Sunday, September 22, 2013

SON OF G-D THE FINAL ACCUSATION The final accusation for which Pilate questioned Jesus was that of being the Son of God (John 19:7). He never questioned Jesus again But Pilate, after seeking to release Jesus once more (John 19:14-15) to no avail, finally consented to let Jesus be crucified (John 19:16), which was done according to the will of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish authority (Luke 23:25). The Sanhedrin’s charge of blasphemy– that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God – was the last formal charge submitted against Jesus before Pilate (John 19:7). Furthermore, Pilate had a placard made up stating the reason for the execution: Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews. Then upon the moment of his death and seeing the terrible things that occurred accompanying Jesus’ death, the centurion bore testimony that truly this was the Son of God (Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:39); thus answering to the charge of Jesus being the Son of God – the King of the Jews! Jesus was accused of three different crimes: … of being the Messiah (Luke 23:2; John 18:33) – Jesus admitted to being the Christ, but Pilate didn’t consider Jesus a threat to Rome (John 18:38). …of insurrection (Luke 23:4-5 – Jesus said nothing, and both Pilate and Herod found him innocent of these charges (Luke 23:13-15). …of being the Son of God – (John 19:7) – Jesus’ only reply to Pilate was that the governor would have no power over him (Jesus) if it was not given from above. This was an admission to the charge of being the Son of God. Pilate did not consider this a threat to Rome, but the Jewish authorities claimed it did, saying their only king was Caesar. Accusing Jesus of saying he was the Son of God was the final charge brought against him by the Jewish authorities before Pilate. Pilate gave in to their demands, washing his hands of personal involvement in the decision (Matthew 27:24) and said it should be done according to their desire (Luke 23:24-25). Jesus was crucified admitting he was the Messiah, the Son of God. Pilate made a placard saying Jesus was the King of the Jews (Messiah) and the centurion admitted as Jesus died that he was the Son of God, answering to both charges that Jesus admitted to. The same charges the Sanhedrin found Jesus guilty and they called it BLASPHEMY!
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia by Geoffrey W. Bromiley 1982 ISBN 0-8028-3782-4 pages 1050-1052 Rosenblatt, Samuel (December 1956). "The Crucifixion of Jesus from the Standpoint of Pharisaic Law". Journal of Biblical Literature (The Society of Biblical Literature) 75 (4): 315–321. doi:10.2307/3261265. JSTOR 3261265. Samuelsson, Gunnar. (2011). Crucifixion in Antiquity. Mohr Siebeck. ISBN 978-3-16-150694-9. In the narrative of the canonical gospels after the betrayal and arrest of Jesus, he is taken to the Sanhedrin, a Jewish judicial body. From a historical perspective, in the era in which the narrative is set, this body was an ad hoc gathering, rather than a fixed court.[8] In the four canonical gospels Jesus is tried and condemned by the Sanhedrin, mocked and beaten and is condemned for making the claim of being the Son of God.[9][10][11] Although the Gospel accounts vary with respect to various details, they agree on the general character and overall structure of the trials of Jesus.[12] Matthias Stom's depiction of Jesus before Caiaphas, c. 1630. Matthew 26:57 states that Jesus was taken to the house of Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were gathered together and in Matthew 27:1 adds that the next morning the priests held another meeting. Mark 14:53 states that Jesus was taken that night "to the high priest" (without naming the priest) where all the chief priests and the elders gathered and in Mark 15:1 it adds that another consultation was held among the priests the next morning. Luke 22:54 states that Jesus was taken to "the high priest's house" (without naming the priest) where he was mocked and beaten that night and in 22:66 it adds that "as soon as it was day", the chief priests and scribes gathered together and led Jesus away into their council.[9][10][11] In John 18:12-14, however, Jesus is first taken to Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was the current high priest at that time. Annas is believed to have been the former high priest, and it appears that Caiaphas sought Annas' confirmation of Caiaphas' actions. In 18:24 Jesus is sent from Annas to Caiaphas the high priest and 18:28 states that in the morning Jesus was led from Caiaphas to Pontius Pilate in the Praetorium.[9][10][11] Jesus in the upper right hand corner, is at the high priest's house, his hands bound behind him, and turns to look at Peter, in Rembrandt's, 1660 depiction of Peter's Denial.In all four Gospel accounts the trial of Jesus before the priests and scribes is interleaved with the Denial of Peter narrative, where Apostle Peter who has followed Jesus denies knowing him three times.[13] Luke 22:61 states that as Jesus was bound and standing at the priest's house Peter was in the courtyard. Jesus "turned and looked straight at him", and Peter remembered the words Jesus had spoken to him: "Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times."[9][10][11][13] In the Gospel accounts Jesus speaks very little, and gives very infrequent and indirect answers to the questions of the priests, prompting an officer to slap him. In Matthew 26:62 the lack of response from Jesus prompts the high priest to ask him: "Answerest thou nothing?" In the Gospel accounts the men that hold Jesus at the high priest's house mock, blindfold, insult and beat him, at times slapping him and asking him to guess who had hit him that time.[9][10][11][14] Mark 14:55-59 states that the chief priests had sought witness against Jesus to put him to death but did not find any, so they arranged false witness against him, but their witnesses did not agree together. Mark 14:61 states that the high priest then asked Jesus: "Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am" at which point the high priest tore his own robe in anger and accused Jesus of blasphemy. In Matthew 26:63 the high priest asks: "tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God." Jesus responds "You have said it", prompting the priest to tear his own robe.[9][10][11] In Luke 22:67 Jesus is asked: "If thou art the Christ, tell us. But he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe". But, in 22:70 when asked: "Are you then the Son of God?" Jesus answers: "You say that I am" affirming the title Son of God.[15] At that point the priests say: "What further need have we of witness? for we ourselves have heard from his own mouth" and decide to condemn Jesus.[9][10][11] Thereafter in Pilate's Court the Jewish elders ask Pontius Pilate to judge and condemn Jesus - accusing him of claiming to be the King of the Jews.[11]
Crucifixion of JesusFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search The Crucifixion (1622) by Simon Vouet; Church of Jesus, GenoaThe crucifixion of Jesus is an event that occurred during the 1st century AD. Jesus, whom Christians believe to be the Son of God as well as the Messiah, was arrested, tried, and sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, and finally crucified. Collectively referred to as the Passion, Jesus' redemptive suffering and death by crucifixion represent the central aspects of Christian theology, including the doctrines of salvation and atonement. Jesus' crucifixion is described in all four Canonical gospels, attested to by other ancient sources, and is firmly established as an historical event confirmed by non-Christian sources.[1][2][3][4][5] Christians believe Jesus' suffering was foretold in the Hebrew Bible, such as in Psalm 22, and Isaiah's songs of the suffering servant.[6] According to a Gospel Harmony, Jesus was arrested in Gethsemane following the Last Supper with the Twelve Apostles, and forced to stand trial before the Sanhedrin, Pontius Pilate, and Herod Antipas, before being handed over for crucifixion. After being flogged, Jesus was mocked by Roman soldiers as the "King of the Jews", clothed in a purple robe, crowned with thorns, beaten and spat on. Jesus then had to make his way to the place of his crucifixion. Once at Golgotha, Jesus was offered wine mixed with gall to drink. Matthew's and Mark's Gospels record that he refused this. He was then crucified and hung between two convicted thieves. According to Mark's Gospel, he endured the torment of crucifixion for some six hours from the third hour, at approximately 9 am,[7] until his death at the ninth hour, corresponding to about 3 pm.[8] The soldiers affixed a sign above his head stating "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" in three languages, divided his garments and cast lots for his seamless robe. The Roman soldiers did not break Jesus' legs, as they did to the other two men crucified (breaking the legs hastened the crucifixion process), as Jesus was dead already. Each gospel has its own account of Jesus' last words, seven statements altogether.[9] In the Synoptic Gospels, various supernatural events accompany the crucifixion, including darkness, an earthquake, and (in Matthew) the resurrection of saints. Following Jesus' death, his body was removed from the cross by Joseph of Arimathea and buried in a rock-hewn tomb, with Nicodemus assisting. According to the Gospels, Jesus then rose from the dead two days later ("the third day").[10] In the New Testament all four Gospels conclude with an extended narrative of Jesus' arrest, trial, crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. In each Gospel these five events in the life of Jesus are treated with more intense detail than any other portion of that Gospel's narrative. Scholars note that the reader receives an almost hour-by-hour account of what is happening.[11]:p.91 Christians have traditionally understood Jesus' death on the cross to be a knowing and willing sacrifice (given that he did not mount a defense in his trials) which was undertaken as an "agent of God" to atone for humanity's sin and make salvation possible.[12][13][14][15] Most Christians proclaim this sacrifice through the bread and wine of the Eucharist, as a remembrance of the Last Supper, and many also commemorate the event on Good Friday each year.[16][17] Chronology of the crucifixion[edit source | editbeta]Main article: Chronology of Jesus Year of the crucifixion[edit source | editbeta] Andrea di Bartolo, Way to Calvary, c. 1400. The cluster of halos at the left are the Virgin Mary in front, with the Three Marys.Although there is no consensus regarding the exact date of the crucifixion of Jesus, it is generally agreed by biblical scholars that it was on a Friday on or near Passover (Nisan 15), during the governorship of Pontius Pilate (who ruled AD 26–36). Since an observational calendar was used during the time of Jesus, including an ascertainment of the new moon and ripening barley harvest, the exact day or even month for Passover in a given year is subject to speculation.[86][87] Various approaches have been used to estimate the year of the crucifixion, including the Canonical Gospels, the chronology of the life of Apostle Paul, as well as different astronomical models—see Chronology of Jesus for a detailed discussion. Scholars have provided estimates for the year of crucifixion in the range AD 30–36.[88][89][90] The majority of modern scholars favour the date 7 April, 30 AD.[91][92] Another popular date is Friday, April 3, AD 33.[93][94][95] Day of week and hour[edit source | editbeta]The consensus of modern scholarship is that the New Testament accounts represent a crucifixion occurring on a Friday, but a Thursday or Wednesday crucifixion have also been proposed.[96][97] Some scholars explain a Thursday crucifixion based on a "double sabbath" caused by an extra Passover sabbath falling on Thursday dusk to Friday afternoon, ahead of the normal weekly Sabbath.[96][98] Some have argued that Jesus was crucified on Wednesday, not Friday, on the grounds of the mention of "three days and three nights" in Matthew before his resurrection, celebrated on Sunday. Others have countered by saying that this ignores the Jewish idiom by which a "day and night" may refer to any part of a 24-hour period, that the expression in Matthew is idiomatic, not a statement that Jesus was 72 hours in the tomb, and that the many references to a resurrection on the third day do not require three literal nights.[96][99] In Mark 15:25 crucifixion takes place at the third hour (9 a.m.) and Jesus' death at the ninth hour (3 p.m.).[100] However, in John 19:14 Jesus is still before Pilate at the sixth hour.[101] Scholars have presented a number of arguments to deal with the issue, some suggesting a reconciliation, e.g., based on the use of Roman timekeeping in John but not in Mark, yet others have rejected the arguments.[101][102][103] Several notable scholars have argued that the modern precision of marking the time of day should not be read back into the gospel accounts, written at a time when no standardization of timepieces, or exact recording of hours and minutes was available, and time was often approximated to the closest three-hour period.[101][104][105] Path to the crucifixion[edit source | editbeta]Main articles: Christ carrying the Cross and Via Dolorosa The three Synoptic Gospels refer to a man called Simon of Cyrene who is made to carry the cross,[106] while in the Gospel of John, Jesus is said to "bear" his own cross.[Jn. 19:17] Luke's gospel also describes an interaction between Jesus and the women among the crowd of mourners following him, quoting Jesus as saying "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!' Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us,' and to the hills, 'Cover us.' For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?"[Lk. 23:28-31] Traditionally, the path that Jesus took is called Via Dolorosa (Latin for "Way of Grief" or "Way of Suffering") and is a street in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is marked by nine of the fourteen Stations of the Cross. It passes the Ecce Homo Church and the last five stations are inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. There is no reference to the legendary[107] Veronica in the Gospels, but sources such as Acta Sanctorum describe her as a pious woman of Jerusalem who, moved with pity as Jesus carried his cross to Golgotha, gave him her veil that he might wipe his forehead.[108][109][110][111] Place of the crucifixion[edit source | editbeta]See also: Empty tomb A diagram of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the historical site based on a German documentary.The precise location of the crucifixion remains a matter of conjecture, but the biblical accounts indicate that it was outside the city walls,[Jn. 19:20] [Heb. 13:12] accessible to passers-by[Mt. 27:39] [Mk. 15:21,29-30] and observable from some distance away.[Mk. 15:40] Eusebius identified its location only as being north of Mount Zion,[112] which is consistent with the two most popularly suggested sites of modern times. Calvary as an English name for the place is derived from the Latin word for skull (calvaria), which is used in the Vulgate translation of "place of a skull", the explanation given in all four Gospels of the Aramaic word Gûlgaltâ which was the name of the place where Jesus was crucified.[113] The text does not indicate why it was so designated, but several theories have been put forward. One is that as a place of public execution, Calvary may have been strewn with the skulls of abandoned victims (which would be contrary to Jewish burial traditions, but not Roman). Another is that Calvary is named after a nearby cemetery (which is consistent with both of the proposed modern sites). A third is that the name was derived from the physical contour, which would be more consistent with the singular use of the word, i.e., the place of "a skull". While often referred to as "Mount Calvary", it was more likely a small hill or rocky knoll.[114] The traditional site, inside what is now occupied by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Christian Quarter of the Old City, has been attested since the 4th century. A second site (commonly referred to as Gordon's Calvary[115] ), located further north of the Old City near a place popularly called the Garden Tomb, has been promoted since the 19th century, mostly by Protestants. People present at the crucifixion[edit source | editbeta] The dead Christ with the Virgin, John the Evangelist and Mary Magdalene. Unknown painter of the 18th centuryThe Gospel of Matthew[27] presents many individuals at the Crucifixion with Jesus. Two rebels or thieves were crucified with Jesus,one on his right and one on his left (v. 38). There were also a centurion and other soldiers guarding those being crucified (v. 54). Also, watching from a distance, there were "many women" who had been following Jesus during his ministry (v 55), most notably, "Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee's sons." (v. 56). The Gospel of Luke[23:28-31] states that on the way to Calvary Jesus spoke to a number of women within the crowd of mourners following him, addressing them as "Daughters of Jerusalem". Biblical scholars have produced various theories about the identity of these women, and those actually present during the crucifixion itself, including among them Mary (Jesus' mother) and Mary Magdalene.[116][117] Luke's Gospel does not mention that Jesus' mother was present during crucifixion. However, the Gospel of John[19:26-27] does place her at the crucifixion and states that while on the cross: Jesus saw his own mother, and the disciple standing near whom he loved, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold your son". The Gospel of John also places other women (The Three Marys), at the cross. It states that Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.[Jn. 19:25] It is uncertain whether the Gospel of John totally refers to three or four women at the cross. References to the women are also made in Matthew 27:56 and Mark 15:40 (which also mentions Salome) and comparing these references they all seem to include Mary Magdalene.[118] The Gospel of Mark states that Roman soldiers were also present at the crucifixion: And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, "Surely this man was the Son of God!".[Mk. 15:39] Method and manner of crucifixion[edit source | editbeta]Main article: Instrument of Jesus' crucifixion Shape of gibbet[edit source | editbeta] Crucifixion of Jesus on a two-beamed cross, from the Sainte Bible (1866)Whereas most Christians believe the gibbet on which Jesus was executed was the traditional two-beamed cross, debate exists regarding the view that a single upright stake was used. The Greek and Latin words used in the earliest Christian writings are ambiguous. The Koine Greek terms used in the New Testament are stauros (σταυρός) and xylon (ξύλον). The latter means wood (a live tree, timber or an object constructed of wood); in earlier forms of Greek, the former term meant an upright stake or pole, but in Koine Greek it was used also to mean a cross.[119] The Latin word crux was also applied to objects other than a cross.[120] However, early Christians writers who speak of the shape of the particular gibbet on which Jesus died invariably describe it as having a cross-beam. For instance, the Epistle of Barnabas, which was certainly earlier than 135,[121] and may have been of the 1st century AD,[122] the time when the gospel accounts of the death of Jesus were written, likened it to the letter T (the Greek letter tau, which had the numeric value of 300),[123] and to the position assumed by Moses in Exodus 17:11–12.[124] Justin Martyr (100–165) explicitly says the cross of Christ was of two-beam shape: "That lamb which was commanded to be wholly roasted was a symbol of the suffering of the cross which Christ would undergo. For the lamb, which is roasted, is roasted and dressed up in the form of the cross. For one spit is transfixed right through from the lower parts up to the head, and one across the back, to which are attached the legs of the lamb."[125] Irenaeus, who died around the end of the 2nd century, speaks of the cross as having "five extremities, two in length, two in breadth, and one in the middle, on which [last] the person rests who is fixed by the nails."[126] For other witnesses to how early Christians envisaged the shape of the gibbet used for Jesus, see Dispute about Jesus' execution method. Nails[edit source | editbeta]The assumption of the use of a two-beamed cross does not determine the number of nails used in the crucifixion and some theories suggest three nails while others suggest four nails.[127] However, throughout history larger numbers of nails have been hypothesized, at times as high as 14 nails.[128] These variations are also present in the artistic depictions of the crucifixion.[129] In the Western Church, before the Renaissance usually four nails would be depicted, with the feet side by side. After the Renaissance most depictions use three nails, with one foot placed on the other.[129] Nails are almost always depicted in art, although Romans sometimes just tied the victims to the cross.[129] The tradition also carries to Christian emblems, e.g. the Jesuits use three nails under the IHS monogram and a cross to symbolize the crucifixion.[130] The placing of the nails in the hands, or the wrists is also uncertain. Some theories suggest that the Greek word cheir (χειρ) for hand includes the wrist and that the Romans were generally trained to place nails through Destot's space (between the capitate and lunate bones) without fracturing any bones.[131] Another theory suggests that the Greek word for hand also includes the forearm and that the nails were placed near the radius and ulna of the forearm.[132] Ropes may have also been used to fasten the hands in addition to the use of nails.[133] Standing platform[edit source | editbeta]Another issue has been the use of a hypopodium as a standing platform to support the feet, given that the hands may not have been able to support the weight. In the 17th century Rasmus Bartholin considered a number of analytical scenarios of that topic.[128] In the 20th century, forensic pathologist Frederick Zugibe performed a number of crucifixion experiments by using ropes to hang human subjects at various angles and hand positions.[132] His experiments support an angled suspension, and a two-beamed cross, and perhaps some form of foot support, given that in an Aufbinden form of suspension from a straight stake (as used by the Nazis in the Dachau concentration camp during World War II), death comes rather quickly.[134] Mark / Matthew 1."E′li, E′li, la′ma sa‧bach‧tha′ni?" [Mt. 27:46] [Mk. 15:34] (Aramaic for "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"). The only words of Jesus on the cross in the Mark and Matthew accounts, this is a quotation of Psalm 22. Since other verses of the same Psalm are cited in the crucifixion accounts, it is often considered a literary and theological creation. Geza Vermes, however, points out that the verse is cited in Aramaic rather than the Hebrew in which it would usually have been recited, and suggests that by the time of Jesus, this phrase had become a proverbial saying in common usage.[136] Compared to the accounts in the other Gospels, which he describes as 'theologically correct and reassuring', he considers this phrase 'unexpected, disquieting and in consequence more probable'.[137] He describes it as bearing 'all the appearances of a genuine cry'.[138] Raymond Brown likewise comments that he finds 'no persuasive argument against attributing to the Jesus of Mark/Matt the literal sentiment of feeling forsaken expressed in the Psalm quote'.[139] Luke 1."Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." [Some early manuscripts do not have this][Lk. 23:34] 2."Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."[Lk. 23:43] 3."Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!"[Lk. 23:46] The Luke Gospel omits the cry of Jesus, playing down the suffering of Jesus and replacing a cry of desperation with one of hope and confidence, in keeping with the message of the Gospel as a whole, presenting Jesus as dying confident that he would be vindicated as God's righteous prophet.[140] John 1."Woman, behold, your son!" [Jn. 19:25-27] 2."I thirst."[Jn. 19:28] 3."It is finished."[Jn. 19:30] The last words of Jesus have been the subject of a wide range of Christian teachings and sermons, and a number of authors have written books specifically devoted to the last sayings of Christ.[141][142][143][144][145][146] However, since the statements of the last words differ between the four canonical Gospels, James Dunn has expressed doubts about their historicity.[147] 57.^ Jump up to: a b Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. "Matthew," p. 129–270 Darkness[edit source | editbeta]Main article: Crucifixion darkness In the synoptic narrative, while Jesus is hanging on the cross, the sky over Judea (or the whole world) is "darkened for three hours," from the sixth to the ninth hour (noon to mid-afternoon). Some Christian writers considered the possibility that pagan commentators may have mentioned this event, mistaking it for a solar eclipse - although this would have been impossible during the Passover, which takes place at the full moon. Roman orator Julius Africanus and Christian theologian Origen refer to Greek historian Phlegon as having written "with regard to the eclipse in the time of Tiberius Caesar, in whose reign Jesus appears to have been crucified, and the great earthquakes which then took place"[149] The Crucifixion Of Jesus A medical explanation of what Jesus endured on the day He died By Dr. C. Truman Davis* A Physician Analyzes the Crucifixion. From New Wine Magazine, April 1982. Originally published in Arizona Medicine, March 1965, Arizona Medical Association. Several years ago I became interested in the physical aspects of the passion, or suffering, of Jesus Christ when I read an account of the crucifixion in Jim Bishop's book, The Day Christ Died. I suddenly realized that I had taken the crucifixion more or less for granted all these years - that I had grown callous to its horror by a too-easy familiarity with the grim details. It finally occurred to me that, as a physician, I did not even know the actual immediate cause of Christ's death. The gospel writers do not help much on this point. Since crucifixion and scourging were so common during their lifetimes, they undoubtedly considered a detailed description superfluous. For that reason we have only the concise words of the evangelists: "Pilate, having scourged Jesus, delivered Him to them to be crucified ... and they crucified Him." Despite the gospel accounts silence on the details of Christ's crucifixion, many have looked into this subject in the past. In my personal study of the event from a medical viewpoint, I am indebted especially to Dr. Pierre Barbet, a French surgeon who did exhaustive historical and experimental research and wrote extensively on the topic. An attempt to examine the infinite psychic and spiritual suffering of the Incarnate1 God in atonement for the sins of fallen man is beyond the scope of this article. However, the physiological and anatomical aspects of our Lord's passion we can examine in some detail. What did the body of Jesus of Nazareth actually endure during those hours of torture? Gethsemane The physical passion of Christ began in Gethsemane. Of the many aspects of His initial suffering, the one which is of particular physiological interest is the bloody sweat. Interestingly enough, the physician, St. Luke, is the only evangelist to mention this occurrence. He says, "And being in an agony, he prayed the longer. And his sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground" (Luke 22:44 KJV). Every attempt imaginable has been used by modern scholars to explain away the phenomenon of bloody sweat, apparently under the mistaken impression that it simply does not occur. A great deal of effort could be saved by consulting the medical literature. Though very rare, the phenomenon of hematidrosis, or bloody sweat, is well documented. Under great emotional stress, tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can break, thus mixing blood with sweat. This process alone could have produced marked weakness and possible shock. Although Jesus' betrayal and arrest are important portions of the passion story, the next event in the account which is significant from a medical perspective is His trial before the Sanhedrin and Caiaphas, the High Priest. Here the first physical trauma was inflicted. A soldier struck Jesus across the face for remaining silent when questioned by Caiaphas. The palace guards then blindfolded Him, mockingly taunted Him to identify them as each passed by, spat on Him, and struck Him in the face. Before Pilate SCOURGING In the early morning, battered and bruised, dehydrated, and worn out from a sleepless night, Jesus was taken across Jerusalem to the Praetorium of the Fortress Antonia, the seat of government of the Procurator of Judea, Pontius Pilate. We are familiar with Pilate's action in attempting to shift responsibility to Herod Antipas, the Tetrarch of Judea. Jesus apparently suffered no physical mistreatment at the hands of Herod and was returned to Pilate. It was then, in response to the outcry of the mob, that Pilate ordered Barabbas released and condemned Jesus to scourging and crucifixion. Preparations for Jesus' scourging were carried out at Caesar's orders. The prisoner was stripped of His clothing and His hands tied to a post above His head. The Roman legionnaire stepped forward with the flagrum, or flagellum, in his hand. This was a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached near the ends of each. The heavy whip was brought down with full force again and again across Jesus' shoulders, back, and legs. At first the weighted thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continued, they cut deeper into the subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles. The small balls of lead first produced large deep bruises that were broken open by subsequent blows. Finally, the skin of the back was hanging in long ribbons, and the entire area was an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When it was determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner was near death, the beating was finally stopped. Mockery The half-fainting Jesus was then untied and allowed to slump to the stone pavement, wet with his own blood. The Roman soldiers saw a great joke in this provincial Jew claiming to be a king. They threw a robe across His shoulders and placed a stick in His hand for a scepter. They still needed a crown to make their travesty complete. Small flexible branches covered with long thorns, commonly used for kindling fires in the charcoal braziers in the courtyard, were plaited into the shape of a crude crown. The crown was pressed into his scalp and again there was copious bleeding as the thorns pierced the very vascular tissue. After mocking Him and striking Him across the face, the soldiers took the stick from His hand and struck Him across the head, driving the thorns deeper into His scalp. Finally, they tired of their sadistic sport and tore the robe from His back. The robe had already become adherent to the clots of blood and serum in the wounds, and its removal, just as in the careless removal of a surgical bandage, caused excruciating pain. The wounds again began to bleed. Golgotha In deference to Jewish custom, the Romans apparently returned His garments. The heavy patibulum of the cross was tied across His shoulders. The procession of the condemned Christ, two thieves, and the execution detail of Roman soldiers headed by a centurion began its slow journey along the route which we know today as the Via Dolorosa. In spite of Jesus' efforts to walk erect, the weight of the heavy wooden beam, together with the shock produced by copious loss of blood, was too much. He stumbled and fell. The rough wood of the beam gouged into the lacerated skin and muscles of the shoulders. He tried to rise, but human muscles had been pushed beyond their endurance. The centurion, anxious to proceed with the crucifixion, selected a stalwart North African onlooker, Simon of Cyrene, to carry the cross. Jesus followed, still bleeding and sweating the cold, clammy sweat of shock. The 650-yard journey from the Fortress Antonia to Golgotha was finally completed. The prisoner was again stripped of His clothing except for a loin cloth which was allowed the Jews. The crucifixion began. Jesus was offered wine mixed with myrrh, a mild analgesic, pain-reliving mixture. He refused the drink. Simon was ordered to place the patibulum on the ground, and Jesus was quickly thrown backward, with His shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire felt for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drove a heavy, square wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly, he moved to the other side and repeated the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flexion and movement. The patibulum was then lifted into place at the top of the stipes, and the titulus reading "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" was nailed into place. The left foot was pressed backward against the right foot. With both feet extended, toes down, a nail was driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees moderately flexed. The victim was now crucified. Death The common method of ending a crucifixion was by crurifracture, the breaking of the bones of the leg. This prevented the victim from pushing himself upward; the tension could not be relieved from the muscles of the chest, and rapid suffocation occurred. The legs of the two thieves were broken, but when the soldiers approached Jesus, they saw that this was unnecessary. Apparently, to make doubly sure of death, the legionnaire drove his lance between the ribs, upward through the pericardium and into the heart. John 19:34 states, "And immediately there came out blood and water." Thus there was an escape of watery fluid from the sac surrounding the heart and the blood of the interior of the heart. This is rather conclusive post-mortem evidence that Jesus died, not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium. Resurrection In these events, we have seen a glimpse of the epitome of evil that man can exhibit toward his fellow man and toward God. This is an ugly sight and is likely to leave us despondent and depressed. But the crucifixion was not the end of the story. How grateful we can be that we have a sequel: a glimpse of the infinite mercy of God toward man--the gift of atonement, the miracle of the resurrection, and the expectation of Easter morning.

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