shock and asphyxiation

approximately one thousand nine hundred and eighty five years ago yesterday, Jesus celebrated the passover with 12 of His closest friends. He was then betrayed by one of those 12 men and deserted by the rest as a mob of religious leaders came to arrest Him.

after a long night of dragging Him through 3 trials, He was finally sentenced to be crucified for blasphemy, considering His claims to be the Son of God, the next morning.

as per the traditional process of crucifixion, He was flogged about 39 times with a whip that had metal balls and pieces of bone in the ends, designed to rip flesh and cause massive bleeding. however, the aim was to weaken the prisoner, not to kill him, so Jesus was in a half-dead state when He left the whipping grounds and took up the crossbar of His cross, which weighed around 40kg. the crown of thorns, driven hard onto His forehead, damaged the trigeminal nerve, sending excruciating streams of pain across His face.

weakened from the flogging, in pain from the thorns, Jesus carried the wooden crossbar about 800m. He struggled under the weight and fell several times despite being aided by a man from the crowd.

He was in early hypovolaemic shock by the time He arrived at calvary. He was held down against the cross, with men sitting on His bloodied chest, as they stretched His arms to the point of dislocation and drove nails into His wrist. the nails damaged His median nerve which, as anyone with carpal tunnel syndrome will tell you, caused more sharp shocks of pain to travel across His arms. the nail in His feet wrecked His peroneal nerve, which brought the same pain through His legs.

Jesus couldn’t breathe because His body weight crushed His chest. He was too weak to push Himself up on His nailed feet in order to exhale. as the carbon dioxide built up in His body, increasing the amount of acid in His blood, He suffocated. the blood loss caused His heart and kidneys to work overtime, possibly causing a terminal event to occur, hastening His death.

He died thirsty, in pain, but most of all anguished by His Father’s and friends’ desertion at the most crucial time of His life.

approximately one thousand nine hundred and eighty five years ago today, Jesus Christ died with the weight of man’s sin – past, present and future – on His shoulders.

i can’t help but wonder what emergency physicians would do today if someone came into the resuscitation bay with the same injuries Jesus sustained. He would most likely be a BID – brought in dead – and no amount of drugs or cpr would ever bring Him back.

to teach again. to love again. to revolutionise people’s lives again.

it would take a miracle for Him to ever come back to life.

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