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Friday, April 22, 2011

what is crucifixion?

today is Good Friday, when we observe Jesus' crucifixion.  a medical doctor provides a physical description:

the cross is placed on the ground and the exhausted man is quickly thrown backwards with his shoulders against the wood.  the legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist.  he drives a heavy square  wrought iron nail through the wrist deep in the the wood.  quickly he moves to the other side and repeats  the action, being careful no to pull the arms too tightly, to allow some flex and movement.  the cross is then lifted into place.  the left foot is pressed backwards against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees flexed.  the victim is now crucified.  as he slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating fiery pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain - the nails in the wrists are putting pressure on the median nerves.  as he pushes himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, he places the full weight of the nail through his feet.

                                                                                                image courtesy of

again he feels the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the bones of his feet.  as the arms fatigue, cramps sweep through his muscles, knotting them deep with relentless and throbbing pain.  with these cramps come the inability to push himself upward to breathe.  air can be drawn into the lungs, but not exhaled.  he fights to raise himself in order to get even one small breath.  finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the bloodstream, and the cramps partially subside.  spasmodically, he is able to push himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen.  hours of limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-wrenching cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from his lacerated back as he moves up and down the rough timber.  then another agony begins:  a deep, crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with cerium and begins to compress the heart.  it is now almost over.  the loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level.  the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy thick sluggish blood to the tissues.  the tortured lungs are making frantic efforts to gasp in the small gulps of air.  he can feel the chill of death creeping through his tissues. finally, he allows his body to die.

if your father asked you to do this, would you?  would you allow yourself the torture of slowly suffocating to death, becos He asked you?  over 2000 years ago, one man did.  one man loved his Father so much that in order to save us from the sin of the world, he died in this manner.  becos of his sacrifice, we as Christians can live free of sin and look forward to eternal life in heaven after we depart from this world.  what an awesome, painful, loving sacrifice.

                                                                                        image courtesy of

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