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.
It is now almost over - the loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level. The compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissues. The tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. He can feel the chill of death creeping through his tissues. Finally he can allow his body to die.
But the most startling scenes are yet to come. "For indeed a death by crucifixion seems to include all that pain and death can have of horrible and ghastly - dizziness, cramp, thirst, starvation, sleeplessness, traumatic fever, tetanus, shame, publicity of shame, long continuance of torment, horror of anticipation, mortification of untended wounds - all intensified just up to the point at which they can be endured at all, but all stopping just short of the point which would give to the sufferer the relief of unconsciousness.
"The unnatural position made every movement painful; the lacerated veins and crushed tendons throbbed with incessant anguish; the wounds inflamed by exposure, gradually gangrened; the arteries - especially at the head and stomach - became swollen and oppressed with surcharged blood; and while each variety of misery went on gradually increasing, there was added to them the intolerable pang of a burning and raging thirst; and all these physical complications caused an internal excitement and anxiety, which made the prospect of death itself - of death, the unknown enemy, at whose approach man usually shudders most - bear the aspect of a delicious and exquisite release."
But wait it is not over yet, as the agony began the evening before. He knew the time had come to take upon Himself the world's sins, and suffer the retributive justice for them. He who had never sinned now took upon Himself it's crushing weight, he began to experience such indescribable anguish as to sweat blood (Luke 22:44) The death process for our sins had begun. after this, Jesus would have soon died even if they had never put him on the cross. The blood-sweat of agony, when the circulatory system breaks down under extreme mental anguish, is a first sign of approaching death, which will follow within a matter of hours.
And now, as He hung on the cross, the powers of darkness pressed upon Jesus. Now, as he felt the crushing weight, the horror of the sins of the world that he had taken upon himself to shoulder - your guilt and mine- as he felt it descending upon him, the agony grew unbearable. So great was the anguish that his physical pain was hardly felt. The guilt of every wrong committed on this planet presses upon His soul. In the place of the wrongdoer, the Son of God suffers the penalty.
Now, in the darkness, it seems that even his heavenly Father has deserted Him. What follows is also another topic for another day, but Jesus' death was not due to physical exhaustion, nor to the pains of crucifixion, nor the spear thrust.
HIS HEART HAD LITERALLY BURST.
That sudden cry, uttered with a loud voice at the moment of death (Mathew 27:50), and the stream of blood and water that flowed from his side - declared that he had died of a broken heart. The muscles of the heart may have been actually torn. It can happen under intense mental strain.
JESUS LITERALLY, AS WELL AS METAPHORICALLY DIED OF A BROKEN HEART.
And with what tenacity! How could anyone of us ever deserve such a person?
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