I wanted to share with you a bit of my research about the crucifixion. To me this is something that I always overlooked and just said kept on saying that it was the ultimate sacrifice. Yes, it is the ultimate sacrifice but have you ever stopped to think of Jesus as a person? Put yourself in His shoes and try being flogged by soldiers.
I wanted to walk this journey with Jesus and He’s really been giving me a glimpse of what He went through as I was throwing insults and mocking him.
The whips that the soldiers were using had multiple ends and on the ropes were tiny metal balls and tiny hooks. This means that every time he was hit he would either get instant blood blisters or his flesh was torn open. In Jewish law it was illegal to hit someone 40 times (40 was a number of death) and for some reason the Romans followed this law and only hit him 39 times. ONLY 39! This video shows what it might have looked like.
That is painful enough, I can’t even imagine what he was feeling. And they were adding salt and sand to the wounds just because they could. Now imagine putting a robe over these wounds. It definitely helped to sooth the pain for a bit until the robe was ripped off and all the wounds were reopened.
Carrying the cross was torture in itself as well. He might of only carried the cross beam but it was put over his shoulders and his hands were attached to it. This beam kept rubbing on his back tearing more flesh. Some of his bones were exposed to air. Jesus fell a few times and every single time he fell the whole weight of the cross fell on him since his hands were attached to the beam, he couldn’t actually get up by himself.
The crown that was put on his head was not only mocking him for saying that he is king but it was a crown made out of thorns that contained poisonous sap. This sap was dripping in his wounds causing even more pain.
Now, since Jesus knew this was going to happened he spent the whole night praying to his father. He was sleep deprived, he was hungry and he was dehydrated. He felt completely abandoned by his father and yet he knew he had to go through this suffering.
Then the nails come in play. These were not the small nails we see in hardware stores, these were big nails as they had to support his whole weight. The first two nails go in his wrists (if they were in his hands he would have fallen off the cross as they would have ripped through his hands) and the last nail goes through his feet. One foot over the other making him stand in an awkward position. I have to add that the small platform we often see on the crucifix was not there. He was literally hanging off of nails and possible rope around the hands.
When we normally stand we don’t use much leg muscles, when our legs are straight our knees lock but Jesus couldn’t do that. He had to use every leg muscles in his body to stay up. Breathing in was easy but because of the way he was positioned but breathing out was really hard. He actually had to push himself on the nail in his feet to breathe out making the hole in his feet bigger every single time.
As he was going through this Jesus saw your face and thought If you were the last person in this planet I would of willingly suffered this same death. As much as he didn’t want to go through all the suffering the love for you is what kept him going. As the soldiers were nailing him he was forgiving them as he knew that there was still the possibility of them converting after witnessing this gruesome death.
Next time you think the whole world is against you think of His sacrifice. Think about how He felt, about His loneliness and his fears. Whatever you’re going through Jesus is there with you and he understands. His arms are wide open ready to receive you as you are.
Here is something I painted along my discovery journey. I know I’m not done learning about His Passion but I also know that I’ve come far from where I started. If you know more facts about the crucifixion please do share them with me.
This is how I’m getting ready for Holy Week? How do you get ready for such a week?
My Catholic Living 🙂