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The Easter Story: The Passion, The Crucifixion, The Resurrection
by Jack Wellman
2010-04-03 09:50:35
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The Passion  “My hour has come”
Before the crucifixion, as Jesus Christ prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, the disciple and physician Luke noted that:
"And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground."
-Luke 22:44 (NKJV)
This was written by the physician Luke, a well-educated man and a careful observer by profession.
Luke is also the only gospel writer to mention the bloody sweat, possibly because of his interest as a physician in this rare physiological phenomenon, which spoke eloquently of the intense spiritual agony Jesus was suffering… (Dr. Henry M. Morris, The Defenders Bible, marginal notes for Luke 22:44)
Although this medical condition is relatively rare, according to Dr. Frederick Zugibe (Chief Medical Examiner of Rockland County, New York) it is well-known, and there have been many cases of it. The clinical term is "hematohidrosis." "Around the sweat glands, there are multiple blood vessels in a net-like form." Under the pressure of great stress the vessels constrict. Then as the anxiety passes "the blood vessels dilate to the point of rupture. The blood goes into the sweat glands." As the sweat glands are producing a lot of sweat, it pushes the blood to the surface - coming out as droplets of blood mixed with sweat. If this was literal or figurative is not the point. Blood shed is shed for us.
Jesus, being God, could easily have avoided it all. He could have brought down a legion (6,000 plus) of angels to protect him. He could have made his skin impenetrable. He could have anesthetized His pain so that He felt nothing. Isaiah 53:9 says “…yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him”….to which I can only say wow! It pleased Him since He knew this was the only way to redeem us. He willingly chose to “genuinely wounded for our transgressions" and "bruised for our iniquities" so that our sins could be laid upon Him. This is as much passion as any human has ever had and it “shows us the Father”. What passion of love has the Father; to give His own Son, knowing He would be unjustly tortured, mocked, humiliated, illegally tried, murdered and worse, separated from Him.
The Crucifixtion     “Why, oh Why My God…”
Christ was said to be in agony. The strictest Greek definition reads; a contest; wrestling; severe struggling with pain and suffering. This w
andrebogcrossmorguefilesdcom_400ord is only used in the New Testament by Luke (22:44) to describe our Lord's fearful struggle in Gethsemane. The verb from which the noun "agony" is derived is used to denote an earnest endeavor or striving, as "Strive [agonize] to enter" (Luke 13:24); "Then would my servants fight" [agonize] (John 18:36). Compare 1 Cor. 9:25; Col. 1:29; 4:12; 1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:7, where the words "striveth," "labor," "conflict," "fight," are the translations of the same Greek verb. Jacob’s wrestling match uses the same form of verb in Hebrew (Gen 32:24).
The Cross was the most gruesome death imaginable to both Rome and the Jews. It was reserved only for the most wretched of offenders, for the lowest classes and most heinous crimes. To the Jews, it was a curse from God (Duet.21:23). But what was the main reason of Jesus’ great stress and anguish? Clearly he was in intense spiritual agony. Being the Son of God, He would know in detail everything that was about to happen to Him. He knew that he was physically facing one of the most horrible forms of capital punishment there has ever been and, in my opinion, was the greatest torment any human being would ever suffer. He was God, but His body was flesh and bone like ours. Even so, Jesus refused the customary Jewish opiate which would have dulled the excruciating agony (Mrk. 15:23).
The greatest agony of all for Jesus must have been the knowledge that under the huge weight of the sins of humanity, the Father would have to look away. He had to forsake Him, even though only for a while. He would, for the first time ever, be separated from the Father. They had been together for all eternity, ever since…, well always! My human mind can not wrap around this fact. They have always loved One Another. To be separated from God is in itself a form of hell. The end is death, eternal. Actually, eternal separation from God is hell. This is just where Jesus went for us, so we didn’t have too! The separation was not for long. There must have been joy inexpressible when the Son and Father were together again.

The Resurrection    “He is risen”
His resurrection makes ours possible. Our deaths will be swallowed up by His. This should take some of the sting out of the loss of our precious saints; family, friends or acquaintances because they are present with the Father and the Son. His death defeated death itself and marked the end of the Jewish law (Gal. 3:13 & Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews). He had rent the veil at the Temple once and forever. The separation was ended. We have been redeemed, restored and reborn, so rejoice. He had bridged the gap between hell and heaven and destroyed the Destroyer. It is ironic that at this exact moment of history, the sacrifices stopped. Jesus had, once and for all, become the perfect and eternally sufficient sacrifice…for all time! Therefore, there is victory through Jesus. “It is finished”.

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