This weekend I received a “forward this to 10 people” style email from my dad. I usually read them, but never participate.
This one took me by surprise.
As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, this magnificent God invading our world as a humble baby, let us reflect on the purpose of His coming.
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; He was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.
Oh, to reflect on the reality of His affliction.
The following makes me love my Jesus all the more.
This is why he came.
Immanuel, God with us.
THE SCIENTIFIC DEATH OF JESUS
At the age of 33, Jesus was condemned to the death penalty.
At the time crucifixion was the worst death. Only the worst criminals condemned to be crucified. Yet it was even more dreadful for Jesus, for unlike other criminals condemned to death by crucifixion Jesus was nailed to the cross by His hands and feet, rather than tied.
Each nail was 6 to 8 inches long. The nails were driven into His wrist. Not into His palms as is commonly portrayed. There’s a tendon in the wrist that extends to the shoulder. The Roman guards knew that when the nails were being hammered into the wrist, that tendon would tear and break, forcing Jesus to use His back muscles to support himself, so that He could breathe.
Both of His feet were nailed together. Thus He was forced to support Himself on the single nail that impaled His feet to the cross. Jesus could not support himself with His legs for long because of the pain, so He was forced to alternate between arching His back and using his legs just to continue to breath. Imagine the struggle, the pain, the suffering, the courage. Jesus endured this reality for over 3 hours.
Yes, over 3 hours. Can you imagine this kind of suffering? A few minutes before He died, Jesus stopped bleeding. He was simply pouring water from his wounds.
From common images we see wounds to His hands and feet and even the spear wound to His side…But do we remember the many wounds made to his body. A hammer driving large nails through the wrists, the feet overlapped and a nail hammered through the arches, then a Roman guard piercing His side with a spear. And… before the nails and the spear, Jesus was whipped and beaten. The whipping was so severe that it tore the flesh from His body. The beating so horrific that His face was torn and his beard ripped from His face. The crown of thorns (two to three inch thorns) cut deeply into His scalp.
Most men would not have survived this torture.
He had no more blood to bleed out, only water poured from His wounds. The human adult body contains about 3.5 liters (just less than a gallon) of blood. Jesus poured all 3.5 liters of his blood; He had three nails hammered into His members; a crown of thorns on His head and, beyond that, a Roman soldier who stabbed a spear into His chest.
All these without mentioning the humiliation He passed after carrying His own cross for almost 2 kilometers, while the crowd spat in his face and threw stones (the cross beam was almost 30 kg of weight).
Jesus endured this experience, so that we may have free access to God. He became our sin. And took our shame.
Oh thank you, Jesus.
So in true chain mail style, pass this on.
Not as an email.
But as a gift.
For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6