Crucifixion of The Son Of God, the ‘Murder’ at Golgotha

Let us put aside all selfish notions of how wonderful it all was that The Son of God Himself was sent down to this Earth in an act of Noble Love on the part of The Almighty to save us from our sins. Instead, and from a scientific/medical perspective, let us really and closely examine the whole process of the Crucifixion of Jesus in a probing, ‘blow-by-blow’, assessment of His ‘journey of terrible suffering’.

While doing so, we should very seriously understand that the incredible pain He suffered throughout never let up. It was constant. It was not at any time relieved by ‘first-aid’ or convenient pain-killers such as we would immediately grasp for at the onset of even very mild, ‘inconvenient’, pain.

From childhood, Christians are conditioned with a mindset which superficially and incomprehensibly says that Jesus suffered and died on The Cross to save them from their sins. Nothing, however, about what that suffering really meant for Him. Not, however, for the ‘believing Christian’ who will never ever experience such a thing, but who nonetheless preens himself with sickening false piety in the truly strange belief that he is ‘absolved’ from all his sins and ‘thereby saved’.

That being the perverse and pervading belief in Christendom, let us all journey with Jesus to His agonizing death. Whilst on that grievous walk to His place of execution, we should put aside every shred of ‘religious’ thought, and – objectively and logically – try to fathom how and why around two billion otherwise well meaning humans on Earth can accept and even strongly promote a belief whereby the excruciatingly-painful torture that The Son Of God was cruelly subjected to can somehow be the ‘right thing’.

Even the words of The Bible – that exalted Work which you hold up to the world as The Living Word Of God – condemns that terrible act in no uncertain terms. Peter, the Apostle designated by Jesus as “the rock” upon which His Teachings could be built, “tells it like it is”. After receiving “Power from On High” at Pentecost and speaking in the various dialects of the region, the Apostles were accused of being drunk by the crowd that had gathered there. Peter countered with the following:

“Men of Israel! Listen to these statements: Jesus the Nazarene, a Man pointed out as from God by powers, and wonders, and signs, which God did through Him amongst you, as you yourselves know; having betrayed, you murdered Him by crucifixion through lawless hands…”

The words are certainly clear enough; betrayed, murdered, through lawless hands! Was there great cheering that they were saved by His “death on the Cross”? That is certainly the seemingly unbreakable belief amongst latter-day Christians.  A very blasphemous belief.  Jesus himself gave the clearest and simplest indication of how this event should be viewed.

 “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do!

 

Thus, they did the wrong thing.

 

(from chapter 5)

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5.6 Crucifixion of The Son Of God: Medical Forensics Speak

Up to this point we have examined a number of issues of contentious  moment centred on the life, death  and its aftermath for Jesus,  The Son of God.  Irrespective of the  many differing viewpoints about  these  events, however, a clear and absolutely  unequivocal  Truth is nonetheless  sacrosanct here.  And that is:

That the  actual  happenings  in the  Life and  death  of Jesus could only have occurred according to firmly established, inviolable Laws.  As we have already  explained,  it is impossible  for anything  to  take  place except  under  precise  and  lawful processes,  irrespective of what  human/Christian opinion  – either  from lay  persons  or  academics  – might wish  to  state   or believe.

Since that is  an inviolable  Truth in itself, let  us put aside  all selfish notions  of how wonderful  it  all was that The  Son of God Himself was sent  down to this  earth  in  an  act of selfless Love on  the  part  of The Almighty to save us  from our sins. Instead,  and from a scientific/medical perspective, let us really and closely examine  the  whole process of the Crucifixion of Jesus  in a probing,  ‘blow-by-blow’, assessment of His ‘journey of terrible  suffering’.

While  doing  so, we should  very  seriously  understand  that the  incredible  pain  He suffered throughout  never  let up.  It was constant.  It was not  at  any time  relieved  by ‘first-aid’ or convenient pain-killers such as we would immediately grasp for at the onset of even very mild, ‘inconvenient’,  pain.

From childhood, Christians are conditioned  with a mindset  which superficially  and  incomprehensibly says that Jesus suffered and died on The Cross to save them from their sins.  Nothing,  however, about what that suffering really meant  for  Him. Not,  however, for the ‘believing Christian’ who will never ever experience such a thing, but who nonetheless  preens himself with sickening false piety in the truly strange belief that he is ‘absolved’ from all his  sins and ‘thereby saved’.

That being  the  perverse  and  pervading  belief in Christendom, let us all journey  with Jesus to His agonising death.   Whilst  on that grievous walk to  His place  of execution,  we should  put aside  every shred of ‘religious’  thought, and  – objectively and  logically  – try to fathom  how and  why around  two billion otherwise well-meaning humans  on earth  can accept  and  even strongly promote  a belief whereby  the excruciatingly-painful torture that The Son  Of God was cruelly subjected  to can somehow be the  ‘right thing’.   Even  in an  earthly  Court  of Law,  such  an idea would be ‘thrown  out’ as unjust.  Yet  so many believe that ‘The Power of  All  Creation’ would nonetheless  sanctify  such an appalling injustice. [Perhaps  we  should  all  have  long-understood  that just as The Creator is Perfect Love:   He  is also Perfect Justice!]

Firstly, then, we should watch the terrible  ‘scourging’ by Roman  soldiers.   Secondly;  the  mocking and  the placing  of a ‘crown of thorns’  upon His head.  Next; accompany  Him  every  step  of His cruelly-agonising ‘death-walk’  laden  under  the  crushing  weight  of a heavy wooden beam.  And thence  finally arrive  with Him at Golgotha:  His place of execution.

Are  there  any  hand-clapping,  ‘praise  the Lord’ Hallelujahs  there?  No! Of course not.  It is too cruel, too painful,  too  unbelievable.  Yet  every Easter  on so-called ‘Good Friday’, hundreds of millions of Christians  in their  thousands of Churches  across the world perversely  ‘celebrate’ this worst of all  murders.

“BLACK  FRIDAY!” That is  the  reality  for  all time.

Note: The medical and forensic analyses of the Crucifixion of Jesus we now outline  are  sourced  from the  History  Channel  Documentary:   “Crucifixion”; screened  on ‘Black  Friday’, 2009.  It  is a harrowing Documentary  that all Christians  should  view, for it  is the most graphic  depiction  of Jesus’s painful suffering to date.  [In this  writer’s  view, far  more  so than  Mel Gibson’s,  “The  Passion of The  Christ”; itself regarded  as a very graphic  depiction of The Crucifixion.]

For our elucidation,  the primary  contributors on the medical forensics associated  with the Biblical/historical narrative of the Crucifixion of Jesus are:

Dr.  David Ball, M.D.

ER Chief, Ret.,  Tri-Lakes  Medical Center.

Dr. Robert  M.  Norris, M.D.

ER Chief, Stanford  Medical Center.

Jonathan Reed, Ph.D.

Professor,  University of La Verne.

Richard J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Professor,  San Francisco State  University.

Sarah Stroud, Ph.D.

Professor,  University of Washington.

Dr. Mark Benecke.

Forensic  Biologist.

Daniel Smith-Christopher, Ph.D.

Professor,  Loyola Marymount University.

This  particular segment of our  overall  journey  of logical  enlightenment is offered as a help primarily  to those Christians who are  ‘content with  their  faith’.   However,  the  ‘blind-faith’ attitude that many  Christians seemingly  display  is really  no faith  at  all, for it  simply  demands  that the faithful  ‘accept  without question’ all  they  are  told.    Specifically  and  especially  on  the  question of whether  or not  Jesus  came  to  earth  ‘to take  on the  sins of men’ and ‘die on The Cross to save them’; without  keen examination of this  subject from either  the  ‘Christian teacher’  or the  ‘Christian follower’ to  ensure  an  absolutely  correct  answer  – i.e.,  according to The Will Of  God Whom all Christians will state  they  want to  serve – the  warning  of a very  well known  key Bible Scripture should be the primary  driver  to “get it right”!

“When the blind lead the blind, all  will  fall  into  the ditch.” [abyss]

Since there  are a number  of quite different interpretations and beliefs around  this question,  it is patently obvious that many Christian  ‘flocks’ have thus ‘not  got it right’  at  all.  Yet  every one will swear  they  are  ‘saved’ by  ‘their’  belief, or their  ‘group  interpretation’.   Unfortunately, as we all surely  and  logically understand, the  correct  answers  that must  inherently  reside  in the events  and meaning  surrounding Jesus’s  death  cannot  possibly  allow for an infinite  number  of ‘saviour-scenarios’  here.

The knowledgable  analyses  of the above contributors will help the average  or ‘seeking’ Christian make  more  sense  of a momentous and portentous event that ultimately affects all  of humankind.

Crucifixion: A slow death of maximum suffering, used as a method of Capital Punishment for over 3,000 years.  It was practised  in various forms long before Roman  Legions occupied the land of Judea at  the  time  of Jesus.   From  the  more  simple  but  excruciatingly-painful  practice  of ‘staking’ a  body  to hang  suspended  from  an upright stake, true  crucifixion  – the  body  affixed in the  ‘crucifix position’  on  a  wooden  ‘cross’ – was  perhaps  a  ‘torturous refinement’ of ‘staking’.

Death  by crucifixion was a very effective way to discipline the many peoples conquered by Rome.  Her vast Empire required policing methods  designed  to  ensure  that the  “Pax  Romana” – ‘The Peace  of Rome’ – was kept.   Crucifying  criminals,  dissidents  and revolutionaries alike who threatened that ‘peace’  set  a severe example to others contemplating the same.  Instilling fear of a terrible and agonisingly-painful death  in Roman subjects probably  did help hold the ‘Pax Romana’;  for crucified victims  were often left to decompose on the cross for all to see. A further  unsettling  dimension for both  the  crucified and  the  travelling public  was the  fact that crows often sat  on the  heads  of victims  to peck at  the  eyes.  Perhaps the most notable  crucifixion event was the execution  of 6,000 gladiators taken from the slave Army of Spartacus after his defeat. They  stretched 125 miles along  the  Appian  Way  from Capua  to Rome.

By  the  time  Jesus  walked  the  earth,   the  Romans  had  well-perfected  the ‘art’ of crucifixion as we know it today.  Two forms of ‘the cross of crucifixion’ were used by the  Legions.  The  Tau – in the  shape of a Capital T; and  the  Latin – in the  shape of a lower-case t.  Both consisted of two parts:  The Stipe, the upright beam ; and the Patibulum, the cross-member.

The no-nonsense approach  of the Roman  Army to all they undertook  would  have  ensured  a practical and  efficient method  for crucifying the countless thousands unfortunate enough to earn that particular death  sentence.   So the  Tau, being simpler,  was therefore probably  more commonly  used because  the  top  of the Stipe is in the reach of soldiers.

A new look at  the  whole question  of Roman-style  crucifixion offers greater  insights  into  the death  of Jesus.    Notwithstanding the  obvious  fact that Roman  soldiers  were well practised  in  the mechanics  of crucifixion, considerable  effort in time and manpower would nonetheless have been required to nail and/or affix the many tens of thousands crucified over the term of the Roman  Empire;  if the Latin  Cross was the preferred  option.

The  simpler  and  thus more likely method  was to first set the upright beam  – the  Stipe – in the  ground.    The  wooden  cross-member – the mortised  Patibulum weighing about 100 pounds to which the  victim  was affixed – was then lifted up by soldiers and fitted  onto a matching  tenon  on the Stipe.

5.6.1 The Roman ‘Flagrum’: The ‘Scourging’  of “The  Son Of God”

scourge n.  1.  A whip used to inflict punishment.

  1. Any means of inflicting severe suffering, vengeance, or punishment

scourging tr.v.  1.  to flog.

‘Scourging’ commonly preceded  crucifixion.  It was carried  out by soldiers wielding the  Flagrum, a Roman  whip designed  to flay skin, tissue and muscle, and thus inflict serious wounds and excruciating pain.  It consisted of several strips of leather  into which were tied  pieces of metal,  nails,  glass, bone and  lead weights;  basically anything  that would cut into flesh.

According to Richard  J. Hoffman:

“To be crucified was to say that you were no better than  a slave.  You are worthy of death.   And part of the crucifixion process – you might say the drama  of crucifixion – was to scourge you.”

The  victim  was stripped  of all clothing  save perhaps  for loin coverings, and  tied  by the  hands  to a wooden post.   Two Roman soldiers would stand  either  side of the  victim  and  alternate whip strokes.   The  severity  of the  flogging was  largely  determined by the  viciousness of the  soldiers.  Long-practised in war and  killing, soldiers of the super-efficient, well-disciplined  and ruthless  Roman Army were very  far removed  from the more squeamish  nature of modern  Western  peoples  who often  require  counselling  as a way of coping  with  what  are  often  just  the  simple  realities  of life on earth.    Since  crucifixion  as  a  punishment was  common,  soldiers would  often  experiment on the  hapless  victims.  Dr.   David  Ball explains:

“What you  would  expect  from  a  Roman  Flagrum would be complete  tearing  away of the  skin down to the  ribs.   And  this results  in  bruising  to  the  intercostal  muscles, which impairs  respiration …  and  actually  causes bruising  to the  lungs…  And that leads to a very serious medical problem  called ‘pulmonary contusion’.  That will lead to ‘pulmonary  oedema’ and impaired  respiration. It is a very serious injury.”

In this  medical-trauma analysis  of ‘scourging’ and  crucifixion,  we reiterate that it is an analysis of the  suffering of Jesus, primarily as recorded  in The Bible.

Dr  Ball  notes  that the  wounds  inflicted  on  a  human  being  by scourging  with  the  Roman  Flagrum  [are] “…so  severe that it  has been compared  to a shotgun  blast at close range.”

And Robert  M. Norris says:

“The  muscles  would  have been  torn,  hanging;  basically ribbons of flesh that were bleeding profusely … deep tissues  of larger  vessels that can’t  clamp  down so easily.   Profuse  bleeding  decreases  blood  supply leading  to  hypo-bulimic  shock …  not  enough  blood circulating  around  heart to profuse vital  tissues; the muscles and the organs.”

A prime purpose of ‘scourging’ was to:

“Create a mutilated body up on the cross … [for] … a mutilated, visceral experience on the part  of the viewers who were attending the  crucifixion.  …  We don’t really  know  how Jesus  was  scourged.   The  Gospels don’t  give  us  much  detail.    But  it’s  quite  possible that it was fairly severe because  Jesus  dies within  a day.  And He dies before nightfall.”

(Jonathan Reed, Ph.D.)

“He was beaten nearly  to death.   He was macerated. He was bruised.  He had massive damage to the back-side, and massive damage to the intercostal muscles, and massive damage to the lungs and the kidneys themselves  through  the bruising  process.”

(David  Ball, M.D.)

Narration: ‘When the scourging is finished, Jesus’s back is an unrecognisable  mass of torn  and bleeding tissue.  This brutal beating will dramatically affect the final hours of Jesus’s life.’

5.6.2 The ‘Burden’ of the Cross

The  present,  widely accepted,  notion  in Christendom is that Jesus was made  to carry  or drag  a complete  Latin Cross weighing several  hundred  pounds  roughly  a mile to  Golgotha,  then  nailed onto it whilst  it was on the ground,  both  raised  up together, and the Cross then  positioned  in a pre-prepared hole.  If that were the true  scenario, it would have taken a superhuman effort to carry  or drag  such  a weight  that distance  with  a body  severely-weakened and  already  near  death  as a result  of the  torture  and  mutilation at the hands  of the Roman  soldiers ordered  to ‘scourge’ Him.  The Bible  narrative reports  that ‘Simon  of Cyrene’  was  seconded  to carry  Jesus’s Cross after  His strength finally gave out.

“I do not think  it is either  practical – from a Roman perspective  – to have individuals  carry entire crosses. Nor do I think  it is likely possible as a physical feat.”

(Sarah  Stroud,  Ph.D.)

Experts   generally  agree  it  is more  likely  that Jesus  would  have carried only the Patibulum, which nonetheless  weighed around  100 pounds  – a  huge  weight for a  badly  tortured man  to  carry  any distance.

“For this  point the  victim  would already  be in some degree of shock due to blood loss from the scourging. So now we’ve put a 100 pound  beam on the person’s back; strapped their  hands  to it.  And now the  heart is tasked  to pump  even harder  and  harder  to supply the leg muscles to get him to the execution  site.”

(Robert M. Norris, M.D.)

Whipped  up by Caiaphas and key members of The Sanhedrin,  the emotional  turmoil  connected  with  the  trial and  sentence  of Jesus would surely have wrought tumultuous agitation among those who watched  Him walk His last  pain-wracked  mile – to Golgotha.  The Bible  tells  us that Jesus  fell under  the  weight of the  Patibulum.

Norris further  notes:

“The full force of His body and that 100 pound weight on the backs of His shoulders would have been centred on His chest.   That slammed  the  heart  against  His breastbone, the  sternum, inside.   That could  bruise the heart.”

“A bruised  heart  is a very serious injury.  The muscle has been damaged,  and so it tends to stretch. And as the heart is pumping,  that stretch  increases and  you have a balloon we call an ‘aneurysm’.  That ‘balloon’ becomes thin-walled  and can rupture.”

(David  Ball, M.D.)

This  type of injury  is similar  to  chest trauma sustained  in a car accident when  an  unrestrained driver  impacts  onto  the  steering wheel. Now bearing  the added  pain and trauma of a bruised  heart from His fall, Jesus  is forced to continue  His grievous walk to his place of execution.

5.7 The ‘Murder’  at Golgotha

“The  bio-mechanics  of a crucifixion is quite  interesting.  It all depends  very much  on the  angle in which you secure the  limbs and  all the  body parts  because this  will determine how much  physical stress will either  be on the  bones  or connective tissue.   …   The maximum  stress that you can have on the  tissue, on the  bones,  is between  40 and  60 pounds.   This  may cause the  tissue to rip or the  bones to break  so that the whole system  of crucifixion won’t work…”

Dr Mark Benecke also found that in tests with arms set at an angle in a crucifixion:

“…each   hand  bears  the  whole  weight  of the  body, and  not  half  the  body-weight for each  as we might [‘logically’] expect.  Therefore,  an average weight man will tear  away  from  the  cross if nailed  through the hands.”

(Dr.  Benecke.)

Dr.  Norris  explains  that if the  nails were placed  instead into the wrist, i.e., into the small bones of the wrist where there  are [dense] fibrous sheaths  around  these bones:

“…they would have held.  The  pain,  however,  would be excruciating because the large median nerve which provides  sensation  to  the  forearm  and  hand  passes right through this area of the wrist.”

Commenting on the  ‘pain factor’ when the  wrists  are ‘nailed’, Dr. Ball states that:

“The median nerve, whether it’s lacerated, or whether it’s impinged upon as the nail pushes against  it … it’s going to be like burning,  severe pain.”

The  Gospels imply that Jesus  is nailed  through the  hand.   In the ancient Greek language,  in which The Bible was originally written, the  word for hand  describes both  the  hand  and  the wrist.  So the bony  area  described  is where  most  experts  believe  the  Romans drove  the  nail  into  Jesus’s hand.   They  would probably  not  have relied on the nails alone, so also tied the arms to support  the weight of the body.

“The ultimate outcome in terms  of how long the person survived probably  was dependent in some particular way in how the feet were attached.”

(Robert M. Norris, M.D.)

The  feet were most likely attached in the  ‘stacked’ position  – one foot  on  top  of the  other  as  commonly  depicted.    This  position, whilst encouraging  a quicker death,  produced  excruciating pain.

“If  you  place  the  soles of the  feet  flat  against   the upright, the individual  cannot  lock their knees.  They have to support  their  weight with the thigh  muscles. Or hang completely from the [hand] nails.”

(David  Ball, M.D.)

This fiendishly torturous position  made it far more challenging for the  victim  to  breathe.   Scholars  of crucifixions  generally  do  not believe that artistic portrayals  in paintings  and Hollywood movies depicting  a wooden block under  the  feet of Jesus  are correct.   For why,  after  such  prolonged  torture, would  the  Romans  then  offer any  victim  even the smallest  measure  of ‘comfort’ ?

“There  are  a series of nerves  that pass  through the feet in that area that would cause tremendous stimulation of those sensory nerves and just exquisite pain from that.  And  every time  the  victim  would try to rise to exhale, that would stimulate  those nerves.”

(Robert M. Norris, M.D.) Dr. Ball says:

“A person nailed to the cross is going to be searching for a comfortable  position.   He may  relieve the  pain on the medial nerve and lift himself up, but he creates muscle pain.  When he drops himself down he relieves the muscles but  he finds the pain has recurred  in the medial nerve and the shoulders.”

In excruciating  agony Jesus tries to find relief from the intense pain wracking  every part of His body.   He strives  to  breathe freely by pushing  up on the  spike driven  through His feet.  In doing so the exposed nerves on His cruelly-flayed back rub  on the  rough-hewn post.

“Every  time  He would lift Himself up on the  Cross, that would  drag  these  torn  shredded  tissues  of the back  across  the  rough  wood  of the  Cross,  reopening the wounds, re-stimulating the nerves in the back causing further  bleeding and,  again,  causing tremendous pain.”

(Robert M. Norris, M.D.) Dr. Ball notes that:

“There is no comfortable position on the Cross.  There is no position  where He is even relatively  pain-free.”

Narration: ‘Jesus hangs in agony.  The end is near.  He’s beaten, dehydrated, exhausted. He’s suffering from external trauma and internal  injuries; all life-threatening conditions.  But what ultimately kills Jesus?  Today,  science may have the technology to decode the ancient evidence and  discover the  exact cause of Jesus’s death  on the Cross.  …  Since His arrest nine hours earlier  He’s been beaten and  abused.  His crucified body is wracked with pain  as He struggles to breathe. The  cruelty  is clearly taking  its toll.  But  what  is the ultimate cause of Jesus’s death?’  Dr.  Norris states:

“There  were so many things that were going on at the same time.  Any one of them  at a certain  point could cause someone’s death;   the  dehydration, the  blood loss, just  the severe trauma to the muscles.”

Medical experts  believe that Jesus’s physical deterioration begins with  exhaustion, for He has not  slept  for over twenty four hours. Moreover, since His arrest He has had nothing  to eat or drink.

5.8 His  Final Moments

“The  death-process is definitely  underway.    …   the scourging started the process with the contused lungs, bruising  to the muscles, damaged  kidneys.”

“I don’t think  that it’s fair to say there  is one cause of death  on  the  cross.   I think  it  is multi-factorial, and  all of these  things  are  taking  place  in a typical crucifixion.”

(David  Ball, M.D.)

Narration: ‘His blood-loss is made worse by the constant tearing of the wounds on His back as He moves up and down on the Cross in order  to  breathe  deeply.   The  loss of bodily  fluids means  He’s probably  suffering from hypo-bulimic  shock; a condition  in which the heart  is unable to pump adequate blood to the organs, muscles and  vital  tissues.   On  top  of that, decreased  respiratory volume means  carbon  dioxide  is building  up  in  the  lungs  and  reducing oxygen  in the  blood;  a condition  known  as hypoxia.   Ultimately, this could lead to suffocation.’

“He’s probably  becoming  somewhat  hypoxic  at  this point,  Again,  from the  increased  work of breathing, and inadequate blood volume circulating  around.  He is near death.”

(Robert M. Norris, M.D.)

Deriving from His fall with  the  weight of a 100 pound  Patibulum on His back, it is very probable  that Jesus  is suffering from ‘blunt chest  trauma’.  ‘The ensuing  internal  damage  could easily include a bruised  heart.’

“When  an  individual  has  sustained  a  bruise  to  his heart,  this  bruise  creates  a soft spot  in the  muscle. Every time the heart  pumps,  there’s pressure on that soft spot that has the tendency  to cause a ballooning out.  Or, as we call it, an aneurysm.”

(David  Ball, M.D.)

Narration: ‘Jesus’s cardiovascular system is under enormous stress. His heart is pumping upwards of 170 beats per minute.  An aneurysm puts Him at even greater risk.  If left untreated it can rupture. And there’s another factor  that can contribute to the death  of any victim on the cross.’ Jonathan Reed notes:

“The  pain of crucifixion is unimaginable. …  the pain over time is so excruciating that the bodily functions give out.  You die simply of pain.”

Narration: ‘Any one of these [conditions] can be fatal.  But Jesus has not  yet given up.  According  to The Bible He is able to speak despite  His weakened condition.’

“He  was  carrying  on  conversations that  were  lucid and  clear.    So  we  know  that His  brain  was  being adequately supplied  at  this point with  enough  [oxygenated]  blood.”

(David  Ball, M.D.)

Narration:  ‘After  several  hours,  Jesus  seems to  know  that the end has come.  The Bible says that he called out His final words – and then  dies.’

His  final  words:   “Father. Into  your hands I commit my spirit.”

Dr.  Ball states  factually  that:

“If He had died of hypo-bulimic shock – as some people say – He would have fainted.  He would not  have been  able  to  holler  out with  a loud  voice and  then suddenly  die.”

Whilst  some see asphyxiation as the  cause  of death,  Dr Ball explains why that is very unlikely.  He sagely observes that if a crucified man has:  “…enough  air in [his] lungs to holler out, [he] will not be in any danger  of dying of asphyxiation. That cannot  happen.”

Dr.  Robert M. Norris further  notes:

“That He had  enough  strength and  enough  mental clarity  to  cry out  very  effectively means  to  me that something catastrophic was happening.  And He knew that it was happening.”

Given the searching medical analysis of the final moments of Jesus’s life, experts  believe  that the  most  likely cause  of death  is from His bruised  and  damaged  heart.   Dr.  Norris  explains  the  process: “Gradually His heart  is failing.  The fluids would begin to back up in the lungs, around  the lungs, and actually  around  the outside  of the heart;  inside the heart sac – the pericardium.”

The  pericardium is a sac of fibrous tissue  filled with  a water-like fluid that surrounds  and protects the heart.  Dr.  Ball explains:

“With  His pulse rate  going to 180 or even more, He is under  an enormous  cardiovascular stress load.”

Dr.  Ball opines that under  such extreme  stress,  the  bruised  heart of Jesus  ultimately ruptures.   It  would  feel like a  heart attack, and Jesus would know His death  is imminent.  The ruptured heart continues  to beat.  With  each pulse, however, it pushes blood into the pericardial sac until the heart  finally stops.

That is the  one, single, blessing for The  Son Of God in His whole unbelievable journey  of horrific, agonising torture to His execution on the ‘death  cross’ at Golgotha:

For His  terrible ordeal at the hands of men is finally over!

“You’ve got a heart  that is ruptured.  It’s not  functioning  any more,  it’s not  pumping.   But  you’ve got a pericardial sac that is under  pressure.  Taut.”

(David  Ball, M.D.)

The spear of a Roman soldier reveals the proof of Dr.  Ball’s medical analysis of the actual  death of Jesus.  Jonathan Reed, Ph.D.,  quotes the Gospel of John:

“A Roman  soldier takes  a spear  and  sticks  it  inside Jesus  to make sure that He’s dead.”

The  Gospel narrative states that blood  and  water  flow from  the wound.  Dr.  Ball explains  what  has taken place:

“What you have to understand is they’ve gone through this  pericardial  sac to get to the  heart.   The pericardial sac is under  pressure.  The blood has settled.  So immediately you’ve got this flow of blood followed by clear fluid, which is described as water in The Bible.”

Narration: ‘After about six hours  on the  Cross,  Jesus  Christ is dead.   It’s a relatively  short  time  for crucifixion [by Roman  standards],  which can last  for several excruciating  days.

Arrested  on the Thursday night of the Passover  holiday; by Friday morning  soldiers are preparing to nail Him to the  Cross.  By that afternoon  He will be dead.’

The  final act played  out  both  on Golgotha  and  for those  in the Sanhedrin who actively  plotted  to bring about His death,  was wrought by a powerful  earthquake.  Sufficiently  strong to  shatter the  floor of the  Temple  of Jerusalem,  the  convulsive  transfer of energy from the earth  to the great building tore asunder  the heavy curtain that protected The  Holy of Holies.

The odds of that  particular earth-tremor occurring  with such precise convergence  to, ostensibly, ‘coincide’ with  the exact  moment Jesus  died,  would surely  be in the  order  of millions to one. That natural event should  be proof enough  of how terribly  wrong His execution  was,  for even the  Forces of  Nature vented  their anger  and  fury  at  the  murder   of The Son   Of  God:  He  Who once Commanded the same  to cease their  ‘storm-work’ activity  on the Sea of Galilee with the admonition: “Peace.  Be  still!”

For  the  Jewish  race,  what was once the  Holiest  Treasure on earth  – the sanctuary of which even Moses the Law-Giver could not enter  on the decades-long journey to the ‘promised land’ – was no longer  so.  The  curtain that formerly  ‘spiritually-symbolically’ protected it, rent in two by the power of the tremor at the murder of The Son  Of  God, signified the  separation of man  from The Almighty – not the opposite.

It was not a reconciliation, as ‘Christian academia’  will argue. The Jewish Priesthood, once Called to serve and protect that Holy Treasure; by their  dark  deed  were made  redundant.  For,  shortly after,  the  Jewish  race  lost  possession  of The  Holy of Holies and it  disappeared  from history ; a further   indication of the  singular enormity of that particular crime.

The  historical   aftermath of the  execution  of Jesus  saw  develop among Christians and their Church a radical but nonetheless strange  change  in perception concerning  the  ‘Latin  Cross of Crucifixion’.  Initially  His death  only reinforces the  perception  of the cross as an horrific tool of oppression.  Yet, over time, the  symbolism of crucifixion underwent an ironic transformation. Very interestingly,  the  documentary, Crucifixion, asks the most  pertinent question  of all in this regard.

“How does  this implement of  torture and execution  become  an iconic symbol of  hope  and salvation despite the  fact that it continues on into the  20th and 21st centuries?”

The answer is brutally logical.

A Teaching,  a Church  or a Movement  that  has Truth at  its core and  as its practice would not,  indeed  could not, possibly accord such  an  instrument of torture the  perversely  altered  state  of reverence  and  even worship that  the Latin  Cross/Crucifix now holds for  around  one  third  of global humanity.    Only  a  religion could bring such a thing about, for religions hold very little of The Pure Truth. Hence the unbelievable state  of hate  and  violence between religions  in the present.

The  path   to  that  detrimental point  of ‘altered  perceptions’ probably   began  when  the  Roman  Emperor  Constantine became Christian  after  ‘seeing’ a vision in the  sky prior  to a battle.  It  is said that an accompanying  voice told him:  “In this sign you will be victorious.”   Believed by Christians to be the  ‘Latin  Cross’, Constantine’s victory  on the  battlefield  thenceforth set ‘that’ cross as ‘the form of salvation’  for the  Church  and  its followers.

Jonathan Reed notes:

“It’s under Constantine’s rule that the cross becomes a positive  symbol for the first time.  And it’s a symbol of Christianity. And because of that, you can no longer use it as a tool for shameful  death.”

So in the strangest of ‘turnarounds’, the cross, once identified with the most fearful kind of death,  and an object to inspire terror in the  hearts  of men,  is now  a  symbol  of piety  and  faith  which Christians now use in the shape of their  churches,  for their  rituals, and in their  art.

Christianity becomes the dominant world religion.  Despite the long history  of cruel  torture inherent  in the  practice,  crucifixion is almost exclusively  associated  with  Jesus.    Even  though  documented  crucifixions are rare after  the Romans,  this brutal punishment nonetheless persists  throughout the  centuries.   The  crucial event of The Second World  War  saw Hitler’s Nazi regime use this method  of torture.

“It  was a display  of power.   It’s always  a spectacle, and  it’s always sadistic.   …it was often  used against individuals  who actually  posed some sort of threat or had committed a wrong against the State.  [However] The  use of it  against  individuals  who were already victims or already  captives  and completely  powerless seems especially perverse.”

(Sarah  Stroud,  Ph.D.)

Even today in the Sudan/Darfur region where genocide is rampant,  crucifixion is sanctioned  as a method  of execution.   In 2002 Amnesty reported that 88 people, including two children, were sentenced to death  by crucifixion.  Perversely,  then, it would seem; the image of Jesus’s agonising  death  on the  Cross remains  one of our most powerful icons.  Jonathan Reed emphasises  the fact that:

“When  Christianity adopts  the  cross as its key symbol, it also defines itself as a religion that focusses itself on suffering,  and  a religion that focusses on atonement.  And  so the  cross itself,  maybe  more  so than  any book written, has had a profound impact on how Christians think  about their  religion,  and  their religious experience.”

Narration: ‘Yet the cross and the roots of crucifixion reach back long before Jesus.  He was just  one of the many [countless] victims of this brutal death  sentence.  From ancient civilisations  to modern regimes, crucifixion carries  the  same meaning.   It’s not  just  about killing.  Crucifixion is about torture, fear and control.’

“Crucifixion should be a warning. Crucifixion should make  us  ask  questions  about  unjust and  horrific treatment  of other  people.   The  cross should  be a symbol that says: Never treat someone like this!

(Daniel  Smith-Christopher, Ph.D.

All emphases  mine.)

The  murder  of The  Son Of God  stands  as the  most heinous crime in the history  of the world, for He came to lift humanity out of the depths  to which it had voluntarily  sunk.  Human  ego and religious power had subverted  Spiritual Truth and Law.  Proclaimed by the  Old Testament Prophets, the  subversion  of It resulted  in a rigid dogma that wrought suffering for many, and meant that Jesus had to come to earth  to Light the Way back to The Truth.

The later  Messengers of His Truth encountered the same blind perversity.  The  explanations of The Truth which they  were called to Teach to the peoples among whom they were incarnated, became – in short  order after  their  deaths  – just religions.

Historically,  have we human  beings ever really revered Envoys from The Light or, indeed, Its Prophets? Almost all suffered from human  perversity  and mockery, when they proclaimed  on earth.  If stripped  down  to  ‘bare  bones’,  it  is the  adulation of  human beings by  human beings that has  long-reigned  supreme  in the world.   Today,  the  rock  stars, sports  stars,  movie  stars  and  the fashion models etc., are the things  of adulation, even reverence.

That being the  case; apart from the  regular  ‘Easter  Shopping Guide’, what  do we invariably  see advertised as a primary  enticement  for the ‘Easter holiday period’ the Christian West celebrates? Yes, there are the church  services.  And there are re-enactments of His Crucifixion which, in no way whatsoever for the ‘participants’, could possibly give any degree of understanding of the terrible pain and suffering that The Son Of God had to endure  at the hands  of blind, religious fools. In truth, it is a perverse  mockery to re-enact His torturous  suffering.15

15 It is something  akin to the  ‘annual  fast’ that overfed Western children  in communal  ‘rah-rah,  jolly-jolly’ groups  take part  in for just  40 hours to somehow gain understanding of the plight of children so starved  that, for many, death is their outcome.  Unlike the ‘empathists’  who receive a hearty  meal and congratulations at the end of their  40 hour ‘famine ordeal’.

So:  On  every  anniversary of His hideous  execution,  the  one thing  that probably  most Western  Christian children look forward to are chocolate  eggs, laid – in the strangest, impossible concept  – by a rabbit; the  wealth-producing ‘Easter  Bunny’.   Is that surely not the most perverse distortion of a crucial date that all Christians should  fully understand in its true  meaning?  For in its yet-to-be rapidly-closing  spiritual  reciprocity,  the  long-reaching  outworking is one of menacing  and growing portent for global Christendom.

Of course, it’s all just fun for the children, isn’t it?  That is what Western  society has determined as being suitable  for Easter. Well, the end-cleansing  – already  upon us  and increasing  in scope and scale  – will sweep  that and  every  other  kind  of appalling distortion aside  and  away  for all time;  along  with  all those  who cling to aberrant ideas which distort The Truth.

A dangerous aberration stemming from the Crucifixion of Jesus centres on the so-called ‘Christian Cross of Salvation’. The shape of the Latin Cross produces the form of a “sword”.  As a ‘belief-token’ or symbol ostensibly declaring that by His death  on the Cross The Son  of God took away their sins and that of the world; this terrible and appalling  Christian distortion of the execution of Christ  means that the wrongly-revered  Crucifix ‘spiritually  forms’ a “Sword of Judgement” for all who wear, revere or display it!

If Christians, particularly,  do  not  believe  thus, yet still  say they  follow the Teachings  of Jesus;  then  how do the two thousand million that make up global Christendom reconcile His warning  to the world?  In the truly strangest of ironies, He – A  Part of The Godhead – was perversely accused of blasphemy by Caiaphas and others  of the  ruling Sanhedrin  for being What  He actually Was and Is: The Son  Of  God. Yet He was nonetheless  executed.

Since an exponential  factor can be readily observed in all events now, let us restate the answer of Jesus to His Disciples when asked what  the end-time  would be like. His reply is chilling:

“…for  there  shall then  be wide-spread affliction,  such  as  has  not  been known since  the beginning  of the  world until now,  no, nor will ever  be known again.   And if those  times were not cut short,  not a man would be  saved ”.

(Matthew 24:21-22, Fenton.

Emphases  mine.)

Centuries  before Jesus came to earth  to admonish  humankind to obey The Law  if they  wished to live and return home ; Isaiah, ‘the great  Prophet and Servant’,  had long warned  so.

“The ‘Earth’ also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they  have transgressed the Laws changed the decrees broken the everlasting  covenant.

Therefore  has  the  curse  devoured  the  ‘Earth’, and those that dwell therein are desolate : therefore the inhabitants of the ‘Earth’  are burned 16 and few  men  left.”

(Isaiah  24:5-6, Fenton.

Emphases  mine.)

16 The term,  ‘burned’ – describing a recurring theme of End-time destruction that numerous  Bible  ‘scholars’ have  puzzled  over for many centuries  – in this case does not refer to fire in the ordinary sense.  The  Scripture  pointedly  states  that only the  ‘inhabitants’ of the  earth  are ‘burned’,  not  the  earth  itself.  A full and  detailed explanation can be read in Chapter 12: The Two  Sons Of God: Sub; Destruction by “Fire”, of the Parent Work, and in a Sister Booklet of the same title.

Now you,  Christian believer,  and  perhaps  even  you,  “Bible scholar”; but certainly all who live tremulously in piety in the belief that The Son of God, sent down to earth  by The Creator of all that is good to bring  The  Living Word to a base and  evil humanity  – now that you better-understand the  true horror  and  suffering of He Whom  you profess to follow; where in His admonition or that of the great  Prophet, Isaiah,  do you find the  sure salvation  of two billion  Christians.  It is arrant  nonsense ;  and  a dangerous death-delusion.

Do you honestly  believe that The  Son of God went  willingly to an horrific death  to save you  from your personal  sins?  Do you really believe that the  Perfect  Justice  of God  is displayed  there; that an innocent man should be put  to death  for the  wrongdoing and evil  of  others ?

Such an injustice  is not even accepted  in earthly  courts  of law. If it were, imagine the  outcry  – from all of you especially.  So why and how can human beings who proudly  call themselves Christians [i.e.,  followers of,  and  believers  in,  Christ ]  accept  a  notion  that such a thing  would be acceptable  to The Creator Himself : He Who is Perfect  Love  —  but also  Perfect Justice?

If you truly  believe that such an  aberrant tenet  would be acceptable  to  The Almighty, then you must logically  accept the notion  that the Roman  soldiers who actually  carried  out His Crucifixion were  also  blessed,  and  would  follow Jesus  into  Paradise upon their  death.  And what  about Judas? Why has sainthood  not been conferred upon him?  Surely he, too, must be included among the especially blessed – even before that particular group of Roman soldiers – for is he  not the  key  player in this ridiculous and infantile scenario ?

If the  death  of Jesus  was  a  necessary  sacrifice blessed by God, then that is the only logical conclusion for you to draw.  For if you do not believe that either  Judas  or the soldiers were so blessed in that way, then your whole  absurd Christian  ethos  centred  round “His necessary sacrifice” fails  utterly.

Notwithstanding the  pure  truth of that statement,  if you yet still  seriously  believe such  a  thing,  then do  not hide behind 2,000 years  of  earth-time to shield you  from that  most insidiously-evil event.  Instead, have the  inner  courage  to  put yourselves  in the  place  of the small  group  of executioners  at  His Crucifixion and actively take part  in the murder  of The One Whom you profess to  believe in.   Be part  of that Roman  squad  on that terrible  day that you nauseously  commemorate so wrongly:  Black Friday.

Help to lay the cruelly-tortured and bleeding body of The Son of  God on that rough  and  splintered  “cross of death”.  Feel His blood spattering on your  skin – for there  are  no niceties  such as rubber  gloves to  protect your  delicate  hands.   Next,  take  up  the hammer.  And with it, drive the nails through  His  hands into the wood of the  crossbeam.  Ensure,  however, that you do it correctly so that the weight  of His  especial body  will not  tear His once-healing hands away  from those  terrible  spikes when  that dark, death-cross  is raised.

But  as  you  ‘drive  those  nails  home’,  look into  His dying,  pain-wracked eyes and say to Him:

“I  nail  you to  this  cross  because  in  my deed I prove my great Christian love for you because you came  to die for me and  my sins.   Even  though you have  already  suffered  so much,  I  offer you yet more pain  and  torture.  I know you will understand and will one day welcome me into your Kingdom because I have now proved my faith to you by helping you to die on this cross.”

How  foolish a belief. How  utterly absurd.

Such a belief is tantamount to idolatry  of the  worst  kind,  but self-idolatry  of human  beings and  not  of reverence  and  worship of The Most  High or of He Who was and is a Part out of Him.

JESUS:  The SON OF   GOD; designated  as both  The Word of  God, and  The Love of  God; that is who you symbolically murder  each time you tremulously  “…thank him for dying for your sins”.

Even the words of The Bible – that exalted Work which you hold up to the world as The Living Word Of  God – condemns that terrible  act in no uncertain terms.   Peter,  the  Apostle designated  by Jesus  as “the  rock”  upon which His Teachings  could be built,  “tells  it  like it  is”.  After  receiving  “Power  from On  High” at  Pentecost  and  speaking  in  the  various  dialects  of the  region, the  Apostles  were accused  of being drunk  by the  crowd that had gathered there.  Peter  countered with the following:

“Men of Israel! Listen to these statements: Jesus the  Nazarene,  a Man  pointed  out as from God by  powers,  and  wonders,  and  signs, which God did through  Him amongst  you, as you yourselves know;  having betrayed, you murdered  Him by  crucifixion  through  lawless hands…

What  happened  next?   The  words are certainly  clear enough; betrayed, murdered,  through lawless hands!  Was there  great  cheering that they  were saved  by His “death on the  Cross”?   That certainly is  the seemingly  unbreakable  belief amongst latter-day Christians.

Yet, what do we later read  as  “The  Effect  of the  Discourse”  of Peter?

Now on hearing it, they were stung to the  heart, and  said  to  Peter  and  the  rest  of the  apostles, “Men, brothers, what shall  we  do ?”

But Peter said to them:  “Change your minds…”

(Acts 2:22-23, and 2:37, Fenton.

All emphases  mine.)

Quite  clearly, if they  had  been pleased and  at peace  with ‘the Crucifixion’, they  would not  have replied in that way.  The recognition for at least some there had finally hit  home, for they were “…stung to  the  heart…”, did not know what to do, and were now afraid.

As it once did to that fearful crowd then:  When the horrific realisation  finally dawns on latter-day Christendom that such beliefs are so illogical and  wrong that they  border  on a kind  of religious insanity,  it  will be among  you Christians, primarily,  that a very large  measure  of the  “great  wailing  and  gnashing  of teeth” will occur.  What  will you say or do then?

In conclusion:  Let  us, in quiet contemplation, seriously  think upon  a  singularly-poignant  “poem”  about  the  life of  this  Son, Jesus; perhaps  the  greatest radical  to have ever set physical foot on earth.

As we unequivocally  state,  however,  will  not do  so  again, for He  is The One Who  returned   to  The Father.  Yet Whose very Words – from out of Divinity Itself – many were “called” to disseminate amongst  the  world’s people.  Illustrated in the  following poem is an unknown  author’s  salute  and  great  love for Jesus and  His Highest and  most  Noble form of Radicalism:  Perfect Love!

Radically  noble in the sense that He was prepared to  accept death on  the  cross if that was  the only way by which He could anchor the Truth of His  Teaching in  the consciousness of humankind for  all  time.

Jesus – The Word and Love  Of  God and surely the most innocent of all – even though  suffering the grossest indignities until finally succumbing  to the brutal act of murder  perpetrated against Him, yet still offered up the greatest  prayer  of intercession ever for the senseless  blind who committed  that  atrocity.

His noble  prayer  thus  stands  as an  indictment  against  those who murdered Him then,  and  against  those  today  who still  very wrongly  believe that His painful  and  brutal death  on that  Cross could somehow be sanctified and Divinely Blessed by An  Almighty God as some kind of loving act of propitiatory sacrifice to cleanse the evil and sin of an undeserving  humanity.

The  very  words  of the  prayer  itself  stand  in  rightful  accusation against such  an  evil distortion of the  great  and  incomprehensible Love of The Creator.

“Father  forgive them, for  they know not what they do!”

 

Thus,  they did  the wrong thing.

 

A very different perspective isn’t it.  Ask yourself this:  Honestly, knowing human nature as you do, have we made a serious effort to grasp and “truly” understand the words of The Son of God and change accordingly or, have we let ourselves off the hook with a characteristically human and all to convenient, self-serving, self-pardoning interpretation of the words of The Son of God?

The answer is so obvious, yet who has the courage to question it?  Reader, what do you really think? – email – info.crystalbooks@gmail.com

BME

 

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Did Jesus’ death on the Cross really absolve humankind of their Sin?