CREDO: Professing the Creed for the Year of Faith
HE SUFFERED DEATH
He was a man of suffering. Yet it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured, While we thought of him as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted. Like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearers…he was cut off from the land of the living, and smitten for the sin of his people. (Isaiah 53:3-4, 7-8)
He suffered death. What does this mean? How can God suffer? How can God die?
He suffered death, was buried and resurrected in fulfillment of the scriptures. He had to do this for the salvation of the world. The corrected translation stating “He suffered DEATH” instead of, “He suffered, died..” makes it clear to us believers what He suffered. He suffered death. Many of us have an intimate knowledge what death looks like. A person can rage against the dying of the light or just slip away, but the result is that our loved one is no longer there. Jesus, our savior and God-man, is the ultimate example for us.
We do not have a God who cannot sympathize with our weakness. Jesus suffered the pain of the cross for all mankind. His gentle mother had to stand and watch it happen to her son:
The crucifixion began.Jesus was quickly thrown backward, with His shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire felt for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drove a heavy, square wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly, he moved to the other side and repeated the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flexion and movement. The patibulum was then lifted into place at the top of the stipes, and the titulus reading “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” was nailed into place.
The left foot was pressed backward against the right foot. With both feet extended, toes down, a nail was driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees moderately flexed. The victim was now crucified.
As Jesus slowly sagged down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating, fiery pain shot along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain. The nails in the wrists were putting pressure on the median nerve, large nerve trunks which traverse the mid-wrist and hand. As He pushed himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, He placed His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again there was searing agony as the nail tore through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of this feet.
At this point, another phenomenon occurred. As the arms fatigued, great waves of cramps swept over the muscles, knotting them in deep relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps came the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by the arm, the pectoral muscles, the large muscles of the chest, were paralyzed and the intercostal muscles, the small muscles between the ribs, were unable to act. Air could be drawn into the lungs, but could not be exhaled. Jesus fought to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally, the carbon dioxide level increased in the lungs and in the blood stream, and the cramps partially subsided.
Dr Truman Davis, published at OurCatholicFaith.org
He suffered death. Jesus, who fed the multitudes and raised Lazarus, permitted this outrageous, horrible death to happen to Himself. Even while they taunted Him, He asked the Father to forgive them. We believers do not know the eternal fate of the sinners there excepting the repentant thief. No matter what happened to those who said ‘Crucify Him!’ the days he suffered death, was buried and rose from the dead made it possible for heaven to be opened for us.
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour: that, through the grace of God, he might taste death for all. Hebrews 2: 9
What are your thoughts? What else can we learn from “he suffered death”?
Priest’s Wife blogs at Fear Not Little Flock where she shares her experience of being a Byzantine Catholic priest’s wife in a country that does not expect and sometimes does not accept a married man as a Catholic priest.
Read all the entries in the Blog Series: Credo: Professing the Creed for the Year of Faith.
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