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ORNAMENTS OF EASTER

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ORNAMENTS OF EASTER

A. CRUEL CAT OF NINE TAILS

He was taken to the High Priest's house, where He was struck in the face by an officer of the High Priest (Jn 18:22).

John 18:22 KJV 1900
22 And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so?

Shortly afterwards, He was blindfolded, then beaten and spit upon by the men around Him (Mt 26:67-68)(Mk 14:65)(Lk 22:63-65), and had his beard pulled out (Isa 50:6). After this beating, He was sent to Pontus Pilate, who questioned Him and then sent Him to Herod after finding out He was a Galilean (Lk 23:6-7).

Matthew 26:67–68 KJV 1900
67 Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, 68 Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?
Mark 14:65 KJV 1900
65 And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.
Luke 22:63–65 KJV 1900
63 And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him. 64 And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee? 65 And many other things blasphemously spake they against him.
Isaiah 50:6 KJV 1900
6 I gave my back to the smiters, And my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
Luke 23:6–7 KJV 1900
6 When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean. 7 And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.

Herod, along with his men, "treated him with contempt, mocked Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate" (Lk 23:11).

Luke 23:11 KJV 1900
11 And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.

Pilate questioned Him some more, and then giving into the crowds wishes, ordered Jesus to be crucified (Mt 27:22-26)(Mk 15:12-15)(Lk 23:23-24)(Jn 19:15-16).

Matthew 27:22–26 KJV 1900
22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. 23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. 24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. 25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. 26 Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
Mark 15:12–15 KJV 1900
12 And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? 13 And they cried out again, Crucify him. 14 Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him. 15 And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.
Luke 23:23–24 KJV 1900
23 And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed. 24 And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.
John 19:15–16 KJV 1900
15 But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. 16 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.

     Before being led to the crucifixion site, Pilate ordered that Jesus be flogged (Mt 27:26)(Mk 15:15)(Jn 19:1).

Matthew 27:26 KJV 1900
26 Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
Mark 15:15 KJV 1900
15 And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.
John 19:1 KJV 1900
1 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.

This was a HORRIFIC ordeal! In fact, it was so bad that Roman law would not allow Roman citizens to undergo it (see: Acts 22:24-29).

Acts 22:24–29 KJV 1900
24 The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him. 25 And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned? 26 When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman. 27 Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea. 28 And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born. 29 Then straightway they departed from him which should have examined him: and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.

The victim was first stripped of all clothing, then tied to a post with his hands above his head (to stretch the skin making the wounds worse).

He was then flogged by one or two people with a whip (or flagellum). This whip (often called a cat-o-nine tails) consisted of a handle (about 18" long) with 9 leather straps about 6 or 7 feet long, and at the end of each strap was small lead balls mixed with pieces of animal bone or metal.

These would tear into the body more and more with each successive lashing, with the lead balls ripping into the skin and the jagged pieces of bone or metal tearing it out.

As the flogging progressed, muscles, vital organs, and even the spine could often be seen openly. Huge strips of skin would be hanging from the body.

     According to Jewish law, this beating had to be stopped after 40 lashes (Deut 25:1-3), however, the Jews made a tradition of 39 lashes just in case a mistake in counting was made: see 2 Cor 11:24).

Deuteronomy 25:1–3 KJV 1900
1 If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked. 2 And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number. 3 Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee.
2 Corinthians 11:24 KJV 1900
24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.

The Romans had no such law though, and may or may not have exceeded this limit.

     After this flogging, the victim was untied and fell to the ground, often unconscious, sometimes dead never even making it to the crucifixion. Jesus survived it without losing consciousness (partly a testament to His good health I am sure), and then came the next torture.

Extent of the punishment

Exactness of the punishment (40 stripes save 1)

B. NASTY NAILS

He was then clothed and led to the Praetorium where the soldiers stripped Him again, likely tearing the flesh off His back as the drying blood adhered to the cloth.

They put a scarlet robe on Him, and made a crown of thorns, placing it upon His head.

They then mocked Him some more, spit upon Him, and struck Him on the head with a reed, driving the crown of thorns into His head (Mt 27:29-30)(Mk 15:16-20)(Jn 19:2-3). These thorns were about 2" long and extremely sharp.

Matthew 27:29–30 KJV 1900
29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! 30 And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.
Mark 15:16–20 KJV 1900
16 And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. 17 And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, 18 And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! 19 And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.
John 19:2–3 KJV 1900
2 And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, 3 And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.

Since head wounds tend to bleed easily and profusely, Jesus had blood pouring down His face from these thorns.

     The soldiers then took the robe off of Him (likely tearing off more flesh), and put His own clothes back on Him (Mt 27:31). After the flogging, the victim was made to carry his cross to the crucifixion site.

Matthew 27:31 KJV 1900
31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.

Most scholars and historians believe it likely that Jesus did not carry a full cross as is often depicted, but rather, He carried a "crossbeam" (or "patibulum").

In those times, the cross usually consisted of a vertical beam which had been permanently secured in the ground, and a crossbeam which was placed atop this vertical beam.

This crossbeam usually weighed around 100-150 lbs., and was about the size of a railroad tie. The condemned would carry this crossbeam on his shoulders to the vertical beam at the crucifixion site.

     According to the Bible, Jesus was so weakened from His beatings that He could not carry His cross to the crucifixion site.

Therefore, a man named Simon from Cyrene was told to carry Jesus' cross for Him (Mt 27:32)(Mk 15:21)(Lk 23:26).

Matthew 27:32 KJV 1900
32 And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.
Mark 15:21 KJV 1900
21 And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.
Luke 23:26 KJV 1900
26 And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.

The distance to the place of crucifixion was only about 650 yards away, and reached by a path called the Via Dolorosa ("way of suffering").

** It should also be noted that at this point Jesus hadn't slept in 36 hours and had been walked back and forth for several miles between places in His weakened condition.

     By the time Jesus reached the crucifixion site, He was probably in what a hospital would call "critical condition."

At this point, His hands were nailed to the patibulum (or possibly the full cross). Another point that most scholars and historians agree upon is that "hands" really means "wrists."

The hands could not have been nailed to the cross because they could not support the weight of a man's body hanging on the cross.

The nail would rip right out of the hand. The wrists, however, could hold a man's weight when done properly.

History seems to bear out that this was what the Romans did. The Romans had perfected this technique, driving a 5-7" nail (more like a spike) between the radius and ulna bones in the wrist and directly into the median nerve.

This gave maximum strength and caused maximum pain, as well as minimal blood loss.

(One source said it would be like being struck with a cattle prod that never stopped shocking.) More on this subject here.

     After being nailed to the patibulum, the patibalum was hoisted up to the top of the vertical beam with the victim attached (all of the victim's weight was on the wrists nailed to the patibulum).

This often caused the shoulders to be dislocated, and could have happened to Jesus (read Ps 22:14, a prophecy about Jesus saying "all my bones are out of joint").

Psalm 22:14 KJV 1900
14 I am poured out like water, And all my bones are out of joint: My heart is like wax; It is melted in the midst of my bowels.

Once the patibulum was attached to the vertical beam, the victim's feet were placed one on top of the other and nailed to the vertical beam (knees at an angle). Sometimes, a small platform was placed just below the feet so the victim could push up on it.

     At this point, slow death usually occurred. Cruelly, crucifixion was not meant to kill victims quickly, but slowly over a period of days. A victim would sometimes die after a few hours (often depending on how badly they had been beaten beforehand), but more often they would live for several days, and sometimes for even a week or more. During this time, they would endure excruciating pain. In fact, we got the word "excruciating" from the cross (Latin "excruciatus" meaning "to crucify."

     While nailed to the cross, the victim could easily breathe in, but he could not exhale. The only way to exhale was to push up with his feet, causing searing pain in his nailed feet. It also caused his open back wounds to rub up against the rough vertical beam. In addition, the victim would suffer from severe cramps, dehydration, lungs slowly filling with fluid, bugs eating into the wounds, and birds picking at the wounds, among other things...

     When the victim could no longer push up, he would lapse into unconsciousness and suffocate. Death by asphyxiation.

If the Romans wanted to end this process early, they would break the legs of the victim by smacking the shin bone with a spear until it broke in half, thereby not allowing the victim to raise himself.

Death would occur in a few minutes. This was done to the two thieves that were crucified on each side of Jesus.

(Jn 19:31-37) says the Romans broke their legs because the Jews wanted them dead and buried before the Sabbath, which was going to be in a few hours.

John 19:31–37 KJV 1900
31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: 34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. 35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. 36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. 37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

Jesus' legs were not broken though, because He was already dead, having dismissed His spirit (Mt 27:50).

Matthew 27:50 KJV 1900
50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

This fulfilled prophecy which stated no bones would be broken on Jesus (Ps 34:20). (Also see: Ex 12:46 which points to this)

Psalm 34:20 KJV 1900
20 He keepeth all his bones: Not one of them is broken.
Exodus 12:46 KJV 1900
46 In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof.

Painful Strike of the Penalty

2. Permanent Scares of the Penalty

C. WOODEN CROSS

1. Picture of Suffering

2. Pain of Separation

D. CROCKED CROWN OF THORNS

1. Mockery of the Saviour

2. Mindlessness of the Sinner

E. REVEALING SPEAR

Sting of Sin

2. Satisfaction of the Sovereign.

F. BORROWED TOMB

Temporariness of the Saint.

G. STORY TELLING GRAVE CLOTHES

Story of an absent Body

H. SEALING STONE

1. Sound of the moving Stone.

2. Sight of the Angel

During the time Jesus was on the cross (6 hours: Mk 15:25,33-34,37), he said 7 things .

Mark 15:25 KJV 1900
25 And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.
Mark 15:33–34 KJV 1900
33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Mark 15:37 KJV 1900
37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.

Each of these precious statements should be magnified even more when we know that in order to say them, He had to push up, causing the searing pain we discussed above. At the end of His life, Jesus said, "It is finished" (Jn 19:30).

John 19:30 KJV 1900
30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

This meant that His work of atonement to pay for our sins was completed. Friend, Jesus did all of that suffering because He loves YOU!

He gave His life so that you could spend eternity in Heaven with Him. Have you surrendered your life to Him and accepted that payment?

If not, please see our Plan of Salvation and do so TODAY!

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