The Truth About the Crucifixion
When I was growing up, the Christian musician, Carman, had a song called "This Blood Is for You." It was a powerful song/monologue about exactly what Jesus suffered when He was crucified. The words were powerful, and they reminded you how much Christ truly suffered when He died on the cross for our sins.
Sometimes I think we move too quickly past the crucifixion story without really stopping to think about what Jesus suffered. I know I am guilty of this. We've heard the story every Easter. Maybe we've seen it portrayed on film. Sometimes it can even seem like we've read it so many times in the Scripture that the story can just become words.
That's why before we move any further, I think we should take a few moments and look at the death Jesus died.
Because death by crucifixion really was the most horrible death a man could die. Our modern society wouldn't even imagine doing this to a criminal. Think about this. It was nothing short of sheer torture.
From beginning to end, the entire process was designed to completely humiliate the person being crucified and cause them to experience the most pain humanly possible.
Imagine what Jesus went through:
It started in the middle of the night when one of His closest friends led an angry mob to arrest Him.
His trial started when He was taken before Caiphas, the high priest, and accused of blasphemy. They blindfolded Him, mocked Him, spit on Him and spit in His face.
Overnight the Jewish leaders had a mock trial where he was condemned. (Big surprise.)
The next morning the Jewish leaders sent Him to Pilate for trial. Pilate sent Him to Herod, where He was mocked and treated contemptibly, only to be sent back to Pilate.
Standing trial yet again on false charges, Jesus could hear the blood-thirsty crowd outside His trial demanding His death.
Bowing to the angry crowd, Pilate condemned Jesus to crucifixion—the most heinous, horrific death known to man.
Then came the flogging, where Jesus was stripped naked and bent over a low post with His hands tied behind His back. Two men whipped Him from each side. Their weapon was a whip with leather attached to it. Interwoven into the leather were strips of bits of iron or bone. At the end, Jesus' flesh was so cut up that you could see His veins, arteries, and inner organs.1
Then came the intense mockery. Given a red royal robe, they placed a stick in His hand and smashed a crown of thorns on His head. The soldiers made fun of Him while they beat Him on the head, causing the thorns to go deeper into His scalp.
Next, Jesus was forced to carry His cross uphill to Golgotha. It is likely because of the brutal flogging that He was unable to carry it, and a man from the crowd had to carry it for Him.
After he arrived at Golgotha (where He was crucified), the cross was laid on the ground, and Jesus was placed on it.
Jesus' arms were stretched out, and they drove heavy, iron nails into His hands or wrists.
The cross was then made upright. His feet were extended, and a large piece of iron was driven right through them.
Jesus remained in this position for HOURS. Each one was filled with more and more agony as His arms ached with fatigue, and He suffered intense muscle cramps.
Meanwhile, the skin that was torn from His back was screaming in agony.
Eventually, His chest filled with fluid, affecting His breath and heart.
The Scriptures say He experienced intense thirst along with constant ridicule and abuse.
Then think about what we can't imagine: having the entire world's sins put on you and having God the Father look away.
On and on, Christ suffered all this for us until He took His last breath, said, "It is finished," and died.
We cannot truly understand all that Jesus went through for us on the cross. The pain, the agony, the humiliation, and the horror is beyond our comprehension.
But we can pause. We can take a moment and think about it. We can read the Scriptures slowly and thank God for what Jesus did for us.
And never, never forget or take it for granted.
Memory Verse: But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:5-6, ESV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.