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I had a beautiful and almost medically perfect pregnancy with my son; however, the labor and delivery process was problematic. Due to my son’s large baby size and my smaller frame, at the time to give birth, my son became stuck. After twenty-six hours of labor and an additional three hours of active pushing, the doctor popped my right hip bone out of joint so that I could finally have enough room to deliver. I had no medicine throughout this process for fear of how I would react; therefore, I felt every ounce and second of pain and it left the health of my body in critical condition. During this process, I burst all of the blood vessels in my face from the strain of pushing and since my body was in prolonged stress. I did not experience hematidrosis (bloody sweat and tears), but after the delivery I had a seizure and was given sedation to cause a medically-induced coma. Even though this was the worst amount of physical pain I have ever experienced, I know that this doesn’t even come close to the excruciating pain Jesus went through so that I may be saved and freely experience God’s love.

Reading through the assigned and additional articles about the crucifixion of Jesus has left me in an emotional state of guilty gratefulness. There is a part of me that feels the pangs of guilt that Jesus had to endure all of this emotional abuse and physical torture. The agony of it all has heightened my spiritual and aesthetic senses as I re-read the various accounts in the four Gospels. I’m utterly overwhelmed from the descriptions of the mental abuse that He suffered through in regards to the rejection and betrayal from His people, the humiliation of His nakedness being on public display, and the disgusting spit soaked insults. My engulfed emotions have caused my body to react with an uneasiness best described as being similar to phantom pains. Specifically, in reading the descriptions about the flogging/scourging that was done has left me feeling my back tighten with tension and musical cramps. In my mind’s eye I can see the flagellum with the throngs landing on Jesus’ back as the sheep bones grip and rip the flesh off of His back. I can smell the repugnant stench from the lacerations of the skin and see His blood being splattered again and again on the ground after every swing. Although my wounds from sin and hurt may be healed, His were reopened again and again as they mocked Him with robes of false adornment. The heaviness of the events of the day doesn’t even compare with the weight of the crossbar that Jesus (then later Simon a foreigner from Cyrene) was forced to carry. I can taste the dirt particles in the air as the Roman guards threw Jesus on His back in preparation in being nailed to His torture device. I can smell the rotting flesh as insects burrow into His laceration wounds. As I hear the taunts of the Roman centurions mocking Jesus while he hung for public shame on display, I also hear Him continue to exert painful energy for a reprieve of inhale followed by exhale similar to a panting dog. I can taste the bitterness of the mild analgesic of the wine with myrrh that Jesus refused because He had to feel the full wrath of sin. I can hear Jesus handing His mother over to John the Beloved for safe keeping, as well as, pleading with God to forgive the sins of those who put Him there. Finally, I can hear the anguish of Jesus’ final call to God that he has consumed all of the sin of the world as I see His spirit being given up.

It’s all too powerful for me to read and comprehend, but maybe that’s the point. Maybe I’m not supposed to fully understand the significance of this event until He calls me home. In God’s reckless love for me, He sent His perfect son to experience the excruciating consequences of sin so that I wouldn’t have to first hand on Judgement Day. Jesus willingly gave up His life so that I may have a close relationship with God now and forever. Jesus released His spirit so that I may receive the Holy Spirit in my heart since I’ve been saved. It doesn’t make sense at all; yet, it makes perfect sense that God would do this for the ones He desperately loves.




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