislocated, the weight of His body on his upper limbs caused traction forces on the Major muscles of His chest wall.
11. These traction forces caused His rib cage to be pulled upwards and outwards. In order to exhale, Jesus was physiologically required to force His body.
12. In order to breathe out, Jesus had to push down on the nails in His feet to raise His body, and allow His rib cage to move downwards and inwards to expire air from His lungs.
13. His lungs were in a resting position of constant maximum inspiration.
14. The problem was that Jesus could not easily push down on the nails in His feet because the muscles of His legs, bent at 45 degrees, were extremely fatigued, in severe cramp, and in an anatomically compromised position.
15. Unlike all Hollywood movies about the Crucifixion, the victim was extremely active. The crucified victim was physiologically forced to move up and down the cross, a distance of about 12 inches in order to breathe.
16. The process of respiration caused excruciating pain.
17. As the six hours of the Crucifixion wore on, Jesus was less and less able to bear His weight on His legs, as His thigh and calf muscles became increasingly exhausted. Jesus had shortness of breath.
18. His movements up and down the Cross to breathe caused excruciating pain in His wrist, His feet, and His dislocated elbows and shoulders.
19. The movements became less frequent as Jesus became increasingly exhausted, but the terror of imminent death by asphyxiation forced Him to continue in His efforts to breathe.
20. Jesus’ lower limb muscles developed excruciating cramp from the effort of pushing down on His legs, to raise His body, so that He could breathe out, in their anatomically compromised position.
21. Jesus had pain from every movement.
22. Jesus was covered in blood and sweat.
23. The blood was a result of the Scourging that nearly killed Him, and the sweat as a result of His violent involuntary attempts to effort to expire air from His lungs. Throughout all this He was completely naked, and the leaders of the Jews, the crowds, and the thieves on both sides of Him were jeering, swearing and laughing at Him. In addition, Jesus’ own mother was watching.
24. Physiologically, Jesus’ body was undergoing a series of catastrophic and terminal events.
25. Because Jesus could not maintain adequate ventilation of His lungs, He was now in a state of hypo-ventilation (inadequate ventilation).
26. His blood oxygen level began to fall, and He developed Hypoxia (low blood oxygen). In addition, because of His restricted respiratory movements, His blood carbon dioxide (CO2) level began to rise, a condition known as Hypercritical.
27. This rising CO2 level stimulated His heart to beat faster in order to increase the delivery of oxygen, and the removal of CO2.
28. The Respiratory Center in Jesus’ brain sent urgent messages to his lungs to breathe faster, and Jesus began to pant.
29. Jesus’ physiological reflexes demanded that He took deeper breaths, and He involuntarily moved up and down the Cross much faster, despite the excruciating pain. The agonizing movements spontaneously started several times a minute, to the delight of the crowd who jeered Him, the Roman soldiers, and the Sanhedrin.
30. However, due to the nailing of Jesus to the Cross and His increasing exhaustion, He was unable to provide more oxygen to His oxygen starved body.
31. The twin forces of too little oxygen and too much CO2 caused His heart to beat faster and faster.
32. His pulse rate was probably about 220 beats/ minute, the maximum normally sustainable.
33. Jesus had drunk nothing for 15 hours, since 6 pm the previous evening.
34. He was bleeding from all over His body following the Scourging, the crown of thorns, the nails in His wrists and feet, and the lacerations following His beatings and falls.
35. Jesus was already very dehydrated, and His blood pressure fell alarmingly.
36. His blood pressure was probably about 80/50.
37. He was in First Degree Shock.
38. By about noon Jesus’ heart probably began to fail.
39. Jesus’ lungs probably began to fill up with Pulmonary Oedema.
40. This only served to exacerbate His breathing.
41. Jesus was in Heart Failure and Respiratory Failure.
42. Jesus said, “I thirst” because His body was crying out for fluids.
43. Jesus was in desperate need of an intravenous infusion of blood and plasma to save His life.
44. Jesus could not breathe properly and was slowly suffocating to death.
45. At this stage Jesus probably developed a Haemopericardium.
46. Plasma and blood gathered in the space around His heart, called the Pericardium.
47. This fluid around His heart caused Cardiac Tamponade (fluid around His heart, which prevented Jesus’ heart from beating properly).
48. Because of the increasing physiological demands on Jesus’ heart, and the advanced state of Haemopericardium, Jesus probably eventually sustained Cardiac Rupture. His heart literally burst. This was probably the cause of His death.
49. To slow the process of death the soldiers put a small wooden seat on the Cross, which would allow Jesus the “privilege” of bearing His weight on his sacrum.
50. The effect of this was that it could take up to nine days to die on a Cross.
51. When the Romans wanted to expedite death they would simply break the legs of the victim, causing the victim to suffocate in a matter of minutes.
52. At three o’clock in the afternoon Jesus said, “Tetelastai,” meaning, “It is finished.” At that moment, He gave up His Spirit, and He died.
53. When the soldiers came to Jesus to break His legs, He was already dead. Not a bone of His body was broken, in fulfillment of prophecy.
54. Jesus died after six hours of the most excruciating and terrifying torture ever invented.
55. Jesus died so that ordinary people like you and me could go to Heaven.
The gift of salvation is open to everyone and anyone who wants in on it. You too can have your sins forgiven and live with hope in this seemingly uncertain world. God is in control always.
Following Jesus will mean surrendering what you want out of your life for what He wants out of your life, it did cost Christ his life after all, however it makes an eternal difference.
Hell is real and you don’t want to go there. You don’t have to either, not because of anything you did but because of Christ.