Will You Let God Set You Free!?

The TRUTH about Bodily Healing and God’s ONCE FOR ALL Atonement!

Knowing is as simple as Believing what HE says first! Keep your faith simple!

Knowing is as simple as Believing what HE says first! Keep your faith simple!

Here are other pages of Interest about skepticism and or Atheism!

Atheism’s Fall:The Demise of the Deniers of the Faith!

Honest Answers to Skeptical Questioning: The Hard Facts!

Evidence & Answers: Do you believe Truth or Excuses?

Christian Responses to Atheistic Attacks!

What is Atheism? Is it valid to take their word for ’God’?

The real evidence FOR God AGAINST Evolution and Atheism!

If God created everything? Then who created Evil?…Hmmmmmm!

The “Straw-man” syndrome and the state of Good Debate!

Religion SUCKS on so many levels! Atheist’s & Skeptic’s have a valid Point!

Spiritual Gifts HAVE NOT CEASED! The teaching of Cessationism is the Churches SHAME!

The TRUTH about Bodily Healing and God’s ONCE FOR ALL Atonement!

Honest Answers to Skeptical Questioning! Suprised & Silenced By God’s Healing Power!

Divine Healing: Is It Physical Healing Or Just The Spirit

by Troy J. Edwards

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. -Isaiah 53:4-5

Many of the opponents of healing in the atonement teach that the above Scripture does not refer to healing of our physical bodies. They believe that this is the healing of our souls or our spirits. Although I agree with this application, I do not believe that this passage is limited to that. I am convinced that this passage teaches us that the atonement Christ made on our behalf makes provision for the physical body as well as the spirit.

The limitations that many “healing in the atonement” opponents believe is derived from the fact that two words in the Hebrew language, griefs and sorrows were translated differently in Isaiah 53:4 of the King James Version than they have been in any other part of this precious and beautiful Bible translation.

According to Stong’s Concordance, the word “griefs” in these passages of Scripture comes from the Hebrew word “kholee” (Strong’s number 2483). It is translated as “grief” or “griefs” in only three places in the KJV Bible (Isa. 53:3-4; Jer. 6:7; 10:19). On the other hand, it is translated as “sickness” or “sicknesses” in nine other places in the KJV (Deut. 7:15; 28:59, 61, 1 Kings 17:17, 2 Kings 13:14, 2 Chron. 21:15, 19; Ps 41:3; Isa. 38:9; Hos. 5:13). It is well to note that in almost every Scripture listed it is speaking of physical sickness.[1]

Also according to Strong’s, the Hebrew word word “kholee” is derived from another Hebrew word, chalah (Strong’s #2470) which is translated as sick in numerous places in the Old Testament, to numerous to list here.[2] The American Standard Version translates the word kholee in Jer. 6:7 as sickness. The Everyday Bible (New Century Version) translates the word kholee in Jer. 10:19 as sickness. These are just the translations I decided to reference. I am sure that there are more that translate the two passages in Jeremiah sickness vice grief.

Strong’s also tells us that the word “sorrows” in the Hebrew is “makob”. actually means pain and is translated this way in Job 33:19 and Jer. 51:8.[3] So actually Isaiah 53:4 should have been translated, “He hath borne our sicknesses and carried our pains.”

Alternative Bible Translations of Isaiah 53:4-5

Robert Young in his Young’s Literal Translation translates Isaiah 53:3-5 this way:

“He is despised, and left of men, A man of pains, and acquainted with sickness, And as one hiding the face from us, He is despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely our sicknesses he hath borne, And our pains — he hath carried them, And we — we have esteemed him plagued, Smitten of God, and afflicted. And he is pierced for our transgressions, Bruised for our iniquities, The chastisement of our peace [is] on him, And by his bruise there is healing to us.” -Isaiah 53:3-5; Young’s Literal Translation

The Amplified Bible also gives us an interesting translation of these passages:

Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]. [Matt. 8:17] But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole. -Isaiah 53:4-5; The Amplified Bible

The New International Version has an interesting translation of this verse:

Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pieced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. -Isaiah 53:4-5; NIV

I really love the way the way the Contemporary English Version translates verse 5:

He was wounded and crushed because of our sins; by taking our punishment, he made us completely well.

If the CEV has translated Isaiah 53:5 correctly, then “completely well” would cover all aspects of our being: spirit, soul, and body (1 Thess. 5:23). Regardless, we have seen from the testimony of the well known Strong’s concordance and dictionary how the words “griefs” and “sorrows” are to be translated literally. We have seen it translated this way in at least three Bible translations.

A.R. Faussette: Some Scholarly Proof

However, there is more scholarly proof that an alternative translation of the words in Isaiah 53:4-5 are sickness and pains vice griefs and sorrows. A.R. Faussette says the following:

Surely . . . our griefs–literally, “But yet He hath taken (or borne) our sicknesses,” that is, they who despised Him because of His human infirmitiesought rather to have esteemed Him on account of them; for thereby “Himself took OUR infirmities” (bodily diseases). So Mat 8:17 quotes it. In the Hebrew for “borne,” or took, there is probably the double notion, He took on Himself vicariously (so Isa 53:5, 6, 8, 12 ), and so He took away; His perfect humanity whereby He was bodily afflicted for us, and in all our afflictions ( Isa 63:9; Hbr 4:15 ) was the ground on which He cured the sick; so that Matthew’s quotation is not a mere accommodation. See Note 42 of ARCHBISHOP MAGEE, Atonement. The Hebrew there may mean to overwhelm with darkness; Messiah’s time of darkness was temporary ( Mat 27:45 ), answering to the bruising of His heel; Satan’s is to be eternal, answering to the bruising of his head (compare Isa 50:10 ).

carried . . . sorrows–The notion of substitution strictly. “Carried,” namely, as a burden. “Sorrows,” that is, pains of the mind; as “griefs” refer to pains of the body ( Psa 32:10 38:17 ). Mat 8:17 might seem to oppose this: “And bare our sicknesses.” But he uses “sicknesses” figuratively for sins, the cause of them. Christ took on Himself all man’s “infirmities;” so as to remove them; the bodily by direct miracle, grounded on His participation in human infirmities; those of the soul by His vicarious suffering, which did away with the source of both. Sin and sickness are ethically connected as cause and effect (Isa 33:24 Psa 103:3 Mat 9:2 Jhn 5:14 Jam 5:15 ).

Dr. Faussette tells us that griefs and sorrows should actually be sicknesses and pains. You would think that this discovery would be a reason to rejoice. Nevertheless, so many people do just the opposite. They attempt to use scholarship to refute this very presentation we have given.

New Testament Proof

Matthew 8:17 New Testament proof that Isaiah 53:4-5 was teaching physical bodily healing in the atonement:

And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them. When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses. -Matthew 8:14-17

This should have been enough to end all disputes against physical healing in the atonement. Nevertheless, those who oppose healing in the atonement have come up with an answer for this. They tell us that this passage does not refer to the work on the cross, but to Jesus earthly ministry. They tell us that this cannot apply to us and does not teach that healing is in the atonement.

I believe that they are completely wrong. No one will dispute that Matthew is quoting from Isaiah 53:4. No one will dispute the fact that Isaiah 53:3-10 is prophesying Christ’s death on the cross. Yet, they will take one portion of this that is quoted in Matthew and tell us that it was already fulfilled at that time and therefore it does not apply to the cross.

If we are to interpret Matthew 8:17 then we would have to interpret John 12:38-41 this way:

That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with [their] eyes, nor understand with [their] heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.

This Scripture is telling us that the prophecy from Isaiah 53:1 was fulfilled on the during the time of Christ’s earthly ministry. If we were to interpret this passage as we do Matthew 8:17 then we might be justified. Nevertheless, we cannot say that this passage cannot apply to today’s believer due to the fact that Paul quotes it again in the epistle to the Romans:

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? -Romans 10:13-15

If Isaiah 53:1 is said to have been fulfilled in Jesus earthly ministry, yet Paul tells us that it is still applicable, and if Peter tells us that Isa. 53:5 is still applicable to the believer (1 Peter 2:24), then why wouldn’t Isa. 53:4 still be applicable to today’s believer? It appears to men that men had to go out of their way to “invent” teachings that would dispute the teaching of physical healing in Christ’s atonement due to their unbelief.

Mark 16:15-18

If we were to say that the healing portion of Matthew 8:14-17 then this would also negate the part that says, “they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word…” That would mean that those who say that this passage was fulfilled on earth rather than the cross would teach us that it is not necessarily God’s will that people are delivered from demonic oppression. Such a shame when the Bible makes it absolutely clear that our deliverance from Satan’s kingdom was purchased on the cross (Col. 1:12-13; 2:15; Heb. 2:14; James 4:7; 1 John 3:8).

Mark 16:15-18 shows us that both provisions (healing and deliverance) are still vital parts of the gospel message of Jesus Christ:

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Notice that these signs are not to follow the apostles and prophets only. These signs were to follow those who believe. These miraculous demonstrations that Christ promised to the church are still available to the believer. All one needs to do is believe them. These are the very things that are covered in Matthew 8:14-17. Yet, Jesus promised the same occurrances after His death and ressurrection.

I’m quite familiar that some claim that Mark 16:15-20 are not in the original manuscripts, but there is plenty of proof that they are. Click here to read an outstanding article on this very subject.

John Gill: Proof from a Baptist

However, I am quite thankful to know that though many scholars might disagree that Matthew 8:17 applies to the believer today, there are enough who would agree with me. John Gill, the late Calvinist Baptist minister saw Matthew 8:17 as applying to the to the believer today:

himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses: very agreeable to the Hebrew text, (awh) , “he himself”, not another; (avn) , “took up”, upon himself voluntarily, freely, as a man lifts up a burden, and takes it on his shoulders; (wnylx) , “our infirmities”, diseases, sicknesses, whether of body or soul, (Mlbo wnybakmw) , “and bare”, or carried, as a man does a burden upon his back, “our sicknesses”, or diseases, which occasion pain and sorrow. And that these words are spoken of the Messiah, the Jews themselves own; for among the names they give to the Messiah, “a leper” is one; which they prove from this passage.

Hence it is manifest, that according to the mind of the ancient Jews, this passage belongs to the Messiah, and is rightly applied to him by the evangelist. But the difficulty is, how it had its accomplishment in Christ’s healing the bodily diseases of men; since Isaiah speaks not of his actions and miracles, but of his sufferings and death; and not of bearing the diseases of the body, as it should seem, but of the diseases of the mind, of sins, as the Apostle Peter interprets it, (1 Peter 2:24) . To remove which, let it be observed, that though the prophet chiefly designs to point out Christ taking upon him, and bearing the sins of his people, in order to make satisfaction for them, and to save them from them; yet so likewise, as to include his bearing, by way of sympathy, and taking away by his power, the bodily diseases of men, which arise from sin; and which was not only an emblem of his bearing and taking away sin, but a proof of his power and ability to do it: for since he could do the one, it was plain he could do the other.[5]

Here is proof from a man that was gone centuries before this present day debate over Matthew 8:17.

More Scholarship

Keith Bailey, in his ecellent book, Divine Healing: The Children’s Bread, shows us several several great leaders from the past believed that Matthew 8:17 is still applicable to today’s believer. Among them are A.B. Simpson, R. Kelso Carter, A.J. Gordon, R.A. Torrey, W.E. Boardman.

Surprising for me were some of the well known theologians that Bailey quoted such as A.A. Hodge, Joseph A. Alexander, and Melancthon Jacobus. Even the man who made cessationism popular, Benjamin B. Warfield could not dispute that Matthew 8:17 taught God’s provision for our bodies. The most interesting quote in Bailey’s excellent book comes from Franz Delitzch who is famous for his critical commentaries on the Old Testament:

Even here, where it is not the sins, but “our sicknesses”-and “our pains” that form the object, the meaning is that the Servant of God took upon himself the sufferings which we had to bear, and deserved to bear, and endured them in his own person, in order to deliver us from them.[6]

If these men can see that Matthew 8:17 is applicable today, why do today’s Christians have such a problem with it? It is obvious to me that Isaiah 53:4-5 and Matthew 8:17 teaches us that physical bodily healing is provided for us through the atonement of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on our behalf.

Other Scriptures Affirm That God Provides Physical Healing

For to long some in the church have discourage God’s people from receiving healing. They have either taught that God no longer heals today because He has doctors to do this or they teach that it is not always God’s will to heal. To further support their cessationist doctrine, they interpret clear healing promises as applying only to spiritual healing.

It is best to read some of the promises concerning divine healing and health so that we can be sure that what God is promising is a healing provison for our bodies as well as for our spirits and souls:

Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:1-5

Psalms is clear that one of the benefits that we receive from God is the healing of ALL our diseases. Man may attempt to limit God’s healing provison to one or no area of our lives, yet God does not set these limitations. He has specificall told us that we are not to forget His benefits. One of those benefits is the healing of ALL, not some, diseases. I happen to take the Bible literally. If it says “all” then I don’t doubt it.

Proverbs makes it clear that the healing that God provides is a healing in the body, or rather, the flesh:

My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they [are] life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. -Proverbs 4:20-22

Unless there be any doubt in the mind of the believer, let’s read Proverbs 4:20-22 from two other translations:

My son, pay attention to my words. Open your ears to what I say. Do not lose sight of these things. Keep them deep within your heart because they are life to those who find them and they heal the whole body. Proverbs 4:20-22; God’s Word To The Nations Translation

My child, pay attention to my words; listen closely to what I say. 21 Don’t ever forget my words; keep them always in mind. They are the key to life for those who find them; they bring health to the whole body. Proverbs 4:20-22; The Everyday Bible

Now this should be sufficient that God makes provision for the body. Nevertheless, I have engaged in enough discussions concerning these matters to know that these passage are not enough to do away with sceptical arguments. I am often asked to provide examples from the New Testament.

It often bothers me that many Christians no longer accept the Old Testaments promises as valid for today’s believer. Paul told us that ALL the promises of God were yea and amen (2 Cor. 1:20). Nevertheless, we will show the reader from the New Testament that Christ’s healing provision is indeed for the body as well as any other area of our being.

In Romans 8:11 we read:

But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

The quickening or life giving power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in every believer is sufficient to give life to our mortal bodies. We should remember that the Bible teaches us that life is synonymous with health while death is synonymous with sickness (Deut. 30:15-19; Prov. 4:22). Therefore, the life giving power that comes through the Holy Spirit in our mortal bodies is a healing power.

Let’s read Phillips translation of Romans 8:11:

Once the Spirit of him who raised Christ Jesus from the dead lives within you he will, by that same Spirit, bring to your whole being, yes, even your mortal bodies, new strength and vitality. For he now lives in you. -Romans 8:11; The New Testament In Modern English by J.B. Phillips

It is God’s desire that we appropriate this strength and vitality in our mortal bodies. If we would just trust God and His promises instead of listening to men and their unbelief, we would see more of this bodily provision in our lives.

John, speaking by the inspiration of God (all Scripture is God-breathed – 2 Tim. 3:16), shows us God’s will desire for all of His children:

This letter is from John the Elder. F1 It is written to Gaius, my dear friend, whom I love in the truth. 2 Dear friend, I am praying that all is well with you and that your body is as healthy as I know your soul is. -3 John2; New Living Translation

Some will say that this only a greeting to Gaius and this was meant only for him. It is such a shame that we interpret away the parts of the Bible that does not fit our theological system. If we do away with this “greeting” to Gaius then we must do away with the whole epistle because the whole thing was addressed to him only. We would have to then do away with Ephesians, Corinthians, Thessalonians, etc. since Paul was specifically addressing only those particular churches in His epistles.

I believe that all of the Epistles are addressed to today’s believer and that they are God’s Word. I have no doubts that what God inspired John to say to Gaius was meant for us as well. God wants our bodies to be in health commensurate with our souls. God makes provision for the body.

Conclusion

The Bible is very clear as to what is spiritual and what is physical (Rom. 1:11; 7:14; 15:27; 1 Cor. 2:13, 15; 3:1; 9:11; 10:3, 4; 12:1, 14:1, 12, 37, 15:44, 46; Gal. 6:1; Eph. 1:3; 5:19; Col. 1:9; 3:16; 1 Pet. 2:5). Jesus Himself made that distinction when He said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6).

If the Bible does not insert the word spiritual in the passages of Scripture that deal with the promises of divine healing then neither should we. If we do that then we are guilty to adding to the Word of God, and God does not take too kindly to that (Rev. 22:18-19).

1.

Strong, James The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1984)
2.

Ibid
3.

Ibid
4.

Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (1871) Available at Crosswalk.com
5.

Gill, John John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible (Paris, AR: The Baptist Standard Bearer), The New John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario. Available at Crosswalk.com
6.

Bailey, Keith M. Divine Healing: The Children’s Bread (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1977), p. 53

GOD’S WORD is a copyrighted work of God’s Word to the Nations. Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

New Century Version © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Word Publishing, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.Do you need healing from a Sickness or a disease that has tormented your life and your purpose then you MUST build up your faith in the word of God to give yourself a “Personal Framework” to see yourself healed before it is manifested! GO TO THESE SITES TO BUILD YOUR FAITH: http://www.savedhealed.com/ & http://healingsandmiracles.org/ The Top site will help you to know the word of God that BRINGS HEALING and the Bottom site will build up your Faith to receive ANYTHING from God even a MISSING LIMB! Below is the evidence of just what paid for your healing. No excuse is accepted by God for NOT receiving your RIGHT TO HEALING as God paid for it all at the cross!

Faith in the Great Physician tells the story of how participants in the evangelical divine healing movement of the late nineteenth century transformed the ways Americans coped with physical affliction and pursued bodily health. Examining the politics of sickness, health, and healing during this period, Heather D. Curtis encourages critical reflection on the theological, cultural, and social forces that come into play when one questions the purpose of suffering and the possibility of healing. Curtis finds that advocates of divine healing worked to revise a deep-seated Christian ethic that linked physical suffering with spiritual holiness. By engaging in devotional disciplines and participating in social reform efforts, proponents of faith cure embraced a model of spiritual experience that endorsed active service, rather than passive endurance, as the proper Christian response to illness and pain. Emphasizing the centrality of religious practices to the enterprise of divine healing, Curtis sheds light on the relationship among Christian faith, medical science, and the changing meanings of suffering and healing in American culture.
1.) “Faith in the great physician: suffering and divine healing in American …” By Heather D. Curtis

The wood. The thorns. The nails. Christ’s sacrifice has defined the very essence of mankind’s faith for the past 2000 years. And now, Max Lucado invites you to examine the cross, contemplate its purpose, and celebrate its significance with He Chose the Nails. With his warm, caring style, Max examines the symbols surrounding Christ’s crucifixion, revealing the claims of the cross and asserting that if they are true, then Christianity itself is true. The supporting evidence either makes the cross the single biggest hoax of all time, or the hope of all humanity. More than a book, the campaign includes the first stand-alone workbook, leaders guide, and video package from Max, as well as a praise & worship CD from Here to Him music featuring several of today’s favorite Christian artists.

2.) “He Chose the Nails” By Max Lucado

A long history of biblical exegesis and theological reflection has shaped our understanding of the atonement today. The more prominent highlights of this history have acquired familiar names for the household of faith: Christus Victor, penal substitutionary, subjective, governmental. Recently the penal substitutionary view, and particularly its misappropriations, has been critiqued, and a lively debate has taken hold within evangelicalism. This book offers a “panel” discussion of four views of atonement maintained by four evangelical scholars. The proponents and their views are: Gregory A. Boyd: Christus Victor view Joel B. Green: kaleidescopic view Bruce R. Reichenbach: healing view Thomas R. Schreiner: penal substitutionary view Following an introduction written by the editors, each participant first puts forth the case for their view. Each view is followed by responses from the other three participants, noting points of agreement as well as disagreement. This is a book that will help Christians understand the issues, grasp the differences and proceed toward a clearer articulation of their understanding of the atonement. Market/Audience Pastors and thoughtful lay people Students and professors of theology Features and Benefits Gives the opportunity to see proponents of various views put forth their case and respond to others. Offers perspective on an important debate in evangelical theology. Helps readers shape their own views.
3.) “The Nature of the Atonement: Four Views” By James K. Beilby, Gregory A. Boyd, Paul R. Eddy

This compilation of four classic books from the 1930′s on healing shows Jesus Christ as the Healer of every sickness and supports every healing claim with Scripture.
4.) “His Healing Power: The Four Classic Books on Healing Complete in One Volume” By Lilian Yeomans

Are the gifts of tongues, prophecy, and healing for today? No, say cessationists. Yes, say Pentecostal and Third Wave Christians. Maybe, say a large sector of open-but-cautious evangelicals. What’s the answer? Is there an answer?
Are Miraculous Gifts for Today? takes you to the heart of the charismatic controversy. It provides an impartial format for comparing the four main lines of thinking: cessationist, open but cautious, third wave, and Pentecostal/charismatic. The authors present their positions in an interactive setting that allows for critique, clarification, and defense.
This thought-provoking book will help Christians on every side of the miraculous gifts debate to better understand their own position and the positions of others.
Wayne Grudem has brought online the four major views on miraculous gifts today. Downloading them into your own understanding takes effort, but the worldwide network that you join is the fellowship of the Spirit!
The Counterpoints series provides a forum for comparison and critique of different views on issues important to Christians. Counterpoints books address two categories: Church Life and Bible and Theology. Complete your library with other books in the Counterpoints series.

5.) “Are miraculous gifts for today?: four views” By Wayne A. Grudem, Douglas A. Oss, C. Samuel Storms

When Jesus ministered, he often used touch. Yet this human act makes many people uneasy. In this helpful book, Zach Thomas provides fresh perspectives on the practical meanings of touch for the faith community. He criticizes the church for its mind/body split and suggests a more wholesome path to using healing touch.
6.) “Healing touch: the church’s forgotten language” By Zach Thomas

Natural health’s number-one bestseller for more than twenty years, completely revised and updated.

With more than five million copies sold, Prescription for Nutritional Healing is the most trusted, comprehensive source on dietary supplements, vitamins, minerals, and herbs. A pioneer in the field of nutritional healing, Phyllis Balch passionately and meticulously researched and compiled this groundbreaking book. Now, a generation later, her message has more relevance than ever: consume fresh foods, avoid processed foods and those high in saturated fat, and optimize your intake of essential nutrients with the right supplements. Today’s well-stocked vitamin and natural-health stores can be confusing, and people need Balch’s clear, concise, landmark guide.

To help them make sense of the mind-numbing array of choices that are available, readers of Prescription for Nutritional Healing will:

- learn the basics of good nutrition;
- find out how to balance vitamins and minerals so that the body can properly absorb both;
- determine how best to treat 250 problems-from abscesses to wrinkles-using herbs, nutrition, and supplements; and
- get the facts on other complementary therapies, like ayurveda, biofeedback, chiropractic care, and more. Prescription for Nutritional Healing is an essential resource for every health-minded consumer.
7.) “Prescription for nutritional healing” By Phyllis A. Balch

Promises You Can Stand On Through Thick and ThinThe Bible is filled with hundreds of what the apostle Peter called ‘exceeding great and precious promises’: definite, explicit declarations God has made that you can count on. In All the Promises of the Bible, Dr. Herbert Lockyer discusses the nature of God’s promises—their substance · simplicity · surety · source · security · scope.Lockyer’s in-depth look at the scope of God’s promises arranges them in categories that cover the full array of human concerns, from the spiritual to the material and the corporate to the personal. As you come to understand God’s promises and how they apply to every aspect of your life, you’ll gain a trust in God that will sustain you through the worst of times and be your source of rejoicing in the best.
8.) “All the Promises of the Bible” By Herbert Lockyer

Have you ever heard of your inner child? Well, this is the classic book that started it all.

In 1987, Charlie Whitfield’s breakthrough concept of the child within—that part of us which is truly alive, energetic, creative and fulfilled—launched the inner child movement. Healing the Child Within describes how the inner child is lost to trauma and loss, and how by recovering it, we can heal the fear, confusion and unhappiness of adult life.

Eighteen years and more than a million copies sold later, Healing the Child Within is a perennial selling classic in the field of psychology. And it is even more timely today than it was in 1987. Recent brain research, particularly on the effects of trauma on the brain of developing children, has supported Whitfield’s intuitive understanding as a psychiatrist.

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9.) “Healing the child within: discovery and recovery for adult children of …” By Charles L. Whitfield

In an emotionally revealing way John Bradshaw shows us how toxic shame is the core problem in our compulsions,co-dependencies, addictions and the drive to super-achieve. The result is a breakdown inthe family system and our inability to go forward with our lives. We are bound by our shame. Drawing from his 22 years of experience as a counselor, Bradshaw offers us the techniques to heal this shame. Using affirmations, visualizations, “inner voice” and “feeling” work plus guided meditations and other useful healing techniques, he realeases the shame that binds us to thepast.

This important book breaks new ground in the core issues of societal and personal breakdown, offering techniques of recovery vital to all of us.
10.) “Healing the shame that binds you” By John Bradshaw

A volume of practical wisdom which applies the five stages of Kubler-Ross to the healing process.
11.) “Healing life’s hurts: healing memories through five stages of forgiveness” By Matthew Linn

CHARISMATIC? YOU CERTAINLY ARE…IF YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN AT ALL. But perhaps not in the way the term is frequently used today. Charismata is a Greek word meaning “gifts of grace.” It refers to the gifts or special abilities given to Christians by the Holy Spirit–all the gifts, not just speaking in tongues or miracles or healing. and #149; What are the 19 gifts? and #149; Are they all for today? and #149; What is their purpose? and #149; How can we discover and put to use our own gifts? All of these questions, plus a careful examination of gifts revealed in the Bible, are included in this in-depth study, first published in 1974. If you want to know what the Bible says about spiritual gifts, this book is for you. Dr. Leslie Flynn is the former pastor of Grace Conservative Baptist Church in Nanuet, New York, where he served for 40 years. He has written more than 30 books, among them this classic and The Twelve.
12.) “19 Gifts of the Spirit” By Leslie B. Flynn

John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Compiled by David Terasaka, M.D.

©1996. All Rights Reserved, David Terasaka, M.D.

However, permission is hereby granted to copy and distribute
free of charge for non-commercial purposes only.

Heb 12:2 – “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

In the last few hours of Jesus’ life what did He endure, and what shame did He suffer?

EXCRUCIATE: to cause great agony, torment

Latin : ex : out of, from cruciate : cross

“from the cross”

The tone of this presentation can best be summarized in the word “excruciate”, (the root of the word “excruciating”) which refers to something which causes great agony or torment. The Latin roots of the word are :”ex”, meaning from or out of, and “cruciate”, meaning cross. The word “excruciate” comes from the Latin for “from, or out of, the cross”. (Webster’s)

GENERAL OVERVIEW
Jesus spent the last hours before the crucifixion at several places in Jerusalem. He started the evening in the Upper Room, in southwest Jerusalem. At the Last Supper, He told the disciples that His body and His blood were to be given for them. (Matt 26: 26-29) He went outside of the city to the Garden of Gethsemane. He was then arrested and brought back to the to the palace of the High Priest. where He was questioned by Annas, a former High Priest, and Caiaphas, Annas’ son in law. Afterwards, He was tried by the Sanhedrin, and found to be guilty of blasphemy by proclaiming Himself the Son of God. He was sentenced to the death penalty. Since only the Romans were able to execute criminals, He was sent to Pontius Pilate at the Antonia Fortress. Pilate, not finding anything wrong, sent Him to King Herod , who returned Him back to Pilate. Pilate, submitting to the pressure of the crowd, then ordered that Jesus be flogged and crucified. He was finally led out of the city walls to be crucified at Calvary.

THE HEALTH OF JESUS AND DEMANDS OF THE ORDEAL
It is reasonable to assume that Jesus was in good health prior to the ordeal that He faced in the hours before His death. Having been a carpenter and traveling throughout the land during His ministry would have required that He would be in good physical condition. Before the crucifixion, however, He was forced to walk 2.5 miles over a sleepless night, during which He suffered great anguish through His six trials, was mocked, ridiculed and severely beaten, and was abandoned by His friends and Father. (Edwards)

THE UPPER ROOM OR CENACULUM
The ordeal began in an upper room of a house at what we now call the Last Supper, where Jesus, in giving the first communion, predicted that His body and blood would be given. Matt 26:17-29) Today in Jerusalem, one can visit the Cenacle or Cenaculum (Latin for dining hall), a room which is built over what is believed to be the site of the Upper Room, (Kollek) which was located on the southwestern aspect of the old city.

GETHESEMANE : oil press
Luke 22:44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

“the Spirit of God ….crushed”

From the upper room, Jesus went outside of the city walls where he spent time in prayer at the Garden of Gethesemane. The garden has many ancient olive trees today, some of which may have grown from the roots of the trees that were present in Jesus’ time. (All trees in and around Jerusalem were cut down when the Romans conquered the city in 70 A.D. Olive trees can regenerate from their roots and live for thousands of years.) The name “Gethesemane”, comes from the Hebrew Gat Shmanim, meaning “oil press” (Kollek). Since “oil” is used in the Bible to symbolize the Holy Spirit, it may be said that the garden is where “the Spirit of God was crushed”. (Missler). It was here that Jesus agonized in prayer over what was to occur. It is significant that this is the only place in the KJV where the word “agony” is mentioned. (Strong’s concordance) The Greek word for agony means to be “engaged in combat” (Pink) Jesus agonizes over what He is to go through, feeling that He is at the point of death.(Mark14:34) Yet He prays, “Not my will, but thine be done.”

Of medical significance is that Luke mentions Him as having sweat like blood. The medical term for this, “hemohidrosis” or “hematidrosis” has been seen in patients who have experienced, extreme stress or shock to their systems. (Edwards) The capillaries around the sweat pores become fragile and leak blood into the sweat. A case history is recorded in which a young girl who had a fear of air raids in WW1 developed the condition after a gas explosion occurred in the house next door. Scott)) Another report mentions a nun who, as she was threatened with death by the swords of the enemy soldiers,” was so terrified that she bled from every part of her body and died of hemorrhage in the sight of her assailants. “(Grafenberg) As a memorial to Jesus’ ordeal, a church which now stands in Gethesemane is known as the Church of the Agony. (also called the Church of the Nations because many nations donated money to its construction. (Kulak)

ABANDONED BY MAN
Matthew 26:56: “Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.”

Psa 22:11: “Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.”

While in Gethesemane, Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested by the Jews. His disciples all desert Him, even at the expense of running away naked (Mark 14:51-52). He is bound (John 18:12) then brought back to the city to the court of the High Priest, which is located near the Upper room.

ILLEGAL ASPECTS OF THE TRIAL OF JESUS
Following are some of the illegal aspects of the trial of Jesus:
Trials could occur only in the regular meeting places of the Sanhedrin (not in the palace of the High Priest)
Trials could not occur on the eve of the Sabbath or Feast Days or at night
A sentence of ‘guilty’ might only be pronounced on the day following the trial
THE ISSUE OF WITNESSES
Deut 19:15: “One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”

Deut 17:6: “On the testimony of two or three witnesses a man shall be put to death, but no one shall be put to death on the testimony of only one witness.”

Mark 14:56: “Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree.”

While in the court of the High Priest, He was questioned by Annas (John 18:13) and struck by a soldier (John 18: 22). He was then brought to Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin. who sought to put Jesus to death by the false testimony of many witnesses. The witnesses brought against Him did not agree. By the law, no one could be put to death without the agreement of two or three witnesses. Although the witnesses did not agree, He was found guilty of blasphemy when He told them of His identity as the Son of God. He was sentenced to death. Jesus suffered ridicule from the palace guards, who spat on Him, beat Him and slapped Him on the face. Mark 14:65.) During the trial, Peter denies Him three times. The proceedings of Jesus’ trial violated many of the laws of His society. Among some of the other broken laws were: Bucklin)

Any arrest could not be made at night.
The time and date of the trial were illegal because it took place at night and on the eve of the Sabbath. This time precluded any chance for the required adjournment to the next day in the event of a conviction.
The Sanhedrin was without authority to instigate charges. It was only supposed to investigate charges brought before it. In Jesus’ trial, the court itself formulated the charges.
The charges against Jesus were changed during the trial. He was initially charged with blasphemy based upon His statement that He would be able to destroy and rebuild the Temple of God within three days, as well as His claim to be the Son of God. When He was brought before Pilate, the charge was that Jesus was a King and did not advocate paying taxes to the Romans.
As stated above, the requirement of two witnesses in agreement to merit the death penalty was not met.
The court did not meet in the regular meeting place of the Sanhedrin, as required by Jewish law.
Christ was not permitted a defense. Under Jewish law, an exhaustive search into the facts presented by the witnesses should have occurred.
The Sanhedrin pronounced the death sentence. Under law, the Sanhedrin were not allowed to convict and put the death sentence into effect. (John 18:31)

Today, one can visit the palace of the High Priest. where one can stand in the midst of the ruins of the courtyard. A model of the structure in Jesus’ time is available for viewing.

PILATE’S VERDICT
Mark 15:15 – “Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.”

The Sanhedrin met early the next morning and sentenced Him to death. (Matthew 27:1) Because the Jews were not, and the Romans were, able to carry out an execution, Jesus was brought before Pilate. The charge was now changed to an allegation that Jesus claimed to be King and forbade the nation to pay taxes to Caesar. (Luke 23:5) In spite of all the charges, Pilate finds nothing wrong. He sends Jesus to Herod. Jesus is speechless before Herod, except to affirm that He is King of the Jews. Herod sends Him back to Pilate. Pilate is unable to convince the crowds of Jesus’ innocence and orders Jesus to be put to death. Some sources state that it was Roman law that a criminal that was to be crucified had to be flogged first. McDowell) Others believe that Jesus was flogged first by Pilate in the hope of getting Him off with a lighter punishment .(Davis) In spite of his efforts, the Jews allow Barabbas to be released and demand that Jesus be crucified, even crying that ,”His blood be on us and on our children!” (Matthew 27:25) Pilate hands Jesus over to be flogged and crucified.

It is at this point that Jesus suffers a severe physical beating. (Edwards) During a flogging, a victim was tied to a post, leaving his back entirely exposed. The Romans used a whip, called a flagrum or flagellum which consisted of small pieces of bone and metal attached to a number of leather strands. The number of strikes is not recorded in the gospels. The number of blows in Jewish law was set in Deuteronomy 25:3 at forty, but later reduced to 39 to prevent excessive blows by a counting error. (Holmans). The victim often died from the beating. (39 hits were believed to bring the criminal to “one from death”.) Roman law did not put any limits on the number of blows given. (McDowell) During the flogging, the skin was stripped from the back, exposing a bloody mass of muscle and bone (“hamburger ” : Metherall). Extreme blood loss occurred from this beating, weakening the victim. perhaps to the point of being unconscious.

ROMAN SOLDIERS MOCK AND BEAT JESUS
Matthew 27:28-30 (The soldiers) stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. Jesus was then beaten by the Roman soldiers. In mockery, they dressed Him in what was probably the cloak of a Roman officer, which was colored dark purple or scarlet .(Amplified Bible) He also wore the crown of thorns. Unlike the traditional crown which is depicted by an open ring, the actual crown of thorns may have covered the entire scalp. (Lumpkin) The thorns may have been 1 to 2 inches long. The gospels state that the Roman soldiers continued to beat Jesus on the head. The blows would drive the thorns into the scalp (one of the most vascular areas of the body) and forehead, causing severe bleeding.

THE CROWN OF THORNS AND THE ROBE
Genesis 3:17-18: “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.” Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” The significance of the scarlet robe and crown of thorns is to emphasize Jesus’ taking the sins of the world upon His body. The Bible describes sin by the color of scarlet (Is 1:18) and that thorns first appeared after the fall, as a sign of the curse. Thus, the articles that He wore are symbols to show that Jesus took on the sins (and the curse) of the world upon Himself. It is not clear that He wore the crown of thorns on the cross. Matthew describes that the Romans removed His clothes after the beating, and that they put His own clothes back on Him. (Matt 27:31)

gse_multipart42168THE SEVERITY OF THE BEATING
Isaiah 50:6: “I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.”

Isaiah 52:14: “….. Just as there were many who were appalled at him — his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness–”

The severity of the beating is not detailed in the gospels. However, in the book of Isaiah, it suggests that the Romans pulled out His beard. Isaiah 50:8) . It is also mentions that Jesus was beaten so severely that His form did not look like that of “a son of a man” i.e. that of a human being. The literal translation of the verse reads, “So marred from the form of man was His aspect, that His appearance was not as that of a son of a man.” People were appalled to look at Him (Isaiah 52:13). His disfigurement may explain why He was not easily recognized in His post resurrection appearances. (Missler) Today, one can visit a site known as the Lithostrotos, traditionally believed to be the floor of the Antonio Fortress. although recent excavations may cast doubt on this theory (Gonen)) The floor is marked for games once played by the Roman soldiers

From the beating, Jesus walked on a path, now known as the Via Dolorosa or the “way of suffering”, to be crucified at Golgotha. The total distance has been estimated at 650 yards. (Edwards). A narrow street of stone, it was probably surrounded by markets in Jesus’ time. He was led through the crowded streets carrying the crossbar of the cross called a patibulum) across His shoulders. The crossbar probably weighed between 80 to 110 pounds. He was surrounded by a guard of Roman soldiers, one of which carried a titulus, a sign which announced His crime of being “the King of the Jews” in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. On the way, He was unable to carry the cross. Some theorize that he may have fallen while going down the steps of the Antonio Fortress. A fall with the heavy patibulum on His back may have led to a contusion of the heart, predisposing His heart to rupture on the cross. (Ball) Simon of Cyrene (currently North Africa (Tripoli)), who apparently was affected by these events, was summoned to help.

The present Via Dolorosa was marked in the 16th century as the route over which Christ was led to His crucifixion.(Magi) As is the location of Calvary, the true location of the Via Dolorosa is disputed. Much tradition as to what happened to Jesus is encountered on the Via Dolorosa today. There are 14 stations of ‘events’ that occurred and 9 churches on the way today. The stations of the cross were established in the 1800′s. (Magi) Today, there is one section of the path where one can walk on the stones which were used during Jesus time.

SUFFERING ON THE CROSS
Psalm 22:16-17: Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.”

The crucifixion event is prophesied in several places throughout the Old Testament. One of the most striking is recorded in Isaiah 52:13 ,where it says that , “My servant will act wisely (or prosper) .He will be raised and lifted up and greatly exalted.” In John 3, Jesus talks about His fulfillment of that prophecy when He says, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life.” He refers to the events recorded in Numbers 21:6-9. The Lord had sent a plague of fiery serpents on the people of Israel and they bit the people so that many of the people died. After the people confessed their sin to Moses, the Lord for gave them by having a bronze serpent made. Bronze is a symbol for judgment and the serpent is a symbol of the curse. Whoever was bitten by a serpent and then looked at the bronze serpent, was saved from death.. These verses are prophecies that point to the crucifixion, in the Jesus would be (lifted up ) on the cross for the judgment of sin, so that whoever believed in Him should not die (an eternal death), but live an eternal life. II Cor 5 :21 amplifies this point, in that “He (the Father) made Him who knew no sin (the Son) to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”(Pink) It is interesting that the sign of Aesculapius which is the symbol of the medical profession today, had its roots from the making of the bronze serpent.(Metherall) Indeed, Jesus is the healer of all! Jesus is led to the place of the skull (Latin Calvary, Aramaic :Golgotha) to be crucified. The actual location of Calvary is also in dispute. At the end of the Via Dolorosa, there is a “T intersection”. If one turns left, we go to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. If one turns to the right, one goes to Gordon’s Calvary. The Church of the Holy sepulcher has long been believed to be the traditional site of the crucifixion.

Gordon’s Calvary has a possible prophetic reason for being the actual site of the crucifixion .In Genesis 22, Abraham is tested by God to sacrifice Isaac on the top of a mountain. Realizing that he is acting out a prophecy, that “God Himself will provide a Lamb” , Abraham calls the place of the event “Jehovah Jireh”, meaning “In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.” If we take this as a prophetic event of Jesus’ death, then Jesus’ died on the high ground of Jerusalem. Gordon’s Calvary is the highest point of Jerusalem, 777 meters above sea level.(Missler: Map from Israel tour book) Today, at Gordon’s Calvary, caves in the rock are situated which give the site the appearance of a skull.

Jesus was then crucified. Crucifixion was a practice that originated with the Persians and was later passed on to the Carthaginians and the Phoenicians. The Romans perfected it as a method of execution which caused maximal pain and suffering over a period of time. Those crucified included slaves, provincials and the lowest types of criminals. Roman citizens, except perhaps for soldiers who deserted, were not subjected to this treatment. (McDowell)

The crucifixion site “was purposely chosen to be outside the city walls because the Law forbade such within the city walls…for sanitary reasons … the crucified body was sometimes left to rot on the cross and serve as a disgrace, a convincing warning and deterrent to passers by.” (Johnson) Sometimes, the subject was eaten while alive and still on the cross by wild beasts. (Lipsius)

The procedure of crucifixion may be summarized as follows. The patibulum was put on the ground and the victim laid upon it. Nails, about 7 inches long and with a diameter of 1 cm ( roughly 3/8 of an inch) were driven in the wrists . The points would go into the vicinity of the median nerve, causing shocks of pain to radiate through the arms. It was possible to place the nails between the bones so that no fractures (or broken bones) occurred. Studies have shown that nails were probably driven through the small bones of the wrist, since nails in the palms of the hand would not support the weight of a body. In ancient terminology, the wrist was considered to be part of the hand. (Davis) Standing at the crucifixion sites would be upright posts, called stipes, standing about 7 feet high.(Edwards) In the center of the stipes was a crude seat, called a sedile or sedulum, which served a support for the victim. The patibulum was then lifted on to the stipes. The feet were then nailed to the stipes. To allow for this, the knees had to be bent and rotated laterally, being left in a very uncomfortable position. The titulus was hung above the victim’s head.

There were several different types of crosses used during crucifixion. In Jesus’ time, it was most likely that the cross used was a T shaped (or tau cross,), not the popular Latin, or t shaped cross which is accepted today.(Lumpkin)

PHYSICAL SUFFERING ON THE CROSS
Psalm 22:14-15: “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.”

Having suffered from the beatings and flogging, Jesus suffered from severe hypovolemia from the loss of blood. The verses above describe His dehydrated state and loss of His strength.

When the cross was erected upright, there was tremendous strain put on the wrists, arms and shoulders, resulting in a dislocation of the shoulder and elbow joints.(Metherall) The arms, being held up and outward, held the rib cage in a fixed end inspiratory position which made it extremely difficult to exhale, and impossible to take a full breath. The victim would only be able to take very shallow breaths.(This may explain why Jesus made very short statements while on the cross). As time passed, the muscles, from the loss of blood, last of oxygen and the fixed position of the body, would undergo severe cramps and spasmodic contractions

ABANDONED BY GOD — SPIRITUAL DEATH
Matthew 27:46: “About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’–which means, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

With the sin of the world upon Him, Jesus suffered spiritual death (separation from the Father ). Isaiah 59:2 says that sins cause a separation from God, and that He hides His face from you so that He does not hear. The Father must turn away from His Beloved Son on the cross. For the first time, Jesus does not address God as His Father.(Courson)

DEATH BY CRUCIFIXION : SLOW SUFFOCATION
Shallowness of breathing causes small areas of lung collapse.
Decreased oxygen and increased carbon dioxide causes acidic conditions in the tissues.
Fluid builds up in the lungs. Makes situation in step 2 worse.
Heart is stressed and eventually fails.
The slow process of suffering and resulting death during a crucifixion may be summarized as follows:

“…it appears likely that the mechanism of death in crucifixion was suffocation. The chain of events which ultimately led to suffocation are as follows: With the weight of the body being supported by the sedulum, the arms were pulled upward. This caused the intercostal and pectoral muscles to be stretched. Furthermore, movement of these muscles was opposed by the weight of the body. With the muscles of respiration thus stretched, the respiratory bellows became relatively fixed. As dyspnea developed and pain in the wrists and arms increased, the victim was forced to raise the body off the sedulum, thereby transferring the weight of the body to the feet. Respirations became easier, but with the weight of the body being exerted on the feet, pain in the feet and legs mounted. When the pain became unbearable, the victim again slumped down on the sedulum with the weight of the body pulling on the wrists and again stretching the intercostal muscles. Thus, the victim alternated between lifting his body off the sedulum in order to breathe and slumping down on the sedulum to relieve pain in the feet. Eventually , he became exhausted or lapsed into unconsciousness so that he could no longer lift his body off the sedulum. In this position, with the respiratory muscles essentially paralyzed, the victim suffocated and died. (DePasquale and Burch)

Due to the shallow breathing, the victim’s lungs begin to collapse in small areas. causing hypoxia and hypercarbia. A respiratory acidosis, with lack of compensation by the kidneys due to the loss of blood from the numerous beatings, resulted in an increased strain on the heart, which beats faster to compensate. Fluid builds up in the lungs. . Under the stress of hypoxia and acidosis the heart eventually fails. There are several different theories on the actual cause of death. One theory states that there was a filling of the pericardium with fluid, which put a fatal strain on the ability of the heart to pump blood (Lumpkin). Another theory states that Jesus died of cardiac rupture.” (Bergsma) The actual cause of Jesus’ death, however, “may have been multifactorial and related primarily to hypovolemic shock, exhaustion asphyxia and perhaps acute heart failure.”(Edwards) A fatal cardiac arrhythmia may have caused the final terminal event. (Johnson, Edwards)

A LAST DRINK OF WINE VINEGAR
John 19:29-30 “A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.” When he had received the drink, Jesus said, `It is finished’. “With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”

Having suffered severe blood losses from His numerous beatings and thus in a dehydrated state, Jesus, in one of His final statements, said “I thirst.” He was offered 2 drinks on the cross. The first, which He refused, was a drugged wine (mixed with myrrh). He chose to face death without a clouded mind. Edersheim writes:

“It was a merciful Jewish practice to give to those led to execution a draught of strong wine mixed with myrrh so as to deaden consciousness” (Mass Sem 2.9; Bemid. R. 10). This charitable office was performed at the cost of, if not by, an association of women in Jerusalem (Sanh. 43a). The draught was offered to Jesus when He reached Golgotha. But having tasted it….He would not drink it. ….He would meet Death, even in his sternest and fiercest mood, and conquer by submitting to the full….(p.880).

The second drink, which He accepts moments before His death, is described as a wine vinegar. Two points are important to note. The drink was given on the “stalk of a hyssop plant”. Remember that these events occurred at the Feast of the Passover. During this feast, (Exod 12:22) hyssop was used to apply the blood of the Passover lamb to the wooden doorposts of the Jews. It is interesting the end of this hyssop stalk pointed to the blood of the Perfect Lamb which was applied to the wooden cross for the salvation of all mankind. (Barclay) In addition, the wine vinegar is a product of fermentation, which is made from grape juice and yeast. The word literally means “that which is soured” and is related to the Hebrew term for “that which is leavened”. (Holmans) Yeast or leaven, is a Biblical symbol of sin. When Jesus took this drink, (i.e. a drink which was “leavened”) it is thus symbolic of His taking the sins of the world into His body.

CELEBRATION OF THE OPPOSITION
SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Psalm 22:12-13: “Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me.”

While He was on the cross, darkness covered the land (noon to three p.m.). Jesus, in Luke 22:53, associates those who arrested Him with the power of darkness. Where were the evil forces while Jesus was on the cross? The verses above from Psalm 22 seem out of place when first read. There seems to be no mention of “bulls” and “lions” around the cross. The verses, however, have a deeper meaning.(Courson) Bashan was an area to the east of the Jordan River which was famous for its fertility. Cattle were raised there which grew to enormous sizes. The people there worshipped demon spirits (associated with Baal) within the cattle. In 1 Pet 5:8, Satan is described as “a roaring lion…seeking those who he may devour” These verses are thus suggestive of the spiritual activity of Satan and his demons, celebrating as Jesus was suffering on the cross.

JESUS LAID DOWN HIS LIFE
John 10:17-18 “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life–only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

Luke 23:46 “Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit’.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

The average time of suffering before death by crucifixion is stated to be about 2-4 days(Tenney), although there are reported cases where the victims lived for 9 days.(Lipsius) The actual causes of death by crucifixion were multifactorial, one of the most significant would have been the severity of the scourging. (Edwards) Jesus died a quick physical death (Pilate was surprised that He had died so soon.(Mark 15:44)). While many of the physical signs preceding death were present, one possibility is that Jesus did not die by physical factors which ended His ability to live, but that He gave up His life of His own accord. His last statement, “Into your hands I commit my Spirit” seems to show that Jesus’ death occurred by giving Himself up. In John 10, He states that only He has the power to lay down His life. He proved His power over death by His resurrection. Truly, God is the one who has power over life and death

DEATH BY CRUCIFIXION:
HASTENED by the breaking of the legs, so that the victim could not push up to take a good breath.

John 19:32-33: The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.

CONFIRMED by a spear thrust into the right side of the heart.

John 19:34: Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. Death in crucifixion was hastened by the breaking of the legs of the victim. This procedure, called crurifracture, prevented the ability of the victim to take in a good breath. Death would quickly occur from suffocation. In Jesus’ case, He died quickly and did not have His legs broken. Jesus fulfills one of the prophetic requirements of the Passover Lamb, that not a bone shall be broken.(Exodus 12:46, John 19:36)

To confirm that a victim was dead, the Romans inflicted a spear wound through the right side of the heart. When pierced, a sudden flow of blood and water came Jesus’ body . The medical significance of the blood and water has been a matter of debate. One theory states that Jesus died of a massive myocardial infarction, in which the heart ruptured (Bergsma) which may have resulted from His falling while carrying the cross. (Ball) Another theory states that Jesus’ heart was surrounded by fluid in the pericardium, which constricted the heart and caused death.(Davis) The physical stresses of crucifixion may have produced a fatal cardiac arrhythmia. (Johnson)

The stated order of “blood and water” may not necessarily indicate the order of appearance, but rather the relative prominence of each fluid. In this case, a spear through the right side of the heart would allow the pleural fluid (fluid built up in the lungs) to escape first, followed by a flow of blood from the wall of the right ventricle.(Edwards) The important fact is that the medical evidence supports that Jesus did die a physical death.

The story, of course, does not end here. The greatest event that separates Jesus from all others is the fact that He rose again and lives today. He intercedes for those who follow Him at the right hand of the Father.(Heb 7:25)

APPEARANCE IN HEAVEN
Revelation 5:6: Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders.

In eternity, Jesus will bear the marks of His crucifixion. Rev 5:6 suggests that He appears in heaven with the marks as a Lamb “looking as if it had been slain”. We know that when He appeared to Thomas that He bore the scars of the nails and the spear in His side.(John 20:26-28) It is also worth considering reasons as to why He was not immediately recognized after His resurrection. In John 21:12, it is stated that the disciples did “not dare to ask Him His identity, because they knew that it was the Lord.” It is possible that His resurrection body still has the marks of His beatings. “The body of His glorification will be the body of His humiliation.” (Missler)

Are we ready to meet Him? What have we done with what He has given to us?. Today, He encourages us to consider the cost of the cross and to apply it to our own lives.

FOLLOWING JESUS CHRIST
Luke 9:23: Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

When He was on earth, Jesus stated that , “If any man would come after me, let him take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) As we have seen, in Jesus’ time it meant going to your death, giving up and separating yourself from all that you had…….your rights, your friends, your body and blood and even your “god”, to follow Him.

We are challenged by the example of Simon of Cyrene. Scripture mentions Him as being the father of Alexander and Rufus.(Mark 15:21) Rufus (“a choice man in the Lord”) and Simon’s wife were both addressed by Paul in his letter to the Roman church. (Romans 16:13) Here was a man, who indeed carried the cross…and made an impact for Christ in eternity. What commitment are you willing to make to Him now?

The Bible, God’s Word (II Timothy 3:16-17), relates how God once had a personal relationship with man. God would talk and relate to man, just as you might relate to your best friend. God created man to give him a meaningful and purposeful life.

Man chose to go his own way by disobeying God. (This applies to all men as in Romans 3:23). This disobedience, called sin, caused a break in the relationship between man and God. If a man casually seeks a relationship with God by his own efforts (religion), he will find nothing, because sin has broken the communication. (Isaiah 59:2)

Christianity is the story of God sacrificing His Son to restore a relationship that was broken. As stated in the above text, Jesus gave up His life to pay for the sins of mankind and taking the punishment for the sin upon Himself. Because He gave His life on the cross, any one who believes in Him will have a restoration of a personal relationship with God. Jesus Himself claimed to be the only way to God (John 14:6) and only by the knowledge of God through Jesus Christ can man have a meaningful and purposeful life.(John 10:10)

NOW, I would like to deal with a large HERESY AMONG SKEPTICS CALLED: “THE JESUS SEMINAR” The Jesus Seminar was originally formed in 1985 under the sponsorship of the Westar Institute to “renew the quest of the historical Jesus.” Thirty scholars participated in the first meeting and approximately 200 people now call themselves “fellows.” The Seminar meets twice a year to debate technical papers that have been prepared and circulated in advance. Each paper typically focuses on the dissection of Biblical passages. At the close of each debate on each paper, the Seminar fellows use colored beads to vote on the “authenticity of Jesus’ words or deeds” covered by the dissected scripture.
The goal of the Jesus Seminar is supposedly to “separate historical fact from mythology.” This goal was originally stated in founder Robert Funk’s opening address to the first meeting of 30 “scholars” in Berkeley, California (March 1985):

We are about to embark on a momentous enterprise. We are going to inquire simply, rigorously after the voice of Jesus, after what he really said. In this process, we will be asking a question that borders the sacred, that even abuts blasphemy, for many in our society. As a consequence, the course we shall follow may prove hazardous. We may well provoke hostility. But we will set out, in spite of the dangers, because we are professionals and because the issue of Jesus is there to be faced, much as Mt. Everest confronts the team of climbers.
Since that first meeting in 1985, the Seminar has rejected the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, the virgin birth, all of the miracles found in the Gospel accounts, and over 80% of the teachings normally attributed to Jesus. All of these Biblical records have been rejected because Seminar fellows have determined that they are merely legendary accretions with no historical foundation. For example, only two words of the Lord’s Prayer survive as authentic: “Our Father.” The Jesus Seminar begins all of its debates with a shared, yet concealed, presupposition – that anything outside the realm of natural explanation can never be backed by historical evidence. Therefore, it seems no papers ever follow the stated goal of “separating historical fact from mythology.” Rather, they avoid the historical evidence, and focus instead on the presupposed problems with anything falling outside a naturalistic or materialistic explanation. To illustrate, let’s review the basis for the Seminar’s rejection of the Gospel miracles and resurrection of Jesus. In a nutshell, they hold that it’s impossible for the Gospels to be historically accurate, because they record things that simply can’t happen, like people walking on water, food multiplying, and people being raised from the dead. Since we live in a closed system of natural order, and God (if there is a God) does not participate in that system, then miracles simply can’t happen, and thus, the New Testament accounts must be fabrications. Therefore, the general statement and presupposition of the Jesus Seminar is that the New Testament accounts of Jesus (especially the Gospels) are not historical, and thus, not a credible source of information for the true historical Jesus. Of course, this is not scholarly evaluation of the historical evidence – this is strict adherence to the philosophy of naturalism.
The Jesus Seminar is viewed by the publishing media and general public as a group of refreshing scholars that base their “new findings” of Jesus on scientific and historical analysis. Therefore, the public has been made to feel comfortable with the following 21st Century “facts”: the resurrection of Jesus didn’t really happen; the miracles of Jesus are myths; there is no authentic messianic prophecy in the Bible; many accounts of Jesus are merely legends written long after He walked the earth; the accounts of Jesus were not written by eyewitnesses to the events; and the foundation of the Christian faith cannot be trusted. Please, be very careful, and check out the evidence for yourself! The Jesus Seminar is very misguided and very misleading. They have not concluded that the New Testament accounts of Jesus are inaccurate or historically unfounded – rather, this was their presupposed conclusion from the very start. The resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of the Christian faith. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he declares:

“And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ: whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.” (1 Corinthians 15:14-15).

“And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:17). As it turns out, no legitimate scholar or religion today denies that Jesus was a historical figure who walked the earth approximately 2,000 years ago, was a great teacher and miracle worker, and who died on a cross for the crime of blasphemy. Therefore, the only legitimate dispute is whether Jesus was the Son of God who was resurrected from the dead after His crucifixion.
The resurrection of Jesus is challenged today on evidentiary grounds. Therefore, to be fair, the evidence should be judged like any other historical event. Based on standard rules of evidence, consistent eye-witness testimony from multiple credible witnesses would be considered the strongest form of evidence available to a litigant. Therefore, if we find such testimony present in credible accounts of the historical record of Christ’s resurrection, we have satisfied a major evidentiary challenge under traditional rules. In fact, we do have multiple eye-witness testimonies regarding the resurrection of Jesus. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-6, Paul established the following:

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.”

Manuscript studies indicate that this was a very early creed of the Christian faith, written within a few years after the death of Jesus Christ. Therefore, it’s dramatic that Paul ends the passage with “most of whom are still living.” Paul was inviting people to check out the facts. He wouldn’t have included a statement like that if he was trying to hide something like a conspiracy, hoax, myth or legend.

Resurrection of Jesus: More Eye-witness Accounts
The resurrection of Jesus was also declared in numerous other accounts, including the appearance of Jesus to Mary Magdalene (John 20:10-18), to other women (Matthew 28:8-10), to Cleopas and his companion (Luke 24:13-32), to eleven disciples and others (Luke 24:33-49), to ten apostles and others (excluding Thomas) (John 20:19-23), to the apostles (including Thomas) (John 20:26-30), to seven apostles (John 21:1-14), to the disciples (Matthew 28:16-20), and to the apostles on the Mount of Olives (Luke 24:50-52 and Acts 1:4-9). The ultimate test of credibility for these eye-witnesses was that many of them faced martyrdom for their eye-witness testimony. This is dramatic! These witnesses knew the truth. What could they possibly gain by dying for a known lie? The evidence speaks for itself, these weren’t just religious faithful dying for a religious belief, these were followers of Jesus Christ dying for a historical event – His resurrection that established Him as the Son of God.

Although the Christian faith is not based purely on evidence, it is definitely supported by MUCH evidence. Faith is not about turning off the brain and merely relying on the heart, or squashing reason in favor of emotion. No, Christian faith is about seeking and knowing Jesus Christ with all facets of the human character. It’s about loving Him with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. Skeptics like to compare what “false religions” like Catholicism and Islam have committed in the past & present against humanity as the SHINNING EXAMPLE OF OUR GREAT GOD’S WILL ON EARTH…BUT I HAVE NEWS FOR YOU-THEY IN NO WAY REPRESENT ME OR MY GOD,SO I WILL IN NO WAY EXCEPT THAT AS EVIDENCE AGAINST GOD SINCE IT IS “FALSE” EVIDENCE PLANTED BY “FALSE CONVERT’S TO FALSE RELIGION! GOD’S RECORD IS CLEAN…RELIGION’S RECORD,INCLUDING THE RELIGION OF ATHEISM IS A BLOODY,COMDEMNED MESS ON THE REFUGE HEAP OF HUMAN FAILURE!

C. Truman Davis, M.D., M.S.

Mesa, Arizona

In this paper, I shall discuss some of the physical aspects of the passion, or suffering, of Jesus Christ. We shall follow Him from Gethsemane, through His trial, His scourging, His path along the Via Dolorosa, to His last dying hours on the cross.

I became interested in this about a year ago 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 – and a too distant friendship with Him. It finally occurred to me that as a physician I didn’t even know the actual immediate cause of death.

The Gospel writers don’t help us very much on this point, because crucifixion and scourging were so common during their lifetime that they undoubtedly considered a detailed description totally superfluous – so we have the concise words of the Evangelists: “Pilate, having scourged Jesus, delivered Him to them to be crucified – - and they crucified Him.”

I am indebted to many who have studied this subject in the past and especially to a contemporary colleague, Dr. Pierre Barbet, a French surgeon who has done exhaustive historical and experimental research and has written extensively on the subject.

The infinite psychic and spiritual suffering of the Incarnate God in atonement for the sins of fallen man I have no competence to discuss; 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?

This led me first to a study of the practice of crucifixion itself; that is, the torture and execution of a person by fixation to a cross. Apparently, the first known practice of crucifixion was by the Persians. Alexander and his generals brought it back to the Mediterranean world — to Egypt and to Carthage. The Romans apparently learned the practice from the Carthaginians and (as with almost everything the Romans did) rapidly developed a very high degree of efficiency and skill in carrying it out. A number of Roman authors (Livy, Cicerl, Tacitys) comment on it. Several innovations and modifications are described in the ancient literature: I’ll mention only a few which may have some bearing here.

The upright portion of the cross (or stipes) could have the cross-arm (or patibulum) attached two or three feet below its top — this is what we commonly think of today as the classical form of the cross (the one which we have later named the Latin cross);

However, the common form used in our Lord’s day was the Tau cross (shaped like the Greek letter Tau or like our letter T). In this cross the patibulum was placed in a notch at the top of the stipes. There is fairly overwhelming archeological evidence that it was on this type of cross that Jesus was crucified.

The upright post, or stipes, was generally fixed in the ground at the site of execution and the condemned man was forced to carry the patibulum, apparently weighing about 110 pounds, from the prison to the place of execution.

Without any historical or biblical proof, medieval and Renaissance painters have given us our picture of Christ carrying the entire cross.

Many of these painters and most of the sculptors of crucifixes today show the nails through the palms. Roman historical accounts and experimental work have shown that the nails were driven between the small bones of the wrist and not through the palms. Nails driven through the palms will strip out between the fingers when they support the weight of a human body. The misconception may have come through a misunderstanding of Jesus’ words to Thomas, “Behold My hands.” Anatomist, both modern and ancient, have always considered the wrist as part of the hand.

A titulus, or small sign, stating the victims crime was usually carried at the front of the procession and later nailed to the cross above the head. This sign with its staff nailed to the top of the cross would have given it somewhat the characteristic form of the Latin cross.

The physical passion of the Christ begins in Gethsemane. Of the many aspects of this initial suffering, I shall only discuss the one of physiological interest; the bloody sweat.
It is interesting that the physician of the group, Luke, is the only one to mention this. He says, “And being in agony, He prayed the longer. And His sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground.” Luke 22:44
Every attempt imaginable has been used by modern scholars to explain away this phrase, apparently under the mistaken impression that this just doesn’t happen. 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.

We shall move rapidly through the betrayal and arrest; I must stress again the important portions of the Passion story are missing from this account. This may be frustrating to you, but in order to adhere to our purpose of discussing only the purely physical aspects of the Passion this is necessary.
After the arrest in the middle of the night, Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin and Caiaphas, the High Priest; it is here that 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 and mockingly taunted Him to identify them as they each passed by, spat on Him, and struck Him in the face.

In early morning Jesus, battered and bruised, dehydrated, and exhausted from a sleepless night, is taken across Jerusalem to the Praetorium of the Procurator of Judea, Pontius Pilate. You are, of course, familiar with Pilate’s action in attempting to pass 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 cries of the mob, that Pilate ordered Bar-Abbas released and condemned Jesus to scourging and crucifixion.

There is much disagreement among authorities about scourging as a prelude to crucifixion. Most Roman writers from this period do not associate the two. Many scholars believe that Pilate originally ordered Jesus scourged as his full punishment and that the death sentence by crucifixion came only in response to the taunt by the mob that the Procurator was not properly defending Caesar against the pretender who claimed to be the King Of The Jews.

Preparations for the scourging are carried out. The prisoner is stripped of His clothing and His hands tied to a post above His head. It is doubtful whether the Romans made any attempt to follow the Jewish law in this matter of scourging. The Jews had an ancient law prohibiting more than forty lashes. The Pharisees, always making sure that the law was strictly kept, insisted that only thirty-nine lashes be given. (In case of a miscount, they were sure of remaining within the law.)

The Roman legionnaire steps forward with the flagrum (or flagellum) in his hand. This is a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached near the ends of each. The heavy whip is brought down with full force again and again across Jesus’ shoulders, back, and legs. At first the heavy thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continue, 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 produce large, deep bruises which are broken open by subsequent blows. Finally the skin of the back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When it is determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death, the beating is finally stopped.

The half-fainting Jesus is then untied and allowed to slump to the stone pavement, wet with His own blood. The Roman soldiers see a great joke in the provincial Jew claiming to be a King. They throw a robe across His shoulders and place a stick in His hand for a scepter. They still need a crown to make their travesty complete. A small bundle of flexible branches covered with long thorns, (commonly used for firewood) are plaited into the shape of a crown and this pressed into His scalp. Again there is copious bleeding (the scalp being one of the most vascular areas of the body.) After mocking Him and striking Him across the face, the soldiers take the stick from His hand and strike Him across the head, driving the thorns deeper into His scalp. Finally, they tire of their sadistic sport and the robe is torn from His back. This 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, causes excruciating pain….almost as though He was again being whipped —- and the wounds again begin to bleed.

In deference to Jewish custom, the Romans return His garments. The heavy patibulum of the cross is tied across His shoulders, and the procession of the condemned Christ, two thieves and the execution detail of Roman soldiers, headed by a centurion; begin its slow journey along the Via Dolorosa. In spite of His efforts to walk erect, the weight of the heavy wooden beam, together with the shock produced by copious blood loss, is too much. He stumbles and falls. The rough wood of the beam gouges into the lacerated skin and muscles of the shoulders. He tries to rise, but human muscles have been pushed beyond endurance. The centurion, anxious to get on with the crucifixion, selects a stalwart North African onlooker, Simon of Cyrene, to carry the cross. Jesus follows, still bleeding and sweating the cold, clammy sweat of shock. The 650 yard journey from the Fortress Antonia to Golgotha is finally completed. The Prisoner is again stripped of His clothes–except for a lion cloth which is allowed the Jews.

The crucifixion begins. Jesus is offered wine mixed with Myrrh, a mild analgesic mixture. He refuses to drink. Simon is ordered to place the patibulum on the ground and Jesus is quickly thrown backward with His shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square, wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flexion and movement. The patibulum is then lifted into place at the top of the stipes and the titulus reading, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of The Jews” is nailed in place.

The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees moderately flexed. The Victim is now crucified. As He slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrist, excruciating, fiery pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain–the nails in the wrist are putting pressure on the median nerves. As He pushes Himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, He places His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again, there is the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of the feet.

At this point, another phenomenon occurs. As the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by His arms, the pectoral muscles are paralyzed and the intercostal muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get one short breath. Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and cramps partially subside. Spasmodically, He is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen. It was, undoubtedly during these periods that He uttered the seven short sentences which are recorded.

The first, looking down at the Roman soldiers casting lots for His garments, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” The second, to the penitent thief, “Today thou shalt be with me in Paradise.”

The third, looking down at the terrified, grief-stricken, John, (the beloved Apostle), He said, “Behold thy mother,” and looking to Mary, His mother, “Woman, behold thy son.”

The fourth cry is from the beginning of the 22nd Psalm, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”

Hours of this limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, 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. Let us remember again the 22nd Psalm (the 14th verse). “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.”

+++ 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. The markedly dehydrated tissues send their flood of stimuli to the brain.

Jesus gasps His fifth cry, “I thirst,”

Let us remember another verse from the prophetic 22nd Psalm: “My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.”

A sponge soaked in Posca, the cheap, sour wine which is the staple drink of the Roman Legionnaires, is lifted to His lips. He apparently doesn’t take any of the liquid. The body of Jesus is now in extremis, and He can feel the chill of death creeping through His tissues. This realization brings out His sixth words — possibly little more than a tortured whisper. “It is finished.” His mission of atonement has been completed. Finally He can allow His body to die.

With one last surge of strength, He once again presses His torn feet against the nail, straightens His legs, takes a deeper breath, and utters His seventh and last cry, “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.”

The rest you know. In order that the Sabbath be not profaned, the Jews asked that the condemned men be dispatched and removed from the crosses. The common method of ending a crucifixion was be crurufracture, the breaking of the bones of the legs. This prevented the victim from pushing himself upward, the tension could not be relieved from the muscle of the chest, and rapid suffocation occurred. The legs of the two thieves were broken, but when they came to Jesus they saw that this was unnecessary.

Apparently to make sure of death, the legionnaire drove his lance through the fifth interspace between the ribs, upward through the pericardium and into the heart. The 34th verse of the 19th chapter of the Gospel of John; “and immediately there came out blood and water.” Thus there was an escape of watery fluid from the sac surrounding the heart and blood from the interior of the heart. We, therefore, have rather conclusive post-mortem evidence that our Lord 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.

Thus we have seen a glimpse of the epitome of evil which man can exhibit toward man — and toward God. This is not a pretty sight and is apt to leave us despondent and depressed. How grateful we can be that we have a sequel, a glimpse of the infinite mercy of God toward man — the miracle of the atonement and the expectation of eternal life.

Divine Healing: A Biblical Overview

Genesis 1: 28 God creates man, His highest creation, and tells him to take rule over the earth. For a home, God gives man an idyllic garden called Eden (Genesis 2:10). The name “Eden” means “delight, pleasure, a place where all five senses are satisfied”. In the original state which God intended for man, there is no poverty, sickness, death, or defeat of any kind. Of course, sin did enter the world, along with the curses that accompanied it (see Romans 5:17). In spite of this, however, God has always had a plan to bring blessing, healing and prosperity to His people.

Genesis 6:14- God calls Noah to build the Ark from gopher wood. Interestingly, the sap of the gopher tree was used as a medicine, giving us some beautiful typology of God’s healing power.

Genesis 18:10; 21:1-8-Although Sarah is well past child bearing age, God still miraculously gives her a son.

Exodus 12:1-51- God institutes the Jewish Passover to preserve the lives of His people, even as He judges the pagan society around them.

Exodus 15:26-God is the Lord Who heals us.

Exodus 20:12- One of the Ten Commandments is that we honor our father and mother, “that our days may be long upon the earth.”

Exodus 23:25-God’s promise that if we will worship Him, He will bless our food and water, and take sickness from our midst.

Numbers 22:4-9- The Israelites are healed from poisonous snakebites as they look on a bronze snake, which we later find out was a type of Jesus’ death on the cross (John 3:14).

Deuteronomy 5:33. “Ye shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.”

Deuteronomy 7:15-God’s promise to keep His people free from disease.

Deuteronomy 30: 19, 20: The choice of life or death, blessing or cursing is ours.

2 Kings 5:1-14- Naman healed of leprosy.

2 Kings 20:1-11-After being told he is about to die, King Hezekiah turns his back to the wall” and seeks God for his healing. As a result, God adds 15 years to his life.

2 Chronicles 16:9- God’s eyes constantly look for opportunities to show Himself mighty on behalf of His people.

2 Chronicles 30:20-God heals the people in response to Hezekiah’s prayer.

Psalm 30:2 The Psalmist cries out to God and is healed.

Psalm 34:19 “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.”

Psalm 42:11 The Psalmisty puts his hope in God, because He is “the health of my countenance, and my God.”

Psalms 67: 1- A prayer for God’s saving health to be known among all nations.

Psalm 91:16-God promises to satisfy with long life those who will dwell in His “secret place.”

Psalm 103:3-He forgives all of our sins and heals all of our diseases.

Psalms 105:37 God brings the Israelites forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among them.

Psalm 107:19-20 God sends His word, and heals us, and delivers us from our destructions.

Psalm 118:17-The psalmist proclaims that he will not die but live, and will proclaim the works of the Lord.

Psalms 147: 3-God heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.

Proverbs 3:1-2-Following God’s Law gives us long life and peace.

Proverbs 3:7-8 “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.”

Proverbs 4:20-23-God’s Word is health (medicine) to a man’s whole body.

Proverbs 9:11- By God’s wisdom the days of our lives are lengthened and multiplied.

Proverbs 17:22-A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. It is a proven medical fact that laughter releases healing enzymes in the human body.

Proverbs 18:9, Amplified Bible-”…he who does not use his endeavors to heal himself is brother to him who commits suicide.” As important as divine healing is, God still expects us to take common sense care of ourselves.

Isaiah 9:6- One of Jesus’ titles is the Prince of Peace. The Hebrew word for peace is “Shalom.” This word does mean peace, but in addition, it also means favor, health, wholeness, and yes, prosperity (Strong’s #7965). Jesus is the Prince of Peace, health, prosperity and wholeness. Isn’t that wonderful?

Isaiah 53:4-5- A key verse in the doctrine of devine healing: “Surely He hath borne our griefs (Lit. sicknesses) and carried our sorrows (Lit. pains) yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and by His stripes we are healed.” NOTE – The last part of this verse,”by His stripes we are healed,” is not talking about spiritual healing, as some have taught, but definite physical healing. God does not “heal” a human spirit, he recreates it. He does however, heal our bodies and minds. This clearly shows that your healing was paid for at the cross! For a detailed study of this topic, see the book “Bodily Healing and the Atonement” by Dr. T.J. McCrossan, re edited by Roy H. Hicks, D.D. and Kenneth E. Hagin, D.D.

Isaiah 58:8 “Thy light shall break forth as the morning, and thy health shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee: the glory of the Lord shall be thy rear guard.”

Jeremiah 17:14 “Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.”

Jeremiah 30:17 But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the LORD, `because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares.’

Jeremiah 33:6 “Behold, I will bring you health and cure, and I will cure you, and will reveal unto you the abundance of peace and truth.”

Joel 3:10- Let the weak say, `I am strong!`

Malachi 3:6- “For I am the Lord, I change not…” If God ever did heal, He still does!

Malachi 4:2-The Sun of Righteousness (Jesus) will rise with healing in His wings.

Matthew 4:23-24-Jesus travels about healing “all manner of sickness and disease.”

Matthew 6:9-10-Jesus teaches us to pray for God’s will to be done “on earth, as it is in heaven.” How much sickness and poverty is there in Heaven? None! So it is not God’s will for it to afflict His people on earth, either.

Matthew 8:2-3 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.

Matthew 8:5-10-Jesus heals the servant of a prominent Roman military officer.

Matthew 8:16-17-Jesus heals and delivers a large crowd of people, further illustrating that He is the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:5: “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.”

Matthew 9:20-22- A woman is healed of an otherwise incurable blood disease after touching Jesus’ robe. This event is significant as we see how her faith was exercised: She said that if she could touch the hem of His garment, she would be made whole (note the role of the spoken word). Also note that Jesus asked who had touched Him, indicating that the healing took place without Jesus even actively dispensing it! His power was there, and it was simply a matter of “tapping into it.”

Matthew 9:27-36- Jesus heals two blind men.

Matthew 10:1- Jesus gives His disciples power to cast out demons and heal disease. Does He give His modern followers any less power and responsibility?

Mark 11:24 “Therefore I say to you whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Surely this includes healing!

Matthew 12:15- Great multitudes come to Jesus, and He heals them all!

Matthew 14:13-14-Jesus is moved with compassion toward the multitude, and heals their sick as a result.

Matthew 14:34-36-Men travel throughout the region to bring the sick to Jesus, and as many as touch Him are made completely whole.

Matthew 15:29-31-Jesus heals a large crowd of people who are mute, blind and crippled.

Mark 1:40-42- A leper kneels down before Jesus (note the act of humility) and Jesus heals him.

Mark 2:1-12-A crippled man is brought to Jesus. Because of the huge crowd, the man has to be lowered down through the roof. Jesus is deeply moved by the man’s faith and heals him on the spot. Faith that is willing to do whatever it takes to get in Jesus’ presence is the faith that gets results!

Mark 5:1-43-Jesus brings freedom to a demon possessed madman.

Mark 6:4-6- Jesus is rejected in His home town, and is unable to do mighty works due to their unbelief. Note that it doesn’t say He would not, but that He could not. God is limited by our unbelief (see Psalm 78:41).

Mark 6:53-56-Wherever Jesus goes, people bring the sick to Jesus, who heals every one of them. Note that they bring the sick to Jesus. He doesn’t simply come uninvited, even to do miracles.

Mark 7:24-30- Jesus delivers a Syrophoenician woman’s daughter from a demon. In this encounter, Jesus refers to healing as “the children’s bread.”

Mark 9:17-29-Jesus delivers a demon possessed boy.

Mark 16:17-18- As part of the Great Commission, Jesus says that among the signs to follow believers is that we will lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Luke 4:16-21-Jesus announces His mission of healing the brokenhearted, delivering the captives and restoring sight to the blind.

Luke 4:33-36, 40, 41-Jesus heals and delivers many who are sick and oppressed. As the demons leave, even they must acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God.

Luke 4:38-39- Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law of a fever. Note that he “rebuked” the fever, commanding it to leave. Also note that her response to “minister” to Jesus and His disciples. Our response to Jesus work in our lives should be this sort of grateful service.

Luke 6:6-10-Jesus heals a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath, which sets up a dramatic confrontation with the religious leadership.

Luke 6:17-19- Multitudes of sick and oppressed people come to Jesus, and He heals every one of them.

Luke 13:11-17-Jesus heals a woman with a “spirit of infirmity” which had caused her to walk crookedly. Jesus goes on to describe her as the woman whom “satan had bound.” This clearly shows that sickness is the work of the devil, not God.

Luke 10:19-Jesus promises us power (authority) to “tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

John 4:46-54-A nobleman comes to Jesus on behalf of his gravely ill son. Jesus speaks the word, and the son “begins to amend.” In the case the healing was gradual, not instantaneous. Nonetheless, it was just as real. Keep this in mind when you don’t see instant results. God is at work even when we don’t see it. That’s where faith comes in (see Hebrews 11).

John 5:2-14-Jesus encounters a crippled man at the Pool of Bethesda. Although Jesus does heal him, first He asks if the man is willing to be made whole. This is important: We can become lazy or complacent in our weakness and subconsciously not want God’s help. When we are willing, so is He!

John 9:1-7-Jesus and the disciples encounter a blind man, and the disciples mistakenly assume that his blindness was due to sin, either by him or by his parents. After correcting this notion, Jesus heals the man, “that the works of God might be made manifest in him.”

John 10:10-The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; Jesus has come that we may have life, and have it to the full!

John 14:12-15-Jesus makes the astounding promise that those who believe on Him will do the same works He does, and even greater ones!

John 15:7 Jesus promises that if we abide in Him, and He abides in us, we can ask “what we will” and it shall be done for us.”

John 16:23-24-If we ask anything in Jesus’ name, (including healing) it will be given to us. (For an excellent study of this, see the book “The Wonderful Name of Jesus” by E.W. Kenyon).

Acts 2:22-Jesus’ ministry confirmed by miraculous signs and wonders. Compare this with John 14:12-15, in which He promises the same power to those who believe in Him.

Acts 3:1-4:22-Peter and John minister healing to a crippled beggar.

Acts 4:23-31-The early church prays that signs and wonder accompany the preaching of the Word.

Acts 5: 12-16-Signs and wonders done at the hands of the apostles.

Acts 6:8-15: Wonders and miracles done by a deacon named Stephen. This disproves the common argument that miracles and healings were only done by the apostles.

Acts 8:4-13-Miracles in the ministry of Phillip.

Acts 9:33, 34-Peter ministers healing to a man with palsy.

Acts 10:38-A powerful summary of Jesus’ ministry: “How He went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed of the devil (note: they were not oppressed of God).

Acts 14:8-10-As Paul is preaching, he perceives that a crippled man in the audience has faith to be healed. He tells the man to stand to his feet, and the man leaps and walks for the first time in his life!

Acts 19:11, 12-Handkerchiefs and aprons from Paul’s body are brought to the sick, and they are healed. This is the Scriptural basis for “prayer cloths.”

Acts 28:1-10- Paul miraculously healed from a poisonous snakebite

Romans 4:17, 19-20-Because Abraham did not stagger in his faith, he received what God had promised him.

Romans 8:32- If God didn’t spare His own son to redeem us, will He not also give us everything else we need in life?

2 Corinthians 1:20-God’s promises are “Yes, and Amen”

Ephesians 6:1-3-A restatement of the commandment to “Honor our father and mother” that our day’s may be long upon the earth.

Colossians 4:14-Paul refers to “Luke, the beloved physician.” The fact that God used a doctor to write two books of the New Testament (The Gospel of Luke, Acts) shows us that He approves of those who practice medical science.

Hebrews 2:4-God bears witness through signs, wonders and miracles.

Hebrews 13:8- Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. If He ever healed, He still does!

1 Peter 2:24- A New Testament restatement of Isaiah 53:5: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”

James 1:17-Every good and every perfect gift, including healing, is from God.

James 4:7-We are to submit ourselves to God, resist the devil and he will flee (lit. “Run in terror”) from us.

James 5:14-15-The sick of the church are instructed to call for the elders of the church to anoint and pray over them, with the promise that they will be healed.

1 John 3:8- Jesus was made manifest that He might destroy the works of the devil (including sickness).

1 John 5:14-15 God promises that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us, and if He hears us, we will receive what we are asking Him for. As this study abundantly proves, healing is certainly His will.

Revelation 21:1-22:5- God’s redeemed people enjoy His blessings for all eternity, never to be sick or afflicted again.

© 2004 JHB

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