Friday, April 10, 2009

An Easter Devotion about crucifixion

 What is crucifixion? A medical doctor provides a physical description:

The cross is placed on the ground and the exhausted man is quickly
thrown backwards with his shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire
feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square
wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly he moves
to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too
tightly, but to allow some flex and movement. The cross is then lifted into place.

The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both
feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each,
leaving the knees flexed. The victim is now crucified. As he slowly
sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating, fiery
pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain--the nails
in the wrists are putting pressure on the median nerves.
As he pushes himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, he places
the full weight on the nail through his feet. Again he feels the searing agony
of the nail tearing through the nerves between the bones of his feet. As the arms
fatigue, cramps sweep through the muscles, knotting them in deep,
relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to
push himself upward to breathe. Air can be drawn into the lungs but not
exhaled. He fights to raise himself in order to get even one small
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 life-giving oxygen.

Hours of this limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps,
intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from his lacerated
back as he moves up and down against the rough timber.
Then another agony begins: a deep, crushing pain deep in the chest as the
pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart. It is now almost over--the loss
of tissue fluids has reached a critical level--the compressed heart is
struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissues--the
tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of
air. He can feel the chill of death creeping through is tissues. .
.Finally he can allow his body to die.

All this the Bible records with the simple words, "And they crucified
Him." (Mark 15:24). What wondrous love is this?

Adapted from C. Truman Davis, M.D. in The Expositor's Bible
Commentary, Vol. 8
This is from an email forward that I received many years ago, but go back to every Easter to remember the pain that I do not have to go through, because HE did it for me.

2 comments and creative thoughts:

Lindsey said...

Thanks for this. :-) Now you need a devotion for the joy at his rising from the dead, too! :-)

His crucifixion is one of those things you (we) don't want to think about, isn't it? We need to know, though.

CherryBlossomMJ said...

I'm still looking for the perfect one to share.

And yes, you're quite right.

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