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Theology => Apologetics => Topic started by: nChrist on April 13, 2006, 01:13:58 AM

Post by: nChrist on April 13, 2006, 01:13:58 AM
Author Unknown

    What was Jesus' general health condition at the time of His arrest?

     The general health of Jesus prior to His arrest was probably excellent.  The rigors of His ministry would have precluded any major physical illness or a weak general constitution.  However,  during the 12 hours between 9:00 PM Thursday and 9:00 am Friday He has gone without sleep,  has suffered great emotional stress,  has been abandoned by His closest friends,  was subjected to a physical beating and was forced to walk more than 2.5 miles all of this without any nourishment.  Jesus suffered unimaginable brutality:  a beating so barbarous that it shocks the conscience,  and a form of capital punishment so depraved that it stands as wretched testimony to man's inhumanity to man.

     Can anyone paint a picture of what happened to Jesus  (starting in the Garden of Gethsemane)?

     It began after the Last Supper.  Jesus went with His disciples to the Mount of Olives - specifically,  to the Garden of Gethsemane.  And there,  if you remember,  He prayed all night.  Now,  during that process He was anticipating the coming events of the next day.  Since He knew the amount of suffering He was going to have to endure,  He was quite naturally experiencing a great deal of psychological stress.  Luke's Gospel tells us Jesus began to sweat blood at this point.

     Isn't that just a product of some overactive imaginations?  Doesn't that call into question the accuracy of the gospel writers?

     Not at all.  This is a known medical condition called "hemohidrosis" or "hematidrosis".  It's not very common,  but it is associated with a high degree of psychological stress or shock to a person's system.  What happens is that extreme stress or severe anxiety causes the release of chemicals that break down the capillaries in the sweat glands.  The capillaries around the sweat pores become fragile and leak blood into the sweat.  As a result,  a small amount of bleeding into these glands and the sweat comes out tinged with blood.  We're not talking about a lot of blood; just a very small amount.  The other effect on the body is to set up the skin to be extremely fragile so that when Jesus was flogged by the Roman soldier the next day,  His skin would be very,  very sensitive.

     What was the flogging like?

     Since Roman floggings  (or scourgings)  were known to terribly brutal,  only women and Roman senators or soldiers could be exempt from this form of punishment.  Preparation for the flogging was carried out when the prisoner was stripped of His clothing and His hands were tied to a post above His head.  Floggings usually consisted of thirty-nine lashes but frequently were a lot more than that,  depending on the mood of the soldier applying the blows.  The soldier would use a short whip of braided leather thongs of variable length with metal  (usually iron)  balls woven into them.  When the whip would strike the flesh,  the balls would cause deep bruises or contusions,  which would break open with further blows.  And the whip had pieces of sharp sheep bone tied at intervals as well,  which would cut the flesh severely.  The back would be so shredded that part of the spine was sometimes exposed by the deep,  deep cuts.  The whipping would have gone the all the way from the shoulders down to the back,  the buttocks,  and the back of the legs.  It was just terrible.

     One physician who has studied Roman beatings said,  'At first,  the thongs cut through the skin only.  Then,  as the blows continue,  they cut deeper into the subcutaneous tissue,  producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin,  and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles.  During the flogging,  the skin was stripped from the back,  exposing a bloody mass of muscle and bone.  As the flogging continued,  the lacerations would tear into the underlying skeletal muscles and produce quivering ribbons of bleeding flesh.'  A third-century historian by the name of Eusebius described a flogging by saying,  'The sufferer's veins were laid bare,  and the very muscles,  sinews,  and bowels of the victim were open to exposure.'

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Post by: nChrist on April 13, 2006, 01:16:37 AM
Author Unknown

     We know that many people would die from this kind of beating even before they could be crucified.  At the least,  the victim would experience tremendous pain and go into hypovolemic shock.

     What does hypovolemic shock mean?

     "Hypo" means 'low', "vol" refers to 'volume,'  and "emic" means 'blood,'  so hypovolemic shock means the person is suffering the effects of losing a large amount of blood.  This does four things.  First,  the heart races to try to pump blood that isn't there; second,  the blood pressure drops,  causing fainting or collapse; third,  the kidneys stop producing urine to maintain what volume is left;  and fourth,  the person becomes very thirsty as the body craves fluids to replace the lost blood volume.  There is evidence of this in the gospel accounts.  Jesus was in hypovolemic shock as He staggered up the road to the execution site at Calvary,  carrying the horizontal beam of the cross.  Finally Jesus collapsed,  and the Roman soldier ordered Simon to carry the cross for Him.  Later we read that Jesus said,  'I thirst,'   (Joh_19:28)  at which point a sip of vinegar was offered to Him.  Because of the terrible effects of this beating,  there's no question that Jesus was already in serious to critical condition even before the nails were driven through His hands and feet.

     Was the scourging intended to kill Jesus?

     As horrible as this all sounds,  the purpose of scourging was not to kill the victim; that was the purpose of the crucifixion.  The victim was to be weakened to the point that the crucifixion would be even more agonizing as we will see shortly.  The survival on the cross was inversely related to the severity of scourging,  i.e.,  the more severe the scourging,  the shorter the survival on the cross.

     The half-fainting Jesus is then untied and allowed to slump to the stone pavement,  wet with His own blood.  The Roman soldiers see a great joke in this provincial Jew claiming to be king.  They throw a deep purple or scarlet robe across His shoulders and place a stick in His hand for a sceptre.  They still need a crown to make their travesty complete.  Flexible branches covered with long thorns  (commonly used to tie bundles of firewood)  are plaited into the shape of a crown and this is pressed into His scalp.  Again,  there is copious bleeding,  the scalp being one of the most vascular areas of the body.  After mocking Him and striding Him across the face,  the soldiers take the stick from His hand and strike Him across the head,  driving the thorns deeper into His scalp.  Finally,  they tire of their sadistic sport and the robe is torn from His back.  Already having adhered to the clots of blood and serum in the wounds,  its removal would cause terrible pain just as in the careless removal of a surgical bandage,  and almost as though He were again being whipped the wounds once more begin to bleed.  In deference to Jewish customs,  the Romans return His garments.

     Many scholars believe that Pilate originally ordered Jesus scourged as His full punishment and that the death sentence by crucifixion came only in response to the taunt by the mob that the Procurator was not properly defending Caesar against this pretender who allegedly claimed to be the King of the Jews.  People were appalled to look at Him.  His disfigurement may explain why He was not easily recognized in His post resurrection appearances.  The significance of the scarlet robe and crown of thorns is to emphasize Jesusí taking the sins of the world upon His body.  The Bible describes sin by the color of scarlet and that thorns first appeared after the fall,  as a sign of the curse.  Thus,  the articles that He wore are symbols to show that Jesus  (as a King)  took on the sins  (and the curse)  of the world upon Himself.  It is not clear that He wore the crown of thorns on the cross.  Was the robe purple or scarlet?  The Amplified Version says the robe was scarlet but the KJV says it was purple.  Purple,  at that time,  was the most luxurious of dyes.  The most expensive purple dye was obtained from the murex shellfish but a cheaper purple could be obtained from vegetable dye.  This vegetable dye could appear as scarlet.

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Post by: nChrist on April 13, 2006, 01:19:09 AM
Author Unknown

     How does Crucifixion compare to today's 'modern' death penalty?

     As distasteful as the description of the flogging was,  be aware that an even more repugnant testimony was yet to come.  That's because historians are unanimous that Jesus survived the beating that day and went on to the cross  -  which is where the real issue lies.  These days when condemned criminals are strapped down and injected with poisons,  or secured to a wooden chair and subjected to a surge of electricity the circumstances are highly controlled.  Death comes quickly and predictably.  Medical examiners carefully certify the victim's passing.  From close proximity witnesses scrutinize everything from beginning to end.

     But how certain was death by this crude,  slow,  and rather inexact form of execution called crucifixion?

     In fact,  most people aren't sure how the cross kills its victims.  And without a trained medical examiner to officially attest that Jesus had died,  might He have escaped the experience brutalized and bleeding but nevertheless I began to unpack these issues.

     From the beating,  Jesus walked on a path,  now known as the Via Dolorosa or the  'way of suffering',  to be crucified at Golgatha.  The total distance has been estimated at 650 yards.  A narrow street of stone,  it was probably surrounded by markets in Jesus' time.  It was customary for the condemned man to carry his own cross from the flogging post to the site of crucifixion outside the city walls.  The victim was usually naked,  unless this was prohibited by local customs.  The street would be lined with people taunting and ridiculing the condemned man.  Since the weight of the entire cross was probably well over 300 pounds,  only the crossbar  (called a 'patibulum')  was carried.  The patibulum weighed 75-120 pounds and was placed across the nape of Christís neck and balanced along both shoulders.  Usually the outstretched arms were tied to the crossbar.  A complete Roman military guard,  headed by a centurion led the processional to the site of crucifixion.  One of the shoulders carried a sign  ('titulus')  on which the condemned manís name and crime was displayed.  Later,  the titulus would be attached to the top of the cross.  Jesus' titulus with name and crime  -  Jesus of Nazareth,  King of the Jews  -  was written in Hebrew,  Latin,  and Greek.

     In spite of His efforts to walk erect,  the weight of the heavy wooden beam,  together with the shock produced by copious blood loss,  is too much.  He stumbles and falls.  The rough wood of the beam gouges into the lacerated skin and muscles of the shoulders.  He tries to rise,  but human muscles have been pushed beyond their endurance.  The centurion,  anxious to get on with the crucifixion,  selects a stalwart North African onlooker,  Simon of Cyrene  (currently Tripoli),  to help carry the cross.  This would require that Simon would have to place his arm around Jesusí back  (which was gore)  and then also shoulder the patibulum.

     The cross was an ancient instrument of execution.  Originally the 'cross' was an upright stake to which the corpse of an executed criminal was bound for public display or on which the living body of a condemned person was affixed to await death.  During Roman times a crossbar was sometimes added across the top of the stake forming a 'T' or intersecting it to form the familiar Christian shape.  Later an X-shaped form was also employed.  The most common form used in our Lordís day was the Tau cross,  shaped like our T.  In this cross,  the patibulum was placed in a notch at the top of the upright beam or 'stipes'.

     Standing permanently at the execution site would be the upright beam called the 'stipes'.  In the center of the stipes was a crude seat,  called a 'sedile' or 'sedulum',  which served as a support for the victim.  Superficially this may seem as a comfort measure so as to take some of the weight off the arms but in actuality served to prolong oneís misery on the cross.  Crucifixion was such a horrible form of execution that the soldiers who were charged with carrying out the actual process had to become desensitized to its inhumanity.  The easiest way to do this is to make the victim into an enemy and thus hate him.  This would psychologically allow them to do this terrible deed.

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Post by: nChrist on April 13, 2006, 01:21:56 AM
Author Unknown

     Crucifixion was a practice that originated with the Persians and was later passed onto the Carthaginians and Phoenicians.  The Roman perfected it as a method of execution which caused maximal pain and suffering over a period of time.  Those crucified included slaves,  provincials,  and the lowest types of criminals.  Roman citizens,  except perhaps for soldiers whom deserted,  were not subject to this treatment.  Because deterrence was a primary objective,  the cross was always erected in a public place.  Golgatha,  a rocky hilltop,  was chosen because of its location near the heavily traveled highway outside the walls of Jerusalem.  There was also another reason for choosing this site outside of the city walls,  i.e.,  sanitary reasons.  The crucified body was sometimes left to rot on the cross.

     What happened when Jesus arrived at the site of the Crucifixion?

     At the site of execution,  by law,  the victim was given a bitter drink of wine mixed with myrrh as a mild analgesia.  The purpose was not humanitarian,  i.e.,  to relieve pain but rather to prolong the suffering by dulling the pain slightly.  Jesus refuses to drink.  Simon of Cyrene is ordered to place the patibulum on the ground and Jesus is quickly and awkwardly thrown backward with His macerated and tender shoulders driven forcefully into the rough wood.

     The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist about an inch or so below the palm.  Contrary to many artistsí renderings,  a nail driven through the palm of the hand could not support the weight of a body hanging on a crucifix.  However,  the ligaments and bones of the wrist could.  There is a common ground; the ancients did not consider the hands and wrist separate but considered them a unity.  Only later did mankind make a distinction between the hand and the wrist.  A heavy,  square,  wrought-iron nail  (about 5" to 7" long and 3/8" in diameter)  tapered to a sharp point were driven through the wrists.  The points would go into the vicinity of the median nerve,  causing searing pain to radiate through the arms.  It is possible to place the nails between the bones so that no fractures occurred.

     It is important to understand that the nail would go through the place where the median nerve runs.  This is the largest nerve going out to the hand,  and it would be crushed by the nail that was being pounded in.

     What sort of pain would that have produced?

     Do you know the kind of tingle you feel when you bang your elbow and hit your funny bone?  That's actually another nerve,  called the ulna nerve.  It's extremely painful when you accidentally hit it.  Well,  picture taking a pair of pliers and squeezing and crushing that nerve.  That effect would be similar to what Jesus experienced.  The pain was absolutely unbearable.  In fact,  it's literally beyond words to describe; they had to invent a new word: 'excruciatus'  (or 'excruciating' in English).  Literally,  excruciating means 'out of the cross'.  Think of that:  they needed to create a new word,  because there was nothing in the language that could describe the intense anguish caused during the crucifixion.

      After the arms were affixed by nailing to the patibulum,  the soldiers would then lift the victim.  This would be accomplished by the lifting of the patibulum  (or crossbar)  by 4 soldiers in such a fashion that the victimís weight would be placed entirely on the anchored wrists.  This would dislocate the shoulders and possibly also the elbows.  In addition to causing more pain,  this would also interfere with the ability to breathe as we will see shortly.  Now if 4 soldiers were able to place the patibulum on the stipes  (or vertical stake)  that means the crucified victim was not elevated that far off the ground.  This would allow nearly eye-to-eye contact with the soldiers and the public who would taunt Him.

     After the patibulum was secured on the stipes,  then nails were driven through Jesus' feet.  To allow for this,  the knees had to be bent and rotated laterally,  being left in a very uncomfortable position.  Just as with the wrist,  the nerves in His feet would have been crushed,  and there would have been a similar type of pain.  Crushed and severed nerves were certainly bad enough,  but we need to know about the effect that hanging from the cross would have had on Jesus.  The titulus was then hung above the victimís head.

     The soldiers and civilian crowd often taunted and jeered the condemned man and the soldiers customarily divided up his clothes among themselves.  Sometimes the condemned manís family was executed before his helpless eyes.  The length of survival ranged from a few hours to several days and,  as mentioned before,  was inversely related to the severity of the scourging.  Not uncommonly,  insects would light upon or burrow into the open wounds or the eyes,  ears and nose of the dying victim and birds of prey would tear at these sites.  Moreover,  it was customary to leave the corpse on the cross to be devoured by predatory animals.

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Post by: nChrist on April 13, 2006, 01:24:28 AM
Author Unknown

     What stresses would this have put on Jesus' body?

     First of all,  His arms would have immediately been stretched,  probably about six inches in length,  and both shoulders would have become dislocated  -  you can determine this with simple mathematical equations.  This fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy in Psa_22:14,  which foretold the Crucifixion hundreds of years before it took place and says,  'My bones are out of joint.'

     The extensive Roman practice of crucifixion insured that each wound produced intense agony.  Actual blood loss from crucifixion was minimal.  Having suffered from the beatings and scourging,  Jesus experienced severe hypovolemia from loss of blood and no nourishment.  The arms,  being held up and outward,  held the rib cage in a fixed and inspiratory position which made it extremely difficult to exhale,  and impossible to take a full breath.  With the muscles of respiration thus stretched,  the respiratory bellows become relatively fixed.  As dyspnea  (painful breathing)   developed and pain in the wrists and arms increased,  Jesus was forced to raise the body off the sedulum,  thereby transferring the weight of the body to the feet.  Respirations became easier but with the weight of the body being exerted on the feet,  pain in the feet and legs mounted.  When the pain became unbearable,  Jesus again slumped down on the sedulum with the weight of the body pulling on the wrists and again stretching the intercostal muscles.  Remember also that the shoulders have been made useless by previous dislocation so that they could not be used to raise the body.  Thus Jesus alternated between lifting His body off the sedulum in order to breathe and slumping down on the sedulum to relieve pain in the feet.  Eventually,  He became exhausted or lapsed into unconsciousness so that He could no longer lift His body off the sedulum.  In this position,  with the respiratory muscles essentially paralyzed,  the victim suffocated and died.

     In order that the Sabbath not be profaned,  the Jews asked that the condemned men be dispatched and removed from the cross.  Death could be hastened by breaking the victimís legs so that he could not push up with his legs to breathe and would thus suffocate more quickly.  The Romans would use the steel shaft of a short Roman spear to shatter the victim's lower leg bones.  This would prevent him from pushing up with his legs so he could breathe,  and death by asphyxiation would result in a matter of minutes.  As mentioned earlier,  crucifracture was a common method of ending crucifixion.  The legs of the two thieves were broken,  but when the soldiers came to Jesus they saw that this was unnecessary.  Of course,  we're told in the New Testament that Jesus' legs were not broken,  because the soldiers had already determined that He was dead,  and they just used the spear to confirm it.  This fulfilled another Old Testament prophecy about the Messiah,  which is that His bones would remain unbroken.

     Speech takes place during exhalation and because this is so difficult during crucifixion,  sentences would have to be very short.  Jesus spoke 7 times from the cross:

     1.  Looking down at the Roman soldiers throwing dice for His seamless garment,  'Father,  forgive them for they know not what they do.'  (Luk_23:34)

     2.  To the penitent thief,  'Today thou shalt be with me in Paradise.'  (Luk_23:43)

     3.  Looking down at the terrified,  grief-stricken adolescent John,  'Behold thy mother.'   (Joh_19:27)  Then looking to His mother Mary,  'Woman behold thy son.'   (Joh_19:26)

     4.  With the sin of the world upon Him,  Jesus suffered spiritual death (separation from the Father).  Sins cause a separation from God,  and then He hides His face from you so that He does not hear.  The Father must turn away from His Beloved Son on the cross.  For the first time,  Jesus does not address God as His Father.  'Eli,  Eli,  lama sabachthani?  -  My God,  My God.  Why have you forsaken me?'  (Mat_27:46;  Mar_15:34)

     5.  'I thirst'  (Joh_19:28)  -  a sponge soaked in posca,  the cheap,  sour wine which is the staple of the Roman legionaries,  is lifted to His lips.  He apparently doesnít take any of this liquid.

     6.  The body of Jesus is now in extremes,  and He can feel the chill of death creeping through His tissue.  This realization brings out His sixth words,  'It is finished.'  (Joh_19:30)

     7.  With one last surge of strength,  He once again presses His torn feet against the nail,  straightens His legs,  takes a deeper breath,  and utters His 7th and last cry.  'Father!  Into thy hands I commit my spirit.'  (Luk_23:46)

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Post by: nChrist on April 13, 2006, 01:27:28 AM
Author Unknown

     What was the actual cause of Jesus' death?

     Once a person is hanging in the vertical position,  crucifixion is essentially an agonizingly slow death by asphyxiation.  The reason is that the stresses on the muscles and diaphragm put the chest into the inhaled position;  basically,  in order to exhale,  the individual must push up on his feet so the tension on the muscles would be eased for a moment.  In doing so,  the nail would tear through the foot,  eventually locking up against the tarsal bones.  After managing to exhale,  the person would then be able to relax down and take another breath in.  Again he'd have to push himself up to exhale,  scraping his bloodied back against the coarse wood of the cross.  This would go on and on until complete exhaustion would take over,  and the person wouldn't be able to push up and breathe anymore.  As the person slows down his breathing,  he goes into what is called respiratory acidosis  -  the carbon dioxide in the blood is dissolved as carbonic acid,  causing the acidity of the blood to increase.  This eventually leads to an irregular heartbeat.  In fact,  with His heart beating erratically Jesus would have known that He was at the moment of death.  And then He died of cardiac arrest.

     The average time of suffering before death by crucifixion is stated to be about 2-4 days although there are reported cases where the victims lived for 9 days.  While many of the physical signs preceding death were present,  one possibility is that Jesus did not die by physical factors which ended His ability to live,  but that He gave up His life of His own accord.  The 7th statement above seems to show that Jesusí death occurred by giving Himself up.  In Joh_10:18,  He states that only He has the power to lay down His life.  He proved His power over death by His resurrection.  Truly,  God is the one who has power over life and death.

     Apparently to make doubly sure of death,  the soldier drove his lance through Jesus' right side and into His heart.  Even before He died  -  and this is important,  too  -  the hypovolemic shock would have caused a sustained rapid heart rate that would have contributed to heart failure,  resulting in the collection of fluid in the membrane around the heart,  called a  'pericardial effusion',  as well as around the lungs,  which is called a  'pleural effusion'.

     Why is that significant?

     Because of what happened when the Roman soldier came around and,  being fairly certain that Jesus was dead,  confirmed it by thrusting a spear into His right side.  It was probably His right side; that's not certain,  but from the description it was probably the right between the ribs.  The spear apparently went through the right lung and into the heart,  so when the spear was pulled out,  some fluid  -  the pericardial effusion and the pleural effusion  -  came out.  This would have the appearance of a clear fluid,  like water,  followed by a large volume of blood,  as the eyewitness John described in his gospel.  John probably had no idea why he saw both blood and a clear fluid come out  -  certainly that's not what an untrained person like him would have anticipated.  Yet John's description is consistent with what modern medicine would expect to have happened.  At first this would seem to give credibility to John being an eyewitness; however,  there seemed to be one big flaw in all this.  In Joh_19:34,  John said,  he saw 'blood and water'  come out; he intentionally put the words in that order.  But according to the above account,  the clear fluid would have come out first.  So,  isnít there a significant discrepancy here?  According to a Greek scholar,  the order of words in ancient Greek was determined not necessarily by sequence but by prominence.  This means that since there was a lot more blood than water,  it would have made sense for John to mention the blood first.

     At this juncture,  what would Jesus condition have been?

     There was absolutely no doubt that Jesus was dead.

      Additional Information

     An article in the Harvard Theological Review concluded many years ago that there was  'astonishing little evidence that the feet of a crucified person were ever pierced by nails.'  Instead,  the article said,  the victim's hands and feet were tied to the cross by ropes.

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Post by: nChrist on April 13, 2006, 01:30:47 AM
Author Unknown

     Does this raise a credibility problem with the New Testament account?

     No,  because archaeology has now established that the use of nails was historical  -  although ropes were indeed sometimes used.

     What's the evidence?

     In 1968,  archaeologists in Jerusalem found the remains of about three dozen Jews who had died during the uprising against Rome around AD 70.  One victim,  whose name was apparently Yohanan had been crucified.  And sure enough,  they found a seven-inch nail driven into his feet,  with small pieces of olive wood from the cross attached.  This was excellent archaeological confirmation of a key detail in the gospel's description of the Crucifixion.

     Appealing to history and medicine,  to archaeology and even Roman military rules,  is there any possible way that Jesus could have survived this ordeal?

     Absolutely not.  Remember that Jesus was already in hypovolemic shock from the massive blood loss even before the crucifixion started.  He couldn't possibly have faked His death,  because you can't fake the inability to breathe for long.  Besides,  the spear thrust into His heart would have settled the issue once and for all.  And the Romans weren't about to risk their own death by allowing Jesus to walk away alive.

     Let's say Jesus was able to escape from His linen wrappings,  roll the huge rock away from the mouth of His tomb,  and get past the Roman soldiers who were standing guard.  Medically speaking,  what condition would He have been in after He tracked down His disciples?

     There's just no way He could have survived the cross.  But if He had,  how could He walk around after nails had been driven through His feet?  How could He have appeared on the road to Emmaus just a short time later,  strolling for long distances?  How could He have used His arms after they were stretched and pulled from their joints?  Remember,  He also had massive wounds on His back and a spear wound to His chest.

     An argument that nobody has been able to refute ever since it was first advanced by the German theologian David Strauss in 1835 states that,  'a person in that kind of pathetic condition would never have inspired His disciples to go out and proclaim that He's the Lord of life who had triumphed over the grave.'  After suffering that horrible abuse,  with all the catastrophic blood loss and trauma,  He would have looked so pitiful that the disciples would never have hailed Him as a victorious conqueror of death; they would have felt sorry for Him and tried to nurse Him back to health.  So it's preposterous to think that if He had appeared to them in that awful state,  His followers would have been prompted to start a worldwide movement based on the hope that someday they too would have a resurrection body like His.  There's just no way.

     Jesus intentionally walked into the arms of His betrayer,  He didn't resist arrest,  He didn't defend Himself at His trial  -  it was clear that He was willingly subjecting Himself to what you've described as a humiliating and agonizing form of torture.  And I'd like to know why.

     What could possibly have motivated a person to agree to endure this of punishment?

     A typical person couldn't have done it.  Jesus knew what was coming,  and He was willing to go through it,  because this was the only way He could redeem us  -  by serving as our substitute and paying the death penalty that we deserve because of our rebellion against God.  That was His whole mission in coming to earth.

     What motivated Jesus to go through such torture?

     The answer can be summed up in one word  -  and that would be LOVE.  (Joh_3:16;  Joh_15:13)

      "If anyone would come after me,  he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."  (Mat_16:24)

     We are becoming so concerned about power and politics that we are losing touch with the fact that Christianity emerged out of marginality and suffering.  The wound was been transposed to the cross and left there.  And what you are talking about is a Church that is increasingly embarrassed about the cross  (most of the churches nowadays do not even have a crucifix on prominent display)  or postures itself as though you can have the gospel without the cross  -  as though you can have the blessing without the suffering.  The pick up point for Christianity is "an old rugged cross,  the emblem of suffering and shame."


Post by: Littleboy on October 31, 2007, 01:37:51 AM
I've seen some heel bones with nails still stuck thru them.
I think they were found in Rome and they date to the times that the romans were cruxifing people..
What did Jesus suffer for our sins?
The Bible says He was more marred than any man has ever been.
He was almost beaten & torn beyond regognition.
I think the Mel Gibsons Movie "The Passion" depicts the Horror that our Lord went thru for us the best...
Even Pilate believed to a certian degree after he had him scourged, Because nobody would or could take that kinda beating and defend or Die for a lie!
That is the sum of Pilates letter to Ceaser too...

Post by: nChrist on October 31, 2007, 09:54:22 AM
YES - the crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection of JESUS CHRIST is an absolute fact! AND, HE lives today as our LORD and SAVIOUR forever!

Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable GIFT, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour Forever!

Post by: PandasRpeople2 on May 17, 2008, 03:17:58 PM
For the record, and so as to direct any interested parties to an excellent book, this extensive passage comes from Lee Strobel's book The Case for Christ, in his interview with Alexander Metherell, M.D., Ph.D.

Post by: nChrist on May 17, 2008, 10:02:56 PM
For the record, and so as to direct any interested parties to an excellent book, this extensive passage comes from Lee Strobel's book The Case for Christ, in his interview with Alexander Metherell, M.D., Ph.D.

Hello PandasRpeople2,

I see that you're new, so WELCOME!


I sincerely hope that you enjoy Christians Unite. Thanks for the information. There are several varieties of this account on the Internet and several different doctors and institutions giving opinions about what JESUS actually suffered on the CROSS. I think there are about three different opinions from various doctors on the forum, and I'm sure there are many more in the last 2,000 years. Regardless, I appreciate the information.

Love In Christ,

Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable GIFT, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour Forever!

Post by: kangkongking on February 06, 2009, 05:42:53 PM
i just want to ask question. i live in a country where Christianity is profound. and every Lent season people celebrate it through commemorating the passion of Christ. there are people who literally crucify themselves. when ask why they do this, they say it's their way of penitence. my question, is this okay to crucify one's self as a way of penitence? is this allowed?

thank you! God speed

Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 06, 2009, 06:30:37 PM
NO! It is not ok. This falls into the category of self-mutilation or if carried far enough into the exact same thing as suicide. It has nothing to do with repenting of anything. Proper penance is the changing of ones mind and heart from that which is evil to that which is holy and acceptable to God. Self-mutilation or the physical self crucifixion of oneself comes from a false religion or the misunderstanding of scripture.

Post by: nChrist on February 07, 2009, 01:23:56 AM

I think there are big problems for anyone thinking that they can add something worthy to the PERFECT AND COMPLETED WORK OF CHRIST ON THE CROSS. In many cases, this is the vanity of man working - others, gross confusion.

I love JESUS CHRIST and thank HIM every day for saving me from the curse of sin and death. I am a mature Christian, so I know there is nothing I can do to earn or pay for my salvation. I know that the entire BILL has already been PAID PERFECTLY and COMPLETELY BY JESUS CHRIST ON THE CROSS. This is the perfect lead-in to the subject of good works. I love JESUS CHRIST enough to do anything for HIM IN HIS NAME, and it will be solely out of a heart of love and appreciation. My good works won't be for Salvation - just for love and appreciation. GOD told us in HIS WORD that these are the only circumstances that HE will accept good works. If my motives for good works are anything other than for love and appreciation for GOD, GOD will burn them up as useless. I certainly can't do good works for the purpose of SALVATION, personal recognition, or vain glory for myself. My good works are only GOOD if they are out of a heart of LOVE for THE GLORY OF GOD - not me!

Many Christians have been martyred in the WORK OF THE LORD, including those who wrote the New Testament under the Divine Inspiration of the HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD. BUT, they didn't die in the manner of suicide - NOR would they. GOD takes HIS Servants HOME at HIS Time, and HIS Servants know that they belong to HIM - purchased by the Precious Blood of JESUS CHRIST on the CROSS. It is Biblically wrong for people to mutilate their bodies or commit suicide.

Love In Christ,

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ASV  19  Or know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God? and ye are not your own;  20  for ye were bought with a price: glorify God therefore in your body.

1 Corinthians 7:20-24 ASV  20  Let each man abide in that calling wherein he was called.  21  Wast thou called being a bondservant? Care not for it: nay, even if thou canst become free, use it rather.  22  For he that was called in the Lord being a bondservant, is the Lord's freedman: likewise he that was called being free, is Christ's bondservant.  23  Ye were bought with a price; become not bondservants of men.  24  Brethren, let each man, wherein he was called, therein abide with God.