Matthew 26:67, 27:26, 29, 31
The Word of God left nothing to the imagination when it came to the crucifixion of the Son of God. The movie The Passion of the Christ brought it to life for twenty first century viewers in all its gory detail. Dr. C. Truman Davis wrote an article, A Physician’s View of the Crucifixion of Christ detailing the enormous consequences on the human body from this kind of torture.
We read the words, flogging or scourging and seldom wince. We see a reenactment of the passion and hear the nails driven and watch fake blood ooze.. We glimpse a cross being carried on Good Friday. But rarely, do we give attention to the pain of a beard being plucked out of a face, eyes being punched with fists of steel, comprehend the tenderness of bruised places where the rods struck Jesus back and legs, or fully comprehend the blood loss, shock, and total mutilation of a human body that just HOURS before had been a robust, healthy, thirty something man.
Mark Kubala in outreachmagazine.com, on 4/13/17 wrote an article titled What Jesus Really Endured on the Cross a Medical Perspective. It closely correlates with Dr. Davis’ assessment. Because I am a nurse, I read these with awe and a sickening understanding. Jesus should not have survived His initial time with the Roman soldiers! The flogging was meant to “preserve” His life in Pilate’s mind. Most people who understood scourging would rather have fallen on a sword. The Jews limited flogging to thirty lashes. The Romans did not. He was barely alive.
As I gave much thought to this “trial” of our Savior and wondered at His fortitude I was struck speechless by something I never fully grasped before today. Let me see if I can explain this.
My dear friend, mentor, and cardiac nursing instructor, Sylvia, told her students a “healthy heart makes a lub dub sound under the stethoscope and lungs have a swooshing sound as air is inhaled and exhaled. I do not hear lub dub or swooshing. Lean in close and really listen–listen with a spiritual ear: From life’s first to final beat, the heart speaks for I AM: “Love you, love you, love you,” and every breath whispers, “I’m here, I’m here, I’m here.” Every heart beat and every breath a pure gift of grace. Every minute of every day the quiet, constant, almost imperceptible reminder of His presence and care can be heard for God Himself breathed into man the “breath of life and he became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7)
Now, think of Jesus nailed to a stake in the ground barely able to open an eye, his tongue clinging to the roof of His holy mouth, pain searing through his body and sending bolts of fire to his brain, blood dripping, flowing, and spewing, leaving His heart and lungs screaming for fluid carrying oxygen, and His Father, the giver of every heartbeat and breath withdraws………………..turns away. (Matthew 27:46)
This is the trauma to painful to bear and Jesus says in essence, if you are not here I can no longer live! He ceases to breath because His Father is no longer saying, “I’m here.” And His heart ceases to beat. He will live on this fallen green-blue ball not another second.
The word crucifixion comes from a Latin word from which we get the English word “excruciating,” but the original word means “out of the cross.” I believe Jesus greatest agony was the trauma of separation from His Father because of the sin being heaped upon Him. Psalm 22 tells us His strength dried up, that He was poured out like water, His heart melted like wax, and He was reduced to the dust of death. Here was the “evening sacrifice” appeasing the wrath of God for the sins of mankind. (Ezra 9:5 and Psalm 141:2)
God’s Word teaches us to give thanks in all things. (I Thessalonians 5:18) The reason? Because I AM loves you and He is always with you! He only turned away at the very last moment! Even a moment was too much for Jesus to bear. How much more do we need His Presence.
I taught this little object lesson years ago using a small piece of medical equipment called a doppler with some children. Teaching them every heartbeat was God saying He loves them. It wasn’t until today I realized when God turned away, Jesus could no longer hear “I’m here, love you.” Is there a greater trauma than being abandoned in dying? Jesus knows pain, suffering, trauma, dying a slow agonizing death. He did so willingly, so we will never have to feel God turn away from us.
This brings tears to my eyes, gratitude to my heart, and relief to my soul.
Without lub dub and swoosh I would never have heard, “LOVE YOU” 60-100 times per minute and “I’M HERE” 12 to 20 times per minute. He wants to be sure we hear and cannot forget.
After the officer and gentleman died, our MD son became very frustrated. He struggled with the knowledge that many who seem undeserving survive trauma, sickness, and pain, while his Dad did not. Life just seemed so unfair. What he has come to appreciate if not fully comprehend is God’s grace toward all mankind. To those who do not yet know the Lord, another opportunity is given “to call on the name of the Lord and be saved.” To those who do know the Lord, another opportunity is not needed and to allow continued life might increase their suffering. Indeed, He does love you and He is here! Not one of us is deserving of this priceless gift of grace.
Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for a friend. (John 15:13)
https://youtu.be/7Gvt__r9EU0 Mandisa What Scars Are For
Treading with the battered and bruised,
Dedicated to my precious friend and RN extraordinaire, Sylvia. You are loved by many! My profound thanks!