The Cross

On Sunday we discussed how the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus all pointed to the Kingdom. Here are some of the notes from Sunday regarding Christ’s death.

Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, died by crucifixion. You can read the accounts of his death in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19.

Crucifixion was so horrendous that a word was created to just describe it. Excruciating mean “from the cross.”

Scourging

Before a person was crucified, they were scourged. Many would died from the scourging before even making it to the cross due the fact that it was so painful. The person being scourged would have his hands chained above his head in order to expose his back, butt, and legs. The executioner would then start whipping him with a cat’o nine tail which was made of several long, leather straps with metal balls, glass and metal hooks on the end.

The idea was to whip the back, butt and legs tenderizing and destroying the flesh and muscles making it look like raw, bloody ground meat. Every now and then a strap would whip across the front of the defendant, latching onto one of the ribs and ripping it completely out of the body. Victims would shout is agony, shake violently, and bleed heavily.

Crown of thorns
A crown of thorns was shoved onto Christ’s head making his hair and beard a drenched mess. Blood and sweat most likely ran into his eyes causing them to sting every time he attempted to open them.

Mocked

Throughout the entire process our God was mocked and spat on. His beard was ripped right off of his face. This was the ultimate sign of disgrace in that day. This was all done in front of his friends and family.

Crossbar of the Cross
Roughly 100 pounds of unfinished, splintery wood was placed on Christ’s back to carry.  The beam was most likely recycled layered with blood from past crucifixions.Christ collapsed under the weight of the cross and Simon had to carry the beam the rest of the way.
Crucifixion
7 inch, rough, metal nails were driven into his hands or wrists and feet, witch are the most sensitive nerve centers of the body, nailing him to the cross. To die by crucifixion would mean to die by asphyxiation. So while hanging on the cross, one would eventually die by not being able to breathe. Each breath would be tremendously painful, as they would have to pull themselves up for each breath.

This was all done in public places. If crucifixion happened today it would most likely be down long the side of streets and freeways, or in front of the mall so everyone could see. The worst, low life type of people would gather around those being crucified to mock, spit at, jeer and shame the person. The cross was usually set at eye level so that people walking by would see them face to face. Eventually, one being crucified, would loss all control of bodily function. A pool of blood, urine, waste, sweat, and tears would collected at the bottom of the cross.

Why did he die?

Romans 4:25 “He was delivered up for our trespasses”

Romans 5:8 “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

1 Corinthians 15:3 “Christ died for our sins”

1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God”

Galatians 3:13 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us ”

The only way into the Kingdom of God is through the cross of Christ.

Nick

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