Day 32: The Effects of Crucifixion
“I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is turned to wax; it has melted within me. My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth…Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet. All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment” (Psalm 22:14-18).
“Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I am thirsty’” (John 19:28).
As we read through Psalm 22, we come to a description of a state of body which sounds remarkably like the affects of crucifixion. John MacArthur says the passage in Psalm 22:14-17, “describes the crucifixion of Christ with uncanny accuracy, even though it was written centuries before anyone ever thought of executing criminals this way. The piercing of the hands and feet refers, of course, to nails used to fasten Jesus to the cross. Jesus’ bones would be ‘out of joint’ when (after nailing Him to the cross) the executioners would lift the cross upright and let it drop into a post-hole that had been dug deep enough to allow the cross to stand upright. The bone-jarring impact would dislocate multiple joints throughout the body. The bones could be counted because extreme trauma and dehydration left Him an almost skeletal figure.”
While we do not want to dwell upon the physical suffering of Jesus merely to be shocking, it is important for us to understand not only what Jesus endured for us, but how it corresponds with what had been prophesied about Him in the ages before His incarnation. Dr. C Truman Davis gives an excellent description, which could be Googled for those who are interested in such details, but for our purposes we will summarize his account: The weight on Jesus’ arms and feet would have caused pain, not only from the wounds, but from the nerves running through that area, causing spasms and cramps. The effect would be extreme pain, only ended by death.
• When you consider the events of Good Friday, how does it impact you? Is there a disconnect, a mere head-acknowledgement of the suffering, or is there a true sense of awe and gratitude?
• If you are struggling to connect here, pray that God will open your heart.
Lord, open my mind and heart more and more so I can better grasp what You did upon the cross, what You suffered for me, and why. I do not want to have a been-there-done-that attitude about the most amazing display of grace ever performed. I want to become more grateful, more worshipful as I contemplate this pivotal event in the history of Your interactions with man, with me.
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries
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