his book presents the crux of Christianity as salvation through faith that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, that He died on the cross and rose again to life in bodily form, and now sits at God the Father ’s right hand. “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 ” (1 Peter 2:24). None of us deserves eternal bliss, but in His overwhelming love for mankind, God came to earth in human flesh as the God-man, Jesus Christ, and gave His life freely, securing our salvation through faith.
Christians celebrate Christ ’s resurrection each spring. Without Christ ’s necessary, yet voluntary, gruesome death during Passover week, none of us would have the hope and promise of salvation. The author has often found fellow believers uncomfortable when it comes to discussing Jesus ’ sacrifice, especially the graphic details of the flogging or the crucifixion. The goal of this book is not to affix blame as to who killed Jesus. Indeed, we am just as responsible as anyone involved during the trials and execution, since it is also our sin that nailed Him to the cross. In fact, contemplating our own sin and its effects can make us painfully more aware of the value of the tremendous sacrifice Jesus made to restore us to His grace.
As a Christian physician, the author not only marveled at the spiritual ramifications of Christ ’s death, but also at the physical and physiological aspects. For instance, Pilate ’s flogging of Jesus probably left Him in critical condition due to massive blood loss, tissue injury, and great distress. Based on the physical response to the severe beatings, lack of food and sleep, and great spiritual anguish, he believes Jesus ’ body was in shock and already nearing death as He was nailed to the cross. To present this, he has compiled a succinct overview of Jesus ’ death from a physical and medical perspective that both lay and medical people can appreciate and understand.
His desire is that when we contemplate the crucifixion so often casually taken for granted, we will not forget the physical suffering and sacrifice Christ underwent in a purely voluntary manner, simply because of His love for each one of us. We need to digest and understand that “Jesus was a naked, humiliated, exposed God on the cross who allowed us to get close to Him ” (Brennan Manning, A Glimpse of the Cross, 137), and that He would have died for each of us, even if we were the only person to ever live.
Readers will be stirred, as Paul, to “. . . want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow to attain to the resurrection from the dead ” (Philippians 3:10-11). This study of the physical aspects of the crucifixion is also framed in the understanding of Christ ’s incarnation, spiritual suffering, and humiliation. The crucifixion and resurrection of Christ provides the focal point for studying His life —and the life of the King of kings is marked by a paradoxical humiliation. Christ did not take advantage of His Godhood. Not only did He set aside His heavenly powers and come to earth in human form, He was also fully God and fully man while on earth. Consider the heavenly power that was available to Christ through each facet of the trial and crucifixion. He had choice and the power to stop them at any time or just slip away, as in Luke 4:30.
Jesus is the epitome of the humble, suffering servant of Isaiah 53. His humility started with becoming human, being obedient, being willing to die, and culminated in death on a cross, the most humiliating torture ever conceived. In addition to the extended physical pain, a crucifixion was also a public spectacle marked by mocking, insults, jeering, and nakedness. The Apostle Paul emphasized Christ ’s humiliation and points out that the same humility that compelled Christ to the cross should inform Christians how they should conduct themselves toward others. He lived thirty-three years in perfect righteousness, and His obedience and fulfillment of the law, as well as death and sacrifice, were needed for our forgiveness and salvation.
Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price to provide eternal salvation to those who believe in Him —He gave His life as atonement for sins. Jesus Christ was tortured beyond belief, suffered an agonizing death, and was buried, fulfilling the Scriptures. At the height of His suffering, “He did not open His mouth ” (Isaiah 53:7b) to complain or condemn, but to pray for those who were torturing Him, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing ” (Luke 23:34a).
Although this book examines in detail from a twenty-first-century medical-science perspective the torture and trauma done to Jesus and the multifaceted physiological processes involved in the total destruction of His physical human body, proving He was actually dead and not just unconscious when placed in the tomb, in the final analysis, no one can claim to prove a physical cause of death. These details were part of the predetermined plan for sinners to be reconciled to the Holy God.
And now God calls all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30) and put their trust in Christ ’s atoning work on the cross. John stated (3:19), “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. ” The providential cause and timing of Jesus ’ death are revealed in the Word and spiritually discerned: that although man cannot save himself, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life ” (John 3:16).
The sins of mankind have been atoned for by Christ ’s death and those who trust in Christ alone will have everlasting life. [998 words]
Died He for Me
Nordskog Publishing, Incorporated
A Physician's View of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ
Mind, Body & Spirit