Good Friday: Remembering His Passion and Sacrificial Love

Good Friday, April 10, 2020.

Some years ago, a friend startled me with an out-of-context outburst. Though raised a Christian, Stephanie is a goddess cultist, wiccan witch, and rabidly anti-Christian because of its alleged anti-female misogyny, never mind my pointing out that none other than a woman — Mary, the mother of Jesus — is Christianity’s most revered human figure.

I still remember that day when we were sipping a drink in a shopping mall. Suddenly, in a fit of self-pity, my strong-as-an ox-friend blurted to me: “Don’t tell me how Jesus had suffered. I’ve suffered more than Jesus!”

This post on our Lord’s passion and sacrificial love is a reminder to us of His sacrificial love, and a rebuttal to my friend, the “artist” Michael D’Antuono who in 2009 painted a blasphemous portrait of Obama as the crucified Christ, and all malignant narcissists who cheapen His memory by having the boundless arrogance and gall to compare themselves to Him.

The account below is difficult for us to read.

You will weep, if you have a heart.

Imagine how many hundred times difficult it was for our Lord, who endured all of it.

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. The cumulative effect of what He saw was so horrific that He sweated bloodhematidrosis, or hemorrhage into the sweat glands. His skin became fragile and tender from the hematidrosis, and He felt chilled in the night air.

Then the Roman soldiers came to arrest Him and took Him away — He who had committed no crime and no wrong, but instead had fed the hungry, healed the sick and blind, and even raised the dead.

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 just days ago when He entered Jerusalem on a donkey, mocked 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 man whose image is seared forever into 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 probably 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.

Every breath He took was a struggle, shot with agonizing pain.

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.

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

God loves us this much.

So many Christians in America and other countries, like Italy, cannot go to church this Easter season because governments have closed churches to contain the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus. But we can remember His Passion today by going online for the Stations of the Cross. Go here.

See also:

In memory of His love,

~Eowyn

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Cabin 1954
Cabin 1954
2 years ago

This is a heart rending article. There are no words to describe our Lord and Savior’s suffering. I take comfort in knowing that he is now whole and sits on the right side of his Father’s throne, God Almighty. What I really want to comment about is this — “…………..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 . .” — There is a clerk in our local grocery store that does just exactly this every… Read more »

Philip
Philip
2 years ago

He was the Lamb of God. He will return as the Lion of Judah. Maranatha. Come Lord Jesus. The Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit. You can internalize it. Hebrews 4:12. For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Revelation 5:13. And every created thing which is in the heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea,… Read more »

kommonsentsjane
2 years ago

Reblogged this on kommonsentsjane and commented: Reblogged on kommonsentsjane/blogkommonsents. 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 boundless arrogance and gall to compare themselves to Him. All of thede people who professed to have suffered more than Jesus in their daily lives – just wait until they leave this earth – from what the word states – “they ain’t seen nothing yet as far as suffering is concerned. If they continue… Read more »

Crackerbaby
Crackerbaby
2 years ago

Why anyone, especially our omniscient GOD, would go through any part of that for ME is unimaginable. This is in fact, the Greatest Story Ever Told. I know that my “good deeds” (few and far between) are but filthy rags and had GOD not intervened for me, my soul would be lost for eternity. My heart breaks whenever I remember this day (not just on Good Friday), but it soars in thankfulness at the same time. Thank you Jesus and please have mercy on my miserable soul. “Speaking the truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act.” Geo.… Read more »

Auntie Lulu
Auntie Lulu
2 years ago
Reply to  Crackerbaby

Crackerbaby . . . . That was an extremely beautiful and exquisite addition to this discussion. God Bless you for sharing with all of us.

Alma
Alma
2 years ago

What would of me if I didn’t believe in HIM and what HE sacrified so long ago for. Each and everyday HE helps me in this difficult moment I’m enduring and HE is there to help me up.

chemtrailssuck
3 months ago
Reply to  Alma

God is helping us right now, it’s incredible how He does things! Like I ran out of stamps since I mailed the kids’ Easter cards. I prayed to God about it, and I received stamps (IN THE MAIL!!!) no less!!
God will give us more than we deserve, we must trust in Him, he’s the Big Guy, He can do anything!

Kevin J Lankford
Kevin J Lankford
2 years ago

I have long been confused over the actual time Jesus spent in the tomb. Jesus says himself that just as Jonas was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights so shall he be in the grave, and in the other gospels it is the same. Yet I have read in other places, such as in Corinthians that he rose on the third day. I suppose it is all in your perspective. Any how, I suspect the ‘passions of obama’ and the like, are yet to come. Only the ignorant, traitorous liars, or cowards,….referred to obama as… Read more »

MICHAEL Thomas
MICHAEL Thomas
2 years ago

Where the confusion is is that He didnt die on a Fri.Impossible.The preparation day they were talking about was for the. “High Sabbath” not the weekly Sabbath.It starts on the beginning of the week of unleaven bread or Day of Passover.He died on a Wed or Thursday.Fri in no way has 3 nights going to Sunday morning.Besides that it said before the sun even rose on sun he was already ressurected.Best just look it up.Even Jewish psople know their are 2 sabbaths on passover week.One is called the high Sabbath.And yes their is a preparation day for that too.So He… Read more »

marblenecltr
2 years ago

Thank you for describing in detail the pain, torture that Jesus endured for my sins. I need and benefit from reminders of how much more he did for me than I would do for myself.

TrailDust
Admin
2 years ago

Unimaginable love.

marblenecltr
2 years ago

Reblogged this on necltr and commented:
Thank You, Lord, for the shedding of the blood of Jesus for me that I might accept it and salvation as You forgive me for my sins as I forgive others.

Brian Heinz
2 years ago

Thank you Doc hard to see to type. God looked from the beginning to the end of mankind and no one no one was sin free to bring us to him so he sent his Son in our stead. They did this to the one so what will they do to us when the time comes. We must plant as many seeds as possible before the end comes. Praise God for his Love and Justice.

Eli
Eli
2 years ago

“And the angels were silent”…
Glory and honor and praise be to the Lamb of God, now and forever. Who has had greater love than this? Who was and is like him? Who will be like him? No one, but the Lord Jesus Christ.

JJ
JJ
2 years ago

Why anyone, especially our omniscient GOD, would go through any part of that for ME is unimaginable….
Because His love for us is incomprehensible.

Dee
Dee
2 years ago

Thank you for this article and your great website. For the best information on the Shroud of Turin, please visit Barrie Schwortz’ internationally renowned site: http://www.shroud.com. The research always continues, and you can see wonderful photos from the men who studied the Shroud at the 1978 STURP in Turin, Italy. It will touch your soul very deeply. For a children’s version, please visit http://www.shroud4kids.com. You can ask for a free book for your children. It has been reviewed by several of the original scientists from the 1978 STURP. It has nice pictures for children and the photos of the negatives… Read more »

gitardood
2 years ago

IN Genesis we’re told YHVH created light, and upon doing so, it states, “and there was EVENING AND MORNING, the first day”. His day starts @ sundown. This is why the Hebrews / Jews observe the new day beginning @ sundown. Seeing as He rose on the 1st day of the week and the Sabbath is the 7th, and it begins Friday @ sundown til Saturday @ sundown on the Gregorian / Roman calendar, He’d have risen after sundown Saturday. For Him to be in the earth 3 nights and 3 days, the nights would have been Wed-Thu-Fri nites, and… Read more »

MICHAEL Thomas
MICHAEL Thomas
2 years ago
Reply to  gitardood

Ty..I just commented on the same thing.Passover week usually has 2 Sabbaths.One is called High Sabbath then you have the weekly Sabbath.Im glad to see there are people awake.Ty again for your post.

gitardood
2 years ago
Reply to  MICHAEL Thomas

You’re very welcome Mike. I have the eth (Alef- Tav) Cepher which I got from cepher.net originally, but now in Canada I get them from cepher.ca, which is a translation of the scriptures from Hebrew / Aramaic to English without going to Greek. It contains 87 books, not 66 – most of whom were in canon at one point of another. (1 Enoch, Jubiless, Jasher, to name 3) and it contains also Psalms 151-155 plus Acts 29 which details Paul’s journey to Spain etc. It also contains the “divine signature” of alef-tav juxtaposed (pronounced “et” spelled eth in English) .… Read more »

gitardood
2 years ago

On another note, having seen Passion of the Christ (which we shed tears thru most of), and greatly appreciating Jim Cavaziel’s acting, we went to see Paul Apostle of Christ Wednesday. Again , many parts of it are very moving, and bring tears, and it’s excellent deserving of our support. Jim was saying that Passion of the Christ 2 : The Resurrection by Mel with Jim as Christ again is in the works – I’ve heard it may be released in the not too distant future. If this is true, it will be another film I’ll pay to see.

Lana
Lana
2 years ago

Thank you Dr. Eowyn. I don’t know how Jesus was able to even stand let along carry his cross. I always loved the movie Jesus of Nazareth by Franco Zeffereli and it remains my favorite over The Passion of the Christ. I personally was able to suspend my belief and see Robert Powell as Christ where it was more difficult for me with Jim Cazviezel. That being said, the wounds of Jesus certainly are better represented by The Passion. Of course Gibson received his inspiration from St Anne Catherine Emmerich’s vision. During the wonderful testimony of healing by Jesus in… Read more »

stevenbroiles
2 years ago

NO ONE suffered more than Our Lord, unless one would wish to make the argument that Joan of Arc, being burned at the stake, may have suffered more. (I would say I am inclined to give St. Joan of Arc’s martyrdom was on a par with what Christ suffered; Ultimately, the final answer is up to God). Jesus forces each and every human being who has attained to the age of reason a choice: Either He is Who He says He is, or He is the worst criminal psychopath in all of human history. Either Christ actually Rose, from the… Read more »

Jarheadusmc
Jarheadusmc
2 years ago

Just a note: God did not raise Jesus from the dead – Jesus Christ WAS GOD, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity – “before Abraham was I AM” – “The Father and I are ONE” – and He raised Himself from the dead – which only “GOD” could have done.

Alma
Alma
2 years ago
Reply to  Jarheadusmc

Jarheadusmc, the words you wrote are beautiful, indeed The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit is in one GOD. Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on all of us your children, forever and ever AMÉN+

Jackie Puppet
2 years ago

Thank you, Dr. Eowyn, for the graphic, brutal reminder of just how much He suffered for all of us, and did so willingly. I knew of some of the effects on the body from being flogged & crucified, but not in detail like this.
No words can describe the sheer pain and hurt He endured.

Anna Cottage
2 years ago

So moving. I hope those that mock the suffering of Jesus as he was humiliated, nailed to the Cross and suffered what we can only imagine must have been the most unbelievable pain, I hope they rot in hell, no one could possibly have suffered as He did for us. I am so glad that I have God in my life, that He is always there for me in the good and bad times, and even though when Death came calling for much loved ones, and I was angry He was there for me. God was there for me as… Read more »

William
William
1 year ago

Very difficult to read, through tears, but necessary. I’m sending it to my socialist/sodomite half-brother, an analog to Stephanie. I’ve given up trying to reach him, perhaps this will. If so it is His will, not mine

William
William
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Eowyn

No reply. Either he didn’t read it or it left him speechless

chemtrailssuck
3 months ago
Reply to  William

Pray for your half-brother to be enlightened by God before it’s too late. We pray to the Lord that my sister is led back to Christ. She was raised Catholic but fell away in a big way. Sadly now a big time feminist.

Grace
Grace
1 year ago

There is a Catholic devotion to the Fifteen Secret Tortures of Jesus. I recommend people look it up.

TrailDust
Admin
1 year ago

As a little child I couldn’t understand why we call it “Good” Friday. But as a man, knowing He did this deliberately to rescue us from our sin and death, I understand how good “Good” Friday really is.

andre
andre
1 year ago

“Unto Him Who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.” Revelation 1:5. He was the Lamb Slain from the Foundation of the World. Thank you Jesus for the cross. Unimaginable love.

Lophatt
Lophatt
1 year ago

It’s always a powerful time for me. I went tonight. The altar is stripped from Thursday. We venerated the cross. Very powerful. This was a bi-lingual service with some Latin thrown in for good measure. I’m always struck by the difference in translations. It’s a window into the minds of non-English speakers. It effects how a person thinks. The high schoolers put on a passion play. It was quite good. The power of such a love is the same in any language. But there is a different “emphasis” on some of the readings due to translation. It’s another mystery within… Read more »

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[…] Saturday between Good Friday (when our Lord was crucified) and Easter Sunday (when He rose from the dead) is given little […]

Melody
Melody
3 months ago

Thank you for your faithfulness Dr. Eowyn.

Steven Broiles
3 months ago

It seems to me that, in 2020 with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass suppressed throughout the world, that Holy Mother Church is imitating, in a sublime way, the very Passion of Our Lord Himself. These may or may not be the End Times, but this virus crisis is, at the least, a foreshadowing of the Tribulation to come. President Trump, it would appear to me, is not “raging against the dying of the light;” he seems to be hypnotized, to some extent, by Fauci & Birx. We are entitled to the Mass and the Sacraments, and I think Hulk… Read more »

andre
andre
3 months ago

Lifted up was He to die, it is finished was His cry, now in heaven exalted high, hallelujah what a Savior! Praise the name of Jesus forever.

TrailDust
Admin
3 months ago

Amazing love, how can it be? That you my King should die for me?

chemtrailssuck
3 months ago

I don’t cry very much. But pondering on the absolutely horrible suffering He endured due to my sins and all the rest- not only that but He became sin for all of us, and God the Father turned His back on Him- the ultimate rejection- while Christ Himself was sinless, it’s beyond my human understanding that He would do that for me. It makes me break down and cry that He sacrificed Himself for me. To say I do not deserve His sacrifice is an extreme understatement. We definitely do not deserve a reward from God, but just by following… Read more »