A Medical View of the Crucifixion (Part 2)
This is an amazing view of our Lord's love for us. If you are not moved by this account then something is wrong with you! Please take the time to read this through. I know that it is long, yet I guarantee that you will not regret that you read this. If you have not read the first part of this article, please take the time to do so (click here).
"The heavy beam of the cross is then tied across His shoulders, and the procession of the condemned Christ, two thieves and the execution detail, begin it’s slow journey. The weight of the heavy wooden beam, together with the shock produced by copious blood loss is too much. He stumbles and falls. The rough wood of the beam gouges into the lacerated skin and muscles of the shoulders. He tries to rise, but human muscles have been pushed beyond their endurance.
"At Golgotha the beam is placed on the ground and Jesus is quickly thrown backward 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 flexion and movement. The beam is then lifted in place at the top of the posts and titulus reading “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” is nailed in place.
"The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven in the arch of each. As He pushes Himself upward to avoid the stretching torment, He places His full weight on the nail through his feet. Again there is the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of the feet.
"As the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by his arms, the pectoral muscles re paralyzed and the intercostal muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one more short 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 glory to the life-giving oxygen.
"Hours of this limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphixation, 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.
"The compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick , sluggish blood into the tissues- the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp is small gulps of air. The markedly dehydrated tissues send their flood of stimuli to the brain. Jesus gasps “I thirst”.
"He can feel the chill of death creeping through His tissues. With one last surge of strength, He once again presses His torn feet against the nail, straightens His legs, takes a deeper breath, and utters his seventh and last cry, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit”.
"Apparently to make doubly sure of death, the legionnaire drove his lance through the fifth interspace between the ribs, upward through pericardium and into the heart. Immediately there came out blood and water. We, therefore, have rather conclusive post-mortem evidence that Our Lord died, not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in pericardium."