Tag Archives: Easter

Resurrection Day.

We celebrate Valentine’s Day as the “Day of Love” but have you ever given any though to the greatest gift of love ever shown to man?

John 15:13 says – 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

I don’t know about you but I honestly don’t have too many people in my life I’d die for. My boys and a few other family members and that’s truly about it.

Jesus laid down His life for us – people He didn’t know, strangers, so that we would have the chance for eternal life.

Not only did He give His life, He willingly walked into the worst torture ever known to man. In Bible times a typical punishment was to either be scourged (brutally beaten) or crucified but never both – Jesus went through both.

The week before (what we typically celebrate as Palm Sunday), Jesus rode a donkey into town to people praising Him and bowing at His feet with palm branches. He ended that week on a cross, buried in a tomb, fighting Satan so that we wouldn’t have to. He had the power to call down 12 legion angels to save Him (a legion = 1000) and yet, He didn’t. He knew what He was getting into.

He had already made His choice.

The following depiction is something I copied from this website and is very, very difficult to read.

The physical trauma of Christ begins in Gethsemane with one of the initial aspects of His suffering – the bloody sweat. It is interesting that the physician of the group, St. 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.”

Though very rare, the phenomenon of hemathidrosis, 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.

After the arrest in the middle of the night, Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin and Caiaphas, the High Priest. 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; they spat on Him and struck Him in the face.

Condemned to Crucifixion

In the early morning, Jesus, battered and bruised, dehydrated, and exhausted from a sleepless night, was taken across Jerusalem to the Praetorium of the Fortress Antonia. It was there, in response to the cries of the mob, that Pilate ordered Bar-Abbas released and condemned Jesus to scourging and crucifixion.

Flogging first

Preparations for the scourging are carried out. The prisoner is stripped of His clothing and His hands tied to a post above His head. The Roman Legionnaire steps forward with the flagrum in his hand. This is a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached to the ends of each. The heavy whip is brought down with fill 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 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 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 this provincial Jew claiming to be a king. They throw a robe across His shoulders and place a stick in His hand for a sceptre. A small bundle of flexible branches covered with long thorns is pressed into His scalp.

Again there is copious bleeding (the scalp being one of the most vascular areas in 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 colts of blood and serum in the wounds, and its removal, just as in the careless removal of a surgical bandage, cause excruciating pain – almost as though He were again being whipped, and the wounds again begin to bleed.

The walk to crucifixion

The heavy beam of the cross is then tied across His shoulders, and the procession of the condemned Christ, two thieves and the execution detail, begins its slow journey, 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 their endurance.

The nails of crucifixion

At Golgotha, the beam is placed 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 beam is then lifted in place at the top of the posts and the titular reading “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” is nailed in place.

The pain of crucifixion

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. As he pushes Himself upward to avoid the stretching torment, He places His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again there is the searing agony of the nail through His feet. Again there is the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones through the feet.

Crucifixion – the medical effects

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 unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically, He is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen.

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.

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, “I thirst.”

Crucifixion – the last gasp

He can feel the chill of death creeping through His tissues. 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.”

Apparently to make doubly sure of death, the Legionnaire drove his lance through the fifth interspace between the ribs, upward through the pericardium and into the heart. Immediately there came out blood and water. We, therefore, have rather conclusive post-mortem evidence that Out 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.

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God Said It.

Okay. I know I said I wasn’t going to post anything new until I finished up the rest of the drafts I have started but there’s something weighing on my mind. Besides, I’m down to just 4 drafts left anyway. As my kids say, “easy – peasy”!

There’s a misconception surrounding some things in my life. Most people assume that because I’m the one who filed for divorce that it didn’t bother me at all to actually go through it. That’s false in so many ways that that topic alone would be enough fodder for one post in and of itself so I’m not going into it here. What I am going to dwell on this time around are some things I have learned in the last 2.5 years since it was final, most especially the last 6 months or so.

Have you ever notice that it’s so easy to do many things by ourselves but when it comes to church most people cop out because they don’t want to be alone?

Late last summer and into the fall God told me that the boys and I need to be back at Rhema for church. More often than not last year we were not in church which truly bothered me. Between my insane work and school schedules, E’s soccer schedule, and the fact we live 45 minutes to an hour away from most churches the boys like we were rarely able to go. I told God that if He really wanted us back at Rhema He needed to provide the time and a job that gave me that time and would still let me raise my boys.

The holiday season drew closer and if you know anything about being a photographer you know that any holiday is going to be crazy, especially Christmas. Rather than getting more time to be able to drive into Broken Arrow I was working more and more. Between school and work I think my parents saw so much more of my kids than I did. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I would come home only to hug and kiss them goodnight and send them to bed, an hour or two past their bedtime. At least with working for myself I could plan my hours, working for someone else put me at their beck and call and meant that I worked every holiday.

Things at work went from bad to worse. I ended up putting school on hold for the Spring 2010 semester so that my girls at work (and my customers) would have some stability with all the changes that were happening. We lost 1 manager to maternity leave and 1 to a job transfer. In the midst of all of the details involved things got so bad that I was given no choice but to give my notice and leave. No, I wasn’t fired. I just would have spent more money on babysitters than I would have made which is not a good thing. So, I left. On the same day I left so did two of my girls and what had been a fantastically great thing came to an end.

Right around the same time all of this was happening, I interviewed for a job working with my best friend. Several days later I went back for a second interview and was hired. All in all, I spent about 5 days in between jobs and felt like I’d had a mini-vacation. I got to go to nearly all of Winter Bible Seminar which was a huge thing. with my new job, I’m working more of a M-F “bankers hours” schedule so to speak. I also somehow managed to join the choir part of the Easter production “The Choice” performed at Rhema over Easter weekend – mainly so my oldest son could also be in the play.

Since January the boys and I have been back at Rhema. It wasn’t easy going alone at first and still isn’t super easy but I’m getting used to it. I’ve met some very nice people over the last few months. And with a church as big as Rhema it’s very easy to sit in the same place every service and yet not see the same people around you twice.

I have always been a people person, for as long as I can remember anyway. But with the divorce I learned not only some things about myself but who my real friends were/are. In short, my world became very small. I’ve spent the last 2.5 years or so raising my boys and figuring out me, trying to at least. Figuring out when I was most happy and the things that I like to do because I like them not because everyone else does and I tolerate them. One of things the struck me as a “happy time” was volunteering in church, both at Rhema and Victory. That was when I was most “me”.

But, the “me” now has been afraid to go back to the “me” then because that means stepping out of my little world that I’ve become so comfortable in. Taking that huge step and getting back to the basics, going home so to speak. Rhema is after all the reason my family moved to Oklahoma to begin with. I was content, too content, and would have just kept going on the same path I had been on. Not destructive or anything like that just complacent and settled.

But, I did it. I took the huge step of getting out of myself and stepping back onto familiar territory surrounded by unfamiliar faces. I did it because God said to. And you know what, I’m so much happier now that I’m “home” and my kids actually enjoy going to church. God knows what He’s talking about!


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