Christ's Sacrificial Love
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” -1 John 4:10
Have you ever been in excruciating pain? This term, “excruciating,” means “out of the cross.” Perhaps a better understanding of the crucifixion would help us appreciate Christ’s sacrificial love.
The Roman flogging that Christ endured consisted of 39 lashes from a whip of braided leather thongs with metal balls woven into them. The whip had pieces of sharp bone which would cut the flesh severely, causing excruciating pain. This weakened condition likely caused low blood pressure and was probably what made Jesus collapse on the road to Calvary.
Then, the soldiers pressed a crown of thorns into Christ’s skull which may have been strong enough to cause bleeding inside His brain. Next, they drove spikes into the median nerve of His wrists that caused extreme pain, excruciating pain.
Life Lesson: The extreme measure of Christ’s sacrifice was simply a measure of His extreme love for you.
At this point, Jesus was hoisted on the crossbeam that was attached to a vertical stake and then nails were driven through His feet, crushing the nerves in the feet, rendering a similar type of pain as was felt in the wrists. Christ’s position on the cross stretched His arms beyond their ability to stretch; usually about six inches beyond. His shoulders were probably dislocated.
As Jesus hung on the cross, He could breathe in, but He could not relax the muscles of His rib cage sufficiently to breathe out. The pushing motion of exhaling would twist the nails against His bone and cause even more pain. Excruciating pain.
John 19:34 tells us that the soldiers drove a spear into Christ’s side, most likely piercing His right lung and pericardial sac which, when pierced, would have exploded and poured out a clear watery substance followed by blood. Hence blood and water flowed. But typically, a large build up of this fluid around the heart is a sign that the person died of a heart attack, because his heart was beating too fast. The facts reveal that Jesus did not die of suffocation on the cross, He died of a broken heart.
Question to Meditate on: If there was a purpose in Christ’s suffering, then what are the purposes for your suffering today?
1) Thank the Lord Jesus Christ for His sacrificial death on the cross.
2) Because Jesus died for you, make a commitment that you will live for Him.