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The Ultimate Torture 23rd June, 2006

Posted by Scotty in Life, Spirituality.
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Read this on a friends blog…
~Portions taken from an essay by Dennis Humphreys, M.D.

Nailed HandWhile praying in the Garden of Gethsemane He becomes engaged in a fierce battle. He wrestles a problem so great that His sweat glands ooze with great drops of blood as if He were being strangled. The stress is so great that the very cellular integrity of His body is compromised. The soldiers under Judas’ direction seize Him and bring Him to Pilate’s Judgment Hall. Pilot asks Him Are you a king then? He answers softly, You say Im a king. To this end I was born that I should bear witness of the truth. Pilate inquisitively turns his head and sarcastically asks, What is truth and walks out of the hall.There, under Pilate’s command, He is whipped with a device having a stout handle with several leather strips, each studded with a stone or metal tip. Older people watching know the lashes from a whip of this type could amputate a leg. The chest wall would be easily perforated. By the end of the whipping, His back lay open as a shredded mass of crimson tissue with long strips of torn skin laying at peculiar angles and dangling like red icicles dripping with blood. Raw tendons and muscle are exposed to the air and hang in the same way. The onlookers sin-hardened hearts are not perceiving that the very Son of God is before them, but the younger are more sensitive to the situation.  In no time, a new torture is devised after He is untied from the post that supported His body during this awful whipping. A robe is placed about His bleeding shoulders to declaim Him King. A branch from firewood with two-inch thorns twisted into a wreath is placed on His head. One by one, the soldiers strike, spit on, or pull out hunks of Jesus beard and ask Him to prophesy which of them hit Him laughing and yelling in mockery, Hail King!. This crown is driven deeply into His head with the rod they had previously placed in His hand to mock His deity. They make fun of Him again and call Him “The King of the Jews. The thorns opened those ever-flowing blood vessels in His head and in minutes His hair and beard are soaked with blood. The men mock and jeer at the Lamb of God, a bleeding, broken, beaten man near shock from blood loss.It has now been over 24 hours since He has had any sleep. He is exhausted and His strength is failing. Though His mind is dulled by lack of sleep and His life is oozing from the many wounds, He still can hear the throng chant, “Crucify Him, Crucify Him.” A few short weeks before, this same man stood outside Jerusalem and wept for these people. He had said “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem……how often would I have gathered thy children together even as a hen gathered her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” Now the very nation He loves is clamoring for His death. The purple robe is ripped from His back, tearing loose the coagulated blood that had soaked into it. He bleeds profusely from the re-opened wounds from His whipping.

The cross is extremely heavy, weighing approximately 110 lbs. The soldiers place this cross on Jesus shoulders, and He starts on the short 650-yard march to Golgotha. But this former carpenter who was strong in His youth and manhood was so weakened by the blood loss, punishment and lack of rest that He could not make it. It seems a paradox that the creator of this universe should be prostrated on the cobble stones of His own creativity beneath a timber. Why did He endure this pain and torture for you and me? His physical energy is nearly gone. A man standing nearby is conscripted by the soldiers to carry His cross. Simon of Cyrene removes the timber from the shoulders of Jesus. His body battered by the fall, His back burning as with fire, His head pounding with each heart beat, He is dragged to His feet and guided between two guards as He staggers and stumbles the rest of the way.

At Golgotha, Christ is placed on the cross. The executioner has a great deal of knowledge about the placement of the nails. If they are placed too close to the base of the fingers, a man’s weight could rip his hand free of the nail. So, carefully but swiftly, the nail is placed at the base of the palm where the wrist joins the hand and driven into the crossbeam with a large hammer. The ringing of the hammer sends chilling echoes through the air.

The cross member with our nailed Lord is lifted into place on the upright, and Christ’s body sags as the full torture effect of the nails is felt. Next, His feet are fixed to the upright. With His knees slightly flexed, the left foot is placed on top of the right and a single nail is driven through both feet. The pain is a constant see-saw from hands to feet to hands. As He stiffens His legs to relieve the pain in His hands, the agony in His feet builds till He pulls with His arms to relieve His feet. A constant motion of up and down, He moves trying to obtain some less painful position. The motion is causing His back to be torn more and bleed profusely as if a faucet of blood had been opened.

As the muscles in His arms and legs fatigue, the shock deepens and the agony increases. A new pain begins. Deep within His chest, a crushing, vise-like feeling begins to mount as His heart starts to fail. His breathing becomes very short and labored. His body no longer looks like a human being, and each breath is a gasp. It is with great effort that He stiffens His legs and draws in enough breath to utter those last cries, Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Disillusioned friends watch their hope die, a leader disgraced, A Savior killed, a Lord destroyed. A mother watches her son die. With writhing pain in His eyes, He looks at His mother and forces the words, Woman, behold thy son! and then looks toward His beloved friend standing with Mary and says, Behold thy mother!

The soldiers watch and wonder about this prisoner as His execution progresses. But as the whole world watches, the very God of Heaven, Christ’s own Father, cannot watch, for He cannot look on sin. God the Father turns His back on His only begotten Son and I hear Him cry, My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me?!

The sun in the sky grows dim, clouds roll into place obscuring from God’s eyes this horror on Golgotha’s Hill. Christ looks quiet now, but wait, He moves. With the forces of sin heavy on His raw shoulders, the guilt of mankind on His back, the pain of disobedient children searching in His hands, the poker of hell burning in His feet and the broken heart of rejection by God and man struggling within His chest, He forces His legs to lift Him one last time. He raises His head and sucks in that last breath and looks up into the darkened sky and whispers, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. Then in a silent pause He lifts all of His weight upon His nailed feet and cries triumphantly It is finished!!” Then he died with the worlds sins in His mangled body.

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Comments»

1. Beth - 31st August, 2007

Nice, very good. Watch those quotation marks you forgot some :).


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