Work of the Messiah

 

What would happen to the Messiah when He came?

In Psalm 22, there is a prophecy given by David about the horrible death the Messiah would suffer – i.e., crucifixion

David makes this Messianic prophecy a millennium before Christ:

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning?                                                                                             

O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; And in the night season, and am not silent.

But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel.                                                           

Our fathers trusted in You; They trusted, and You delivered them.   They cried to You, and were delivered; They trusted in You, and were not ashamed.

But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised by the people. All those who see Me ridicule Me; They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, ‘He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!’

But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts. I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother’s womb You have been My God.  Be not far from Me, For trouble is near; For there is none to help.

Many bulls have surrounded Me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me. They gape at Me with their mouths, Like a raging and roaring lion.

I am poured out like water, And all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It has melted within Me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death.

For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.”   Psalm 22: 1 – 18

This passage, which so eerily recounts what befalls an individual who is crucified, was written almost five centuries before this form of execution was invented by the Persians.  This experience never befell David and is necessarily Messianic especially when this is seen in light ofIsaiah 53.

“Commentator William Barclay tells us that crucifixion “originated in Persia; and its origin came from the fact that the earth was considered to be sacred to Ormuzd, the god, and the criminal was lifted up from it that he might not defile the earth, which was God’s property. From Persia, crucifixion passed to Carthage in North Africa; and it was from Carthage that Rome learned it” (The Gospel of Matthew, vol. 2 [Philadelphia: Westminster, 1975], p. 365).

The Romans used crucifixion extensively. At the time of Christ and during the era of Roman occupation in Israel, the Romans crucified at least 30,000 Jews. It was carried out along the highways to warn people of what happens to someone who violates Roman law. Crucifixion was a vivid illustration of the consequences of going against Rome.”

Condemned and Crucified

Crucifixion is the most terrible of deaths!

How Did Jesus Christ Die?

The following is an excerpt from the writings of Dr. C. Truman Davis, Vice President of the American Association of Ophthalmology. It describes the effects of crucifixion.

“The soldiers first laid the cross on the ground and then placed the victim on it. They extended His feet, pulling His toes down. Then they drove a large nail through the arch of one foot and then through the arch of the other foot. Next, they extended His hands, allowing His knees to flex a little. Then they drove two great nails through His wrists, just below the heel of each hand. They couldn’t put them through the palms because the flesh would tear.

Once the soldiers nailed the victim to the cross, they lifted it and dropped it into a hole. When it hit bottom, the shock caused the victim great pain. He is now crucified. Slowly He began to sag down more and more. With his weight being held by the nails running through His wrists, excruciating pain shot up his arms. To try to relieve the pain, the victim pushed up on the two wounds in his feet. That caused even more pain. Hour after hour he endured a wrenching, twisting tradeoff as he tried to relieve the pain in his hands and then in his feet. After awhile, the pain made it impossible to move!

At this point, another phenomenon occurred as the arms fatigued, 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 it can’t be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself to get even one short breath. Finally carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps subside. He would grasp short breaths of air, hours of 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 the rough timber, a deep crushing pain in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with [fluid] and begins to compress the heart. And this leads to death. What agony!

–  A Physician Analyzes the Crucifixion

Condemned and Crucified- Part 2

The following passage comes from the New Testament and shows that Jesus fulfilled Psalm 22 exactly as described:

And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull.  Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it. And when they crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: “They divided My garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots.

Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him.   And the inscription of His accusation was written above: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS   With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left. So the Scripture was fulfilled which says,“And He was numbered with the transgressors.”   And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!”

Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.”    

Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him. Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated,     “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Some of those who stood by, when they heard that, said, “Look, He is calling for Elijah!”  Then someone ran and filled a sponge full of sour wine, put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink, saying, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to take Him down.”                                               

And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!”        Matthew 27: 33-54