Good Friday: Our Lord’s Passion & Sacrificial Love

Good Friday, April 14, 2017.

Though strong as an ox, my erstwhile friend, the faux socialist Stephanie, is allergic to work. She would take a temporary job and, when it ends, apply for unemployment benefits. When the benefits run out, she’ll go find another temp job. And so on . . . .

Though raised a Christian, Stephanie is a goddess cultist, wiccan witch, and rabidly anti-Christian. Once, in a fit of self-pity, the perfectly healthy Stephanie  blurted to me: “Don’t tell me how Jesus had suffered. I’ve suffered more than Jesus!”

Blasphemy

This post on our Lord’s passion and sacrificial love is for Stephanie, the “artist” Michael D’Antuono who painted the above blasphemous portrait of Obama in 2009, and all malignant narcissists who cheapen His memory by having the gall to compare themselves to Him.

jesus_crucifixion

He sweated blood.

After He and his disciples had observed the Passover meal in an upper room in a home in southwest Jerusalem, they traveled to the Mount of Olives, northeast of the city.

There, in the garden of Gethsemane, for 12 hours (from 9 PM Thursday to 9 AM Friday), He prayed. He saw all the sins of humanity — past, present, and future — and knew that the time of His death was near. Suffering great mental anguish, He sweated blood (hematidrosis). As a result of hemorrhage into the sweat glands, His skin became fragile and tender. In the cold night air, His hematidrosis would have produced chills.

He was scourged at least 39 times.

Scourging or flogging was a legal preliminary to every Roman execution. The usual instrument was a short whip (flagellum) with several single or braided leather thongs of variable lengths, in which small iron balls or sharp pieces of sheep bones were tied at intervals. Occasionally, staves also were used.

He was stripped of his clothing, His hands tied to an upright post. His back, buttocks, and legs were flogged either by two soldiers or by one who alternated positions. The scourging was intended to weaken Him to a state just short of collapse or death.

As the Roman soldiers repeatedly struck His back with full force, the iron balls caused deep contusions, and the leather thongs and sheep bones cut into His skin and subcutaneous tissues.Then, as the flogging continued, the lacerations tore into His underlying skeletal muscles and produced quivering ribbons of bleeding flesh. Pain and blood loss set the stage for circulatory shock.

His scalp was pierced with thorns.

The Roman soldiers, amused that this weakened man had been acclaimed a king, began to mock Him by placing a robe on his shoulders, a crown of thorns on His head, and a wooden staff as a scepter in His right hand. Next, they spat on Him and struck Him on the head with the wooden staff.

The crown of thorns was not a crown at all. It was probably a bush roughly applied, and tied on with rope.

The thorns probably came from the Lote Tree, a wild bush that still grows freely all over the Holy Land. This bush had thorns between one to two inches long. There are over 70 scalp wounds visible on the Shroud of Turin.

The soldiers’ beating with the rods to His head covered with this crown would have caused severe bleeding. It is probable that the clump of thorns was removed before His tunic was put back onto His body, and then reapplied during the Crucifixion. The blood trickling down from the newly opened head wounds suggest that the thorns were reapplied before the Crucifixion.

Imagine the pain you’d feel if just one thorn, measuring 1 to 2 inches long, were stuck into your scalp.

He carried his own cross, weighing 125 lb.

The severe scourging, with its intense pain and appreciable blood loss, most probably left Him in a pre-shock state. Moreover, hematidrosis had rendered his skin particularly tender. The physical and mental abuse, as well as the lack of food, water, and sleep, also contributed to His generally weakened state. Therefore, even before the actual crucifixion, His physical condition was at least serious and possibly critical.

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.

Since the weight of the entire cross was probably well over 300 lb., “only” the crossbar or patibulum — weighing 75 to 125 lb. — was carried. The patibulum was placed across the nape of His neck and balanced along both shoulders, His outstretched arms tied to the crossbar. The processional to the site of crucifixion was led by a complete Roman military guard, headed by a centurion.

He was nailed to a cross to die.

The Romans did not invent crucifixions, but they perfected it as a form of torture and capital punishment designed to produce a slow death with maximum pain and suffering. It was one of the most disgraceful and cruelest methods of execution and usually was reserved only for slaves, foreigners, revolutionaries, and the vilest of criminals.

At the site of execution, by law, He was given a bitter drink of wine mixed with myrrh (gall) as a mild analgesic. He was then thrown to the ground on his back, with his arms outstretched along the patibulum.

His hands were nailed to the crossbar at the wrists. The nails were tapered iron spikes approximately 5 to 7 inches long with a square shaft 3/8 in. across.

After both arms were fixed to the crossbar, He and the patibulum, together, were lifted onto the stipes. Next, His feet were nailed to the front of the stipes.

Every breath He took was a struggle, seared with pain.

The weight of His body, pulling down on the outstretched arms and shoulders, fixed the intercostal muscles in an inhalation state and thereby hinder passive exhalation. Accordingly, exhalation was primarily diaphragmatic, and breathing was shallow. This form of respiration would not suffice and hypercarbia (abnormally-elevated carbon dioxide levels in the blood) soon resulted. The onset of muscle cramps or tetanic contractions, due to fatigue and hypercarbia, further hindered His breathing.

To exhale, He had to lift His body by pushing up on His feet, flexing His elbows and adducting His shoulders. However, this maneuver placed the entire weight of the body on His tarsals, producing searing pain. Furthermore, flexion of His elbows caused rotation of His wrists about the iron nails, causing fiery pain along the damaged median nerves. Lifting of the body also painfully scraped His scourged back against the rough wooden stipes. Muscle cramps and paresthesias (pins and needles) of the outstretched and uplifted arms added to the discomfort. As a result, each respiratory effort became agonizing and tiring and led eventually to asphyxia (depletion of oxygen to the body).

After “only” 3 to 6 hours hung on the cross, He breathed his last.

Christ crucified

He suffered terribly, unto death, for each one of us.

Remember His Passion today with the Stations of the Cross. Go here.

See also “Geologists confirm Jesus crucified on Friday, April 3, 33 AD”.

In memory of His love,

~Éowyn

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20 responses to “Good Friday: Our Lord’s Passion & Sacrificial Love

  1. (borrowed from a Facebook friend:)

    When I was little I didn’t understand why this day was called “Good Friday.” How can something so horrible as what was done to Jesus possibly be called good?

    But as a young man I heard a reading of Isaiah chapter 53, written 690 years before Christ, and finally understood why this day is called “Good.”

    ISAIAH 53:4-6
    “Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
    yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
    But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
    the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
    We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
    and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.”

    Liked by 6 people

  2. We are so undeserving of everything Our Lord has done/does for us….
    I thank you My Lord and Savior for your Ultimate Sacrifice…Your Passion is our Salvation….Repent to Him, Believe in Him, and Live for Him.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Pingback: KOMMONSENTSJANE – Good Friday: Our Lord’s Passion & Sacrificial Love — Fellowship of the Minds | kommonsentsjane

  4. Yes, here it is Good Friday. I stupidly put the TV on and all I saw and heard on Fox News was a celebration of American weaponry, literally a sanguinary lust for what we’re going to do with it, and a glorification of the military in preparation for proving that the last thing in the world this country is is Christian. No government on earth comes close flaunting Christian just war ethics and ignoring the will of the people.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Dr Eowyn, I don’t mean to be impertinent, but I am wondering just how you have been able to stay friends with Stephanie. She sounds like she live in an alternate universe like most liberals. What is there to talk about when the values and beliefs you hold in your heads are divided by such a deep chasm? I can understand how some would hate the hypocrisy of some Christians, but Christians do not hold a monopoly of hypocrisy! I hope you may get through to her one day.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. No one suffered MORE or MORE DEEPLY than Our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. When asked I always admit I am a Roman Catholic, and I always qualify that by adding that I know I am a poor excuse for a Roman Catholic. This is not to brag: I know I am a sinner and that I am flawed. I admit I have a spiritual sloth and torpor known as acedia. (TY for the You Tube link, Dr. E. I have it bookmarked and will listen to it again).
    I am of the belief that the Holy Shroud of Turin (as well as the Mask of Oviedo) provide historical and empirical evidence of Jesus’ Historical Existence and that it provides medical evidence of the horror of Crucifixion. The Shroud has been known, by the various sorts of pollen found on it, that it was in what was called Palestine, about 2,000 years ago, and that it was in Turkey (where I believe it was rediscovered hundreds of years later). A most excellent book to read on the matter is “A Doctor at Calvary,” written by a medical doctor, and he examined the evidence of the Shroud.

    We know, with certainty, that the Body wrapped in that Shroud DID NOT SUFFER ANY DECOMPOSITION WHATSOEVER. We also know, with certainty, that that Holy Body DID NOT UNWRAP ITSELF TO ESCAPE THAT SHROUD. In other words, when Jesus Rose from the Dead, He DID NOT unwrap Himself: HE PASSED THROUGH IT IMMEDIATELY, thus demonstrating one quality of the Saved: Subtlety, the ability to pass through solid matter.
    We also know, with certainty, that the Holy Shroud contains minute amounts of radioactivity (measured in millirads or even microrads). In other words, THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS WAS A RADIOACTIVE OR A NUCLEAR EVENT.

    Reams of additional information on the Holy Shroud is available online. Suffice it to say this, that although the Question of Christ’s Divinity may not necessarily be empirically verifiable, thanks to Dr. Ted Broer, on a Hagmann & Hagmann episode, for this information: Quantum Mechanics has provided additional and previously unknown information of the existence of multiple dimensions in the physical Universe. Furthermore, these matters may, he said, offer evidence or proof, of some sort, of the Existence of God in the future.

    So the Question of Science is present in the Physical Evidence that the Holy Shroud presents. And, existentially, this Question confronts ME, the SINNER, who has an intellect and a will. And the Answer to that Question is this, namely, that ATHEISM IS A MENTAL DISORDER! (And another word to the skeptic: The Carbon-14 dating method IS NOT valid and replicable science: The Shroud was contaminated by different pollens from different centuries, and it caught fire TWICE: Any carbon-dating information obtained from different samples would, of course, yield different results! (This has already been done!) But, FURTHERMORE, Carbon-14 dating, although it sounds like a good idea, IS NOT SCIENCE: IT IS NOT VALID. IT IS NOT REPLICABLE, for this reason: There is not enough carbon-14 radioactive isotope in the Earth’s atmosphere for it to be reliable!)

    We have the Most Precious Blood on the Holy Shroud. We know the blood type—AB+, of a Middle Eastern variety. We have the DNA. We have the salt and antibodies of Our Lord’s SWEAT.

    And, Thanks to Our Lord’s Resurrection, we have Empiricism itself (at least, after a fashion): Our Lord Submitted to this Crucifixion, in part, as a test: He allowed the Devil to have his way with Him. But by Rising from the Dead, Our Lord proved the Devil to be WRONG, that Evil IS NOT stronger than Good, and that God and His Goodness HAS PREVAILED AND WILL PREVAIL. Thus, “Christ has Died, Christ has Risen, Christ will Come Again” become the three most important Facts of History. Against the Horror of Evil, we have the Sublimnity of Goodness!

    Thank You, Jesus, for coming into this world and dying on the Cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me another day of life, through the parents that You did. You paid a Debt You did not Owe, and I now owe a Debt I cannot pay. You are the Savior of the World. You are Our Redeemer. You are my Master! You are my Kinsman! You are the Sinner’s Friend.

    (On a personal note, although no one knows the Day nor the Hour, I am of a strong suspicion that Our Lord shall come to Judge the Living and the Dead in THIS CENTURY.)

    Liked by 3 people

    • Steven, Amen.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Steven, for the thoughtful comment. As for parallel dimensions, I don’t believe there’s been a satisfactory explanation how they can be empirically verified or falsified, and so be considered science, if they’re by definition noncommunicating with what is even theoretically empirically observable. Carroll, as I understand it, claims (because his job, fame, and fortune depend on it) that all this speculation about string theory and multiple dimensions, many worlds, and multiverses can be considered science if such theories have explanatory power, mathematical rigor behind them, and are (to his bizarre way of thinking) elegant–even if it’s not remotely empirically falsifiable, which to my way of thinking is pretty much like a naturalism of the gaps. Anything but God as the first rule of naturalism has made fools out of speculative cosmologists because, as their cosmological myth making unravels faster than they can patch it up, they now claim science need not technically scientific after all to be believable.

      Liked by 1 person

      • A fundamental scientific principle is the Principle of Verifiability — that an empirical claim can be either confirmed to be true or falsified as untrue, by appropriately and similarly trained observers and scientists.

        Multiple universes, by definition, are unverifiable, because how can humans in our Universe obtain any evidence of other universes beyond ours?

        Since the notion of multiverse fails the principle of verifiability, the command of epistemology is that the multiverse notion is meaningless. We should treat it as science fiction.

        Like

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  8. And how ungrateful humanity has been, HE sacrificed ALL for us and look how WE pay HIM. May 27th I start the most beautiful novena to the Holy Spirit, June 4th Pentecost, this day signifies the day that Jesus Christ ascended to heaven and the Holy Spirit descended to bless His apostles.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I would love to get into a deep spiritual discussion about once saved always saved and such, but on such a day as this, I instead am humbled by such love as was shown by our Lord. He died for us while we were yet sinners. He died because of the love He had for us, not because we deserved it. Whenever I think of it, I am moved within myself to tears. How can anyone not be? 1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
    Praise the Lord, and thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “The crown of thorns was not a crown at all. It was probably a bush roughly applied, and tied on with rope.”

    Amazing how Dr. Eowyn’s description of the crown of thorns exactly matches the vision of the French Mystic Pere Lamy (Fr. John Edward Lamy):

    “Our Lord was almost torn asunder. The arms were straight out, at right angles to the body. He had on His Head what looked like a bush of thorns, like a basket upside down. It was a hood of thorns. What an outrage! He had one foot nailed upon the other, I think, but it was His Face I was looking at. To make the crown they must have put several branches together and twisted them, and then hammered them in with cudgel blows. It was a mass of sharp points…

    http://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2009/11/pere-lamy-father-john-edward-lamy.html

    Thank you, Dr. Eowyn for this powerful meditation on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I doubt that I can ever become worthy of such pain and sacrifice, but I will keep trying. I’m always relieved when the sun rises on Easter Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

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