The details of everything that happened on that Thursday AD 30 is often ignored.
The last food and water Jesus Christ had was at the Last Supper. This usually runs until midnight.
they all sang the Great Hallel, Psalm 136.
1 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. 2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. 3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever. 4 To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever. 5 To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever. 6 To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever. 7 To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever: 8 The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever: 9 The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever. 10 To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever: 11 And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever: 12 With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever. 13 To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever: 14 And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever: 15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever. 16 To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever. 17 To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever: 18 And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever: 19 Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever: 20 And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever: 21 And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever: 22 Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever. 23 Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever: 24 And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever. 25 Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever. 26 O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever. Psalm 136:1-26 (KJV)
The refrain of it in Hebrew is actually pretty fun – “Ki L’olam Chasdo.” It’s responsive, the Lord would probably have sung the first part of each verse, and the disciples would have sung the second half. It’s very possible that the Seventy were there for the Passover, and went home after that, leaving just the twelve to go to Gat Shmane, Gethsemene.
After that, the LOrd asked the Apostles to pray, while He prayed. The Lord went off to pray.
It’s a horrificly stressful thing to know you are about to undergo great physical pain. It’s even more stressful to know you’re about to die. The Lord knew that He was here for this reason, but we will never really understand Gethsemene until we meet Him face to face, and He may choose to explain it. Or He may know we will never really understand it, and tell us simply, “you cannot understand.”
What happened was the stress was enough to make Him pass out. But the Lord had extremely strong will, and would not permit Himself to pass out.
When that happens, the body does something unusual. If the stress is that intense, the blood vessels in your scalp contract, and burst. He literally had blood running down his scalp.
The Lord has not slept since early that morning. It has been almost 20 hours since He awoke. Combine that with a heavy feast and extreme stress, if he was a normal man, he’d have been almost incoherent, stumbling while walking, swaying, falling.
He was lucid, and in full control. The movies never seem to accurately portray the last day very well at all.
Forget the Passion movie. The arrest and trial do not even come close to depicting reality.
A side effect of the Hemotrichosis, the stress resulting in the blood vessels bursting, is that until that stress is released, the person suffering it is acutely aware of every inch of skin on their body. Grasping that person by the arm can feel intensely painful. If the Lord was chained or fettered, it would have been extremely painful.
After the first trial, he is spat on and beaten in a disorienting mob assault. Anyone who’s ever been in the middle of one describes it as dizzying. You never know from which direction you will be hit next, and everything seems to spin.
The Lord is dragged before Pontius Pilate, and by that time is a bleeding, bruised mess. By the time he sees Pilate, it will have been over sixteen hours since he ate. It will have been 30 to 32 hours since he last slept. He is aware of every fold of his clothing on his skin. The pain of the beating should be screaming at Him, and it’s not too much to say a normal man would have been on his knees, unable to stand from all that.
Dragged across the temple plateau, dragged back, forced to endure humiliation. His beard has been ripped out, hair pulled, beaten, spit on.
And it’s going to be almost nothing in comparison to what’s coming.
The order to be scourged is horrific. You are dragged into the place of the scourging, and tied to a block on the ground, bent over. The scourging is done by a device called a Flagellum. Leather strips with metal balls on the end produce a punishing blow. It’s like being whipped by a whip with marbles on the end. They crush the skin, brusing and separating the muscles beneath.
The metal balls have barbs on the other side. A flip of the wrist digs the barbs into the skin, and rips out chunks of muscle and flesh.
Jewish law forbids the giving of more than 39 lashes. The Romans are not under Jewish law. More than a dozen lashes from a Flagellum results in unconsciousness.
The Lector, the Roman officer in charge of the punishment usually orders the beating until the man has passed out. There is no record of the Lord passing out.
I cannot describe the horror of it. The Lord’s back will be laid open. Flesh hanging in painful strips, muscle exposed. From blood loss alone, He should be out cold. Coupled with the hemotrichosis, He should have passed out by the third lash.
There’s no record the Lord passed out, but endured it.
5 The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. 6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. Isaiah 50:5-6 (KJV)
The Lord is clothed in a purple robe, and then they wove a crown of thorns… and jammed it into a scalp already bleeding and incredibly sensitive.
If you’ve never had your skin ripped and pierced, it’s a feeling of heat and unbelievable pain. It’s so intense, you can’t remember afterwards how much it hurts.
The Lord is led out to be exhibited to the crowds.
And the worst thing is, the very crowds that cried “hosha na!” are now shouting, “Ha’tselev Ato!” Hosanna, save thou us, now becomes…
13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. 14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: 15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider. 1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Isaiah 52:13-53:-3 (KJV)
If you have ever picked up a large block of wood, you’ll know something that’s four feet long or so is really heavy. Now imagine that big block of wood placed on your back, a back that is ripped open, bleeding, your ribs exposed in some spots, muscles ripped out. Your pulse is faster from the pain. Your heart beats faster, breathing shallow from agony. From lack of sleep, everything is intense and vivd. From lack of food, every movement an agony. Thirst builds in you. Your lips are cracked, parched, and swollen from slapping and punches. You’re aware of every cut, rip and bruise from the scourging.
now you have to carry something very heavy on that back. Every step is jarring. The screams and shouts are loud, and full of anger. And you recognize each and every voice, knowing each and every name they belong to. You know who their families are. You know everytihng about them.
And you’re doing this, for them.
You walk what is a short distance to Golgotha, moving to the hill. It requires going down from the Temple plateau to the courts below, marching out to the edge of the old city. And finally, you reach the spot. Gethsemane is nearby. And you know a borrowed tomb awaits you.
You’re kicked to the ground, and placed upon the block of wood. A spike is placed on your hand, not through the palm, but over the triangle notch at the base of the palm. When you see your hand, it’s readily visible. The two palm muscles meet… and right below that.
The nail is hammered into your hand. It’s agonizing. Your other arm is stretched out (this part the Passion movie got right), and then the nail is placed into the other hand. And they’re probably standing on your arm to hold it down while they nail you in place.
The block is lifted onto the post, and pulled into place. You’re lifted up, the nails tearing painfully at your hands, your body weight dragging down.
There are two ways of nailing the feet. Sideways is the fastest way, the person dies usually within an hour or so. The other way, one foot over the other, is the slowest way. Agonizing.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. 16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. Psalm 22:15-17 (KJV)
There are no ropes. That’s a fiction, because for some reason the actor’s guilds won’t let them really be nailed up on a cross. only three long nails.
And now it begins. The sweating is horrendous. Even those who’ve been gently tied into place descibe it as every sweat gland in the body turning on at once. Within an hour, your body is almost emptied of moisture. You cannot even weep any more. Advanced dehydration sets in almost immediately.
After ten minutes, you notice you cannot breathe. The pressure has built up in your chest, and it feels like your chest is going to burst. Your heart hammers. You panic, and now stand up, trying to get to the surface like a drwoning man. You exhale, and the pressure is gone. The first exhale will be a scream, because you’re now STANDING on that nail through your feet. Your wrists twist, painfully ripping flesh as they twist on the two nails. The bleeding, now beginning to slow, starts again.
And your back, laid open, rips painfully against the Cross. The usual body pose is to press the top of your head against the Cross, so you can position your mouth open, upwards, allowing all that air out. The crown of thorns is driven further into your head.
You stand as long as you can bear the pain, then sink down. All of the phrases on the Cross are very short, as the Lord has to stand on the nail to be able to say them.
Now, you sink down. The pain is still there, but less. Kind of like when your back hurts, and you hunch over… it still hurts, but its bearable.
The Cross is not bearable. It is Ex Crucis, Excruciating. it is supposed to be the most painful death known to man.
You hang there, and everything starts going dark. Panic sets in, and you again torment yourself by standing, so you can exhale.
How long can this last?
The rest of your life.
The will to survive is so great, that people can do this for days. Eventually, one either becomes so tired they cannot do it anymore, and they sink down, and suffocate in minutes.
Or they reach a point of despair, and knowing death is inevitable, they resolve to sink down, and let it end. You begin to pass out…
…and suddenly the pain revives you. Your body, of its own accord, stood so you can exhale.
39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. Luke 23:39-43 (KJV)
If that does not make you weep, thinking about this.. Jesus Christ is dying, in terrible agony. And His thoughts are not for Himself. The first man to beg the crucified Lord for salvation asks Him… and the Lord responds with the only answer He will give… “Yes.”
I am guilty, I deserve this. Lord God, Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.
The Lord stands on the nail, feeling the twisting, the burn, the agony. He stands on the nail and looks you in the eye and says…
“Today, shalt thou be with me in Paradise.”
Most people are not strong enough to do a single pullup. The Lord has already done many of them.
45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 47 Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias. 48 And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. 49 The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him. Matthew 27:45-49 (KJV)
There are seven sayings on the Cross. The Talmud records there are seven sprinklings of the blood of the Red Cow in the Temple (Parah Adumah, Mishnah 9).
The Seven sayings purify the Holy of Holies, and ready it for the offerings, the bringing of Christ’s blood into the Heavenly Altar.
The Earthly Eastern Gate is in line with the Holy of Holies. When Christ returns, He will enter directly facing that spot.
Later that year, Caiaphas would embark on the Holiest of jobs the High Priest had to do. He would enter into the Holy of Holies alone, carrying the Yom Kippur blood offering. The Temple doors would be tied shut with a red cord. The watching priests would watch every year, and were dumbfounded by the sight of the red cord turn white, signifiying that the offering was accepted.
In September of that year, Caiaphas would enter the Temple. The doors were tied shut. Caiaphas would come back to the door, and knock.
The red cord was still red.
It never turned white again.
The Lord cried out, “It is finished!”. He sank down on the cross, not to rise again.
And the veil was rent.
There now is no barrier between man and God. God hung on the Cross with dying men, and promised them salvation. Immediate salvation.
“I love you this much…”
and He spread his arms and died for me.
Jesus Christ is waiting for you. Death comes to all men, and after that, the judgment. You have just read how the Lord suffered and died for you.
He paid a debt He did not owe. You owe a debt you cannot pay. Salvation is free.
Accept it today.
Pray to Jesus Christ. Repent of your sins, and ask the Lord to save you.
If you truly feel the answer is “No”, then I guarantee His answer is “Yes”.
Don’t wait. Ask Him right now.