Christians all know Christ died for them on the cross. But a doctor here in Indianapolis who studied crucifixion for a decade says until you understand what Jesus went through medically, it’s hard to fully appreciate just how much He suffered to pay for the sins of mankind.
“It was the worst form of death that was imaginable,” Dr. Joseph Bergeron, the author of The Crucifixion of Jesus, said. “And the Romans had been using it for three centuries by the time Jesus came along, so it was well perfected.”
Doctor Rules Out Suffocation
Bergeron told CBN News, “Most often on Easter we hear talks about how Jesus suffocated while He was on the cross.”
However, the doctor says suffocation doesn’t gel with the gospel accounts of Jesus talking on the cross.
“He talked to the Apostle John, for example. He spoke to the thieves who were crucified with Him. When you’re suffocating and struggling for your last breath, you have no interest in carrying on a conversation,” he argued.
And though that would be a bad way to die, the Romans made sure such a relatively quick death wouldn’t happen so that those they crucified suffered much longer.
“There are literary references to people being on the cross for a week. When you’re suffocating, you’re just not going to last that long,” the doctor shared, adding, “With crucifixion, it was a slow and torturous death.”
Big Clue in Christ’s Own Words: ‘This is My Blood That’s Poured Out…’
The real cause of death shows up in Christ’s own prophetic words at the Last Supper.
“Jesus told us how He was going to die. He said ‘this is my blood that’s poured out for the remission of sins.’ That’s not suffocation. That’s bleeding to death. That’s shock. That’s the complications of shock.”
The precise medical term Bergeron uses is “traumatic hemorrhagic shock.”
Christ knowing such a grim death was racing towards Him would be one explanation for the odd occurrence of Him sweating blood in the garden of Gethsemane.
Jesus in Traumatic Anguish Before the Physical Suffering Began
“And to be honest with you, I never really understood that or even thought it happened,” Bergeron admitted. “But in studying the crucifixion extensively over the last 10 years, I’ve come to understand that sweating blood does actually occur. There’ve been very few cases – just a handful. They’re always before severe injury, the threat of injury, and usually before execution. That Jesus sweat drops of blood meant that He fully understood what was about to happen to Him.”
And then it began as Jesus was taken captive and led off to two groups of tormentors. The Jews and Romans both bludgeoned and tore His flesh in two vicious beatings.
Bergeron said of those Jews, “Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin convicted Him of blasphemy, which was punishable by death.”
But under Roman rule the Jews had no authority to execute, so they physically and brutally punished Him. Then a whole company of Roman soldiers beat Him to within an inch of His life.
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