Bowie Apostolic Church
Day 26: Details of His Suffering
by From the Pastor's Desk on March 26th, 2013

Psalm 22:14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; 15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.
John 19:28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. 

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— 

Crucifixion usually was administered by tying the accused to the cross. The purpose of this escapes the casual observer until it is understood that crucifixion is designed as a death by asphyxiation. You see, the weight of your body pulls your torso down to the ground while your arms are tied to the crossbeam. This produces an affect that stretches your rib cage. This is significant because your ribs (and the muscles around it) have to expand in order for your lungs to be filled with air. The longer you hang there, the less you are able to breathe in. The longer you hang there, the stretching affect makes it more natural to exhale than to inhale. Therefore, over time you can no longer fill your lungs with enough air to sustain life. You suffocate. Imagine having air all around you, but dying because you can’t get it into your lungs.

What allows the person to survive is their feet are tied and they can push their bodies up enough to stop their torso from stretching. But, eventually you lose strength in your legs to even do that. Sometimes the victims are feistier than others and they last longer than their tormentors would like. After all, they are the ones who have to bury the victim. After a while, the tormentors would lose patience and break the legs of the victims. This hastens death because they are no longer able to lift themselves up. In the case of Calvary, the thieves’ legs were broken because the next day was the Sabbath and the Jews did not want them on the cross during the Sabbath (John 19:31). Of course, Jesus’ legs were not broken because He was already dead.

Now looking at the prophetic account, along with Isaiah 53 describing the suffering Messiah leading to Calvary, Psalm 19 is a powerful picture of Christ hanging on the cross. In Psalm 19 we read language saying “my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast.”  This is referring to the breathing issue that Jesus was having while hanging on the cross. Imagine how His chest felt while suffocating. Not only that, but He died not much more than three hours after being crucified. Crucifixion until death could sometimes take a day or more. Why did it take Him such a short time? First of all, He was beaten half to death before being crucified. Secondly, He was nailed to the cross rather than tied to the cross. Therefore, He bled to death while being suffocated. How horrible!! Absolutely HORRIBLE!!

The psalm goes on to say “my tongue sticks to my jaws.” This is also a by-product of asphyxiation, especially in Israel from noon to 3:00pm (sixth to the ninth hour, Mark 15:33) during the spring in the Middle East. Of course, this would lead to Him saying "I thirst."

What is most astonishing about this part of the prophecy given all that Psalm 19 says? The most astonishing part of this prophecy is that at the time of its writing, crucifixion would not even be invented until centuries later. Now that is no coincidence. God was trying to let His people know well in advance. This is so exciting!

Posted in Bible 2013, Messianic Prophecies    Tagged with His suffering


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