Saturday, March 22, 2008

Like A Rose Trampled On The Ground

At the age of 33, JC was condemned to death penalty.

Long, sharp nails were craved into the pulses, and not into the palms. In the pulse, there's a tendon which extends till the shoulder, and when the nails were being hammered, that tendon broke, obliging Him to reinforce all the muscles of His back, so that He could breath as He was losing all the air from His lungs.

In this way, He was forced to support Himself onto the nail craved in His feet, which was bigger than those craved into His pulses, for both feet were craved together. As His feet could not endure for a long time without tearing, He was forced to alternate that "cycle" so that He could breath.

The average human body (adult) is composed by nearly 3.5 litres of blood. He poured all 3.5 litres of His blood, had three nails hammered into His members, a crown of thorns on His head and, beyond that, a Roman soldier who nailed a spear into His chest.

All these without mentioning the humiliation He passed after carrying His own cross for almost 2 km, while the crowd spat on His face and threw stones (the cross was almost 30 kg of weight, only for its higher part, where His hands were nailed).

The Suffering

Matthew and Mark tell us that the soldiers offered JC a drink of wine mixed with myrrh as a narcotic to alleviate his suffering before they drove the nails through
His hands and feet, but He refused it (Matthew 27:34; Mark 15:23). No chemical substance would dull the pain that my best friend felt that awful day.

No matter what we may suffer in this life, JC (short for Jesus Christ) experienced something just as bad. He suffered the torture of crucifixion without so much as an aspirin. Many of us carry burdens of secret sorrows which others do not know. We struggle with physical or emotional pain. It's hard for us to get out of bed and go on with life.

He understands and knows what we're going through. Only a fool would say to his wife in the last painful moments of childbirth, "Honey, I know how you feel." Those words are a great comfort when they come from someone who has gone through what you're going through, but they're an insult coming from anyone else.

Jesus says, "I know how you feel."

And He really does.

He comes to you, calls you by name, and says, "I know how you feel."

Are you a baby in wet diapers living in a world where everyone's bigger and stronger and smarter than you are?

Jesus says, "I know how you feel."

Are you a teenager whose best friends deserted you when you needed them most?

Jesus says, "I know how you feel."

Are you homeless and hungry?

Jesus says, "I know how you feel."

Are you weak and in great pain?

Jesus says, "I know how you feel."

700 years before Jesus was born, the prophet Isaiah said he would be "a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief" (Isaiah 53:3). "Acquainted" indeed! Jesus knew all there was to know about our woes. He knew our pain and problems not because He read a book about them or something, but because He experienced them Himself!

Why Did Jesus Die a Brutal Death?

Jesus carried the sin-weight of the entire world and His physical suffering was brutal, but it was our sins that caused Him the most suffering.

Jesus' suffering and torture shows the hatred and cruelty of humanity. Satan's hatred of God and His Son Jesus were the motivation behind the extreme torture and abuse. The suffering of Jesus is an example of how sinful man feels toward a holy God.

The Bible declares that it's by Jesus' stripes we ARE healed! We're all sinners and have fallen short of what God demands so Jesus, who lived His whole life on earth WITHOUT SIN, died for us, so through faith in His atoning act we could go to heaven!

Jesus is the Pioneer and the Perfector of our faith. As a Pioneer, He went ahead and blazed a trail for us. Hebrews says that Jesus was made perfect through suffering. Through His suffering on the cross, He completed the work the Father sent Him to do: to purchase a place in heaven for us.

"We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are." - Hebrews 4:15

"Because He Himself was tested by what He suffered, He is able to help those who are being tested." - Hebrews 2:18

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