i’m not a weaver of words nor am i a gifted scholar, so please forgive the simplicity of my thoughts in today’s post. even if i could use lofty intellectual words & phrases those would possibly take the focus off my thoughts, which is jesus.
our church was showing The Passion of the Christ this morning. dan & i took the little two, none of us having seen it before. after watching The Bible on the history channel the last few weeks, i knew this movie was going to leave us speechless. and spent. and in utter awe of a glimpse, just a glimpse of the suffering He bore for us. for each of us.
there were several times when i just sat there and hung my head, unable to continue watching. watching as the roman soldiers whipped and beat him. ripped the flesh from his back. over and over and over again. they crammed the “crown” of thorns down his already beat and bloody brow. how he didn’t die of shock or blood loss during the scourging is shocking in itself.
then there is the crucifixion. a deliberately slow and painful execution where the condemned is tied and actually nailed onto a large beam of wood. death is not imminent and the condemned may take hours or even days to die.
the suffering he took on to bear our sins is something i dare say any of us can even wrap our minds around. no matter how hard we try.
i think we can easily breeze over the horror of the cross. while we may believe and understand that he died for us…well i’ll speak for myself, it’s easy for me to overlook the six hours that friday where he hung on the cross. where the weight of all the sin of the past and all the sin of the future was placed on him. when the sky went dark in midday & the earth quaked and the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. it’s easy for me to hear that and know that yet to try to understand that he was crucified. for me. for you. and what that crucifixion must have been like for jesus, well that overwhelms me.
years ago when i was in nursing school, my mom actually shared with me a physicians view of the crucifixion. if you have a few minutes this weekend, you may wish to read this.
“As He pushes Himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, He places His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again there is the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of the feet. At this point, as the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by his arms, the pectoral muscles are paralyzed and the intercostal muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically, he is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen.”
today is good friday. and yes sunday is coming. but today i encourage you to stop & contemplate the cross.
“You took our sin
You bore our shame
You rose to life
You defeated the grave
Love like this the world has never known
On the altar of our praise let there be no higher name
Jesus son of God
You laid down your perfect life
You are the sacrifice
You are Jesus Son of God”
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 corinthians 5.21