Quote of the Day April 13, 2017

crosses-art-2092530 [b]His torment began in the Garden of Gethsemane after the emotional Last Supper. There Jesus experienced a medical condition known as hematidrosis. Tiny capillaries in his sweat glands ruptured, mixing sweat with blood. As a result, Christ’s skin became extremely fragile.

The same night, Jesus was betrayed by Judas, disowned by Peter, and arrested by the temple guard. Before Caiaphas the high priest, he was mocked, beaten, and spat upon. The next morning, Jesus, battered, bruised, and bleeding was led into the Praetorium. There Jesus was stripped and subjected to the brutality of Roman flogging. A whip replete with razor-sharp bones and lead balls reduced his body to quivering ribbons of bleeding flesh. As Christ slumped into the pool of his own blood, the soldiers threw a scarlet robe across his shoulders, thrust a scepter into his hand, and pressed sharp thorns into his scalp.

After they mocked him, they took the scepter out of his hand and repeatedly struck him on the head. Now Jesus was in critical condition. A heavy wooden beam was thrust upon Christ’s bleeding body, and he was led away to a place called Golgotha. There the Lord experienced ultimate physical torture in the form of the cross. The Roman system of crucifixion had been fine-tuned to produce maximum pain. In fact, the word excruciating (literally “out of the cross”) had to be invented to fully codify the horror.

At the “the place of the skull,” the Roman soldiers drove thick, seven-inch iron spikes through Christ’s hands and feet. Waves of pain pulsated through Christ’s body as the nails lacerated his nerves. Breathing became an agonizing endeavor as Christ pushed his tortured body upward to grasp small gulps of air. In the ensuing hours, he experienced cycles of joint-wrenching cramps, intermittent asphyxiation, and excruciating pain as his lacerated back moved up and down against the rough timber of the cross.

As the chill of death crept through his body, Jesus cried out, “‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’—which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” (Matthew 27:46). And in that anguished cry was encapsulated the greatest agony of all. For on the cross, Christ bore the sin and suffering of all humanity. And then with his passion complete, Jesus gave up his spirit.

Shortly thereafter, a Roman legionnaire drove his spear through the fifth interspace between the ribs, upward through the pericardium, and into Christ’s heart. From the wound rushed forth blood and water, demonstrating conclusively that Jesus had suffered fatal torment.

—Hank Hanegraaff