Tag: crucifixion

The Deep Mystery of Christ’s Blood

The Deep Mystery of Christ’s Blood

The month of July is popularly called the month of the Precious Blood. This is because the first of July is the feast of the Most Precious Blood of the Savior, which Bl. Pius IX founded in the 1800s. This feast is found in the calendar of the so-called “extraordinary form” of the Holy Mass, and in some places also in the so-called “ordinary form.”

What do we comprehend by the worship of or devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus? St. Paul in the lesson appointed for today clearly attributes a power to the Blood of Christ. What is this authority?

After all, blood separated from a body is just a material substance, and it corrupts very quickly unless preserved under very careful conditions; it’s hard to see how it could have any real power by itself. Not only that, blood is also generally regarded with horror when shed or spilt, so that it is unknown for even grown men to be queasy or squeamish at the sight or even the thought of blood.

On the other hand, blood even when it has dried contains an almost unlimited amount of details about the person who shed it, so much as to provide science with all kinds of necessary knowledge.

The root of the Church’s devotion to the Precious Blood of the Lord is very easy, but also mysterious and deep. It is necessarily the mystery of the Incarnation of God taking to himself a human nature in its entirety: body, blood, and soul, along with his own eternal, divine Person.

Did you ever think about the Body and Blood of the Lord after the Savior’s death? The fact is—and it is a very important fact for our faith—that even though as a man Christ could undergo bodily death (that is, the separation of soul and body), and in as much as he did in fact undergo death, it still stays true that his divine nature (that is, his divine Person), never subject to death, was never separated from the parts of his humanity that were divided in death.

This means that the soul of Christ in death, his body in the tomb, and his shed blood were all united to the Person of the Son, the Word. Thus his blood deserves adoration, as it was poured out on the way of the cross and as it was taken up again in his resurrection.

Fr. Frederick Faber, in his great work of devotion The Precious Blood, which is still in print, expounds this doctrine at length in the line of the teaching of St Thomas. But the Church in our own time has confirmed the direct invocation of the Blood of Christ as to the Person of the Son in the litany of the Precious Blood promulgated by Pope St. John XXIII in 1960. Take a moment to pray this lovely invocation, and thus you will gain from the closeness of the Lord, who has brought us near by his precious Blood!

Scientific Proof That Jesus Was Crucified Just Got A Lot Stronger!  

Scientific Proof That Jesus Was Crucified Just Got A Lot Stronger!  

We as Christians believe in the bible and know that it is the inspired word of God. We believe that Jesus was crucified and died for our sins. There has been a lot written down and recorded about crucifixion, but not many artifacts have been found. A recent discovery has revealed some key details about crucifixion that we never knew! Take a look and see for yourself:

Crucifixion was a horrible form of punishment that we have always heard about, but how much of it do we actually understand? It is believed that the practice of crucifixion was first developed by Assyrians and Babylonians but quickly became popular all throughout the Roman empire. Many people had to endure slow, painful deaths on a cross, the most famous crucifixion being Jesus Christ. Although it is believed that crucifixion was a somewhat common practice, there is still very little physical evidence on it, that is, until now.

The materials used during crucifixion are very hard to come by nowadays. Many archaeologists and historians have searched for these artifacts but are unable to find much since the wood used for the crosses, is a soft organic material and quickly decomposes. As for the nails, many believe that they were collected and used as amulets by people who believed that these nails had magical and medicinal qualities. So when it comes to the crucifixion of Jesus, there hasn’t been much that archaeologists have found other than writings and accounts of the incident.

In 1968 an archaeologist known as Vassilios Tzaferis had finally gotten to excavating a group of Jewish tombs located at Giv’at ha-Mivtar in northeastern Jerusalem that were believed to be from the 1st century CE. He came across a peculiar ossuary, or stone box, that held several bones. There was a faint inscription on the box that read “Yehohanan ben Hagkol,” or Yehohanan, son of Hagkol. At first he believed that it was referencing the man’s full name and family line, however after further investigation, it turned out that there was no record of the surname Hagkol. In fact, when they compared to linguistic patterns that were used during the time, they found out the word actually may have meant “crucified.” Inside of the box was the first physical evidence ever found of crucifixion, a heel bone that was still holding the nail that had been used on a cross.

The researchers also discovered that the nail they had found that was used to crucify the man still had traces of olive tree wood on it. The nail was also bent. This evidence tells us so much more about the method of crucifixion. It is now believed that the nails were not actually driven through the palms of their hands, but they actually had their wrists tied around the top of the horizontal beam. This was done in a way that would have made supporting the weight of their body impossible. As for their feet, they were likely nailed through the heels on either side of the supporting beam.

Having this new evidence of crucifixion has made the case of Jesus being crucified even stronger. We now know more about how crucifixion really worked and it matches up with what is portrayed in the Bible.

Have you read about the crucifixion of Christ lately? Let’s take a look at Matthew 27:32-54

As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is Jesus, the king of the jews.

Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”

Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

Please pray with us:

“Dear Jesus, thank  you so much for your sacrifice on the cross. I am so undeserving of your love, yet you give it to me freely. Help guide me today so that I can live for your glory. I love you Jesus! Amen.”

Please Share this important information and prayer with family and friends today!



13 Myths Of The Crucifixion 

13 Myths Of The Crucifixion 


13 Myths of the Crucifixion

When we see Christ on his Cross, we see him exercising his priesthood.

For all of our lives, we Catholics have been gazing at Crucifixes. We see them at home, in school, at the hospital, in movies, and in our Churches. Many different presentations of Christ on the cross have been portrayed in art. Because we see these images over and over again, we tend to equate these images with reality — what Jesus really looked like on the Cross. Therefore, it is difficult for us to believe that these Crucifixes may not portray the reality of Crucifixion as practiced in the Mediterranean by the Romans. When I started giving presentations on the medical aspects of Crucifixion in 1986, I taught a much different version of the ‘facts’ than is presented below. After going in depth not only medically but historically, I have come to the following conclusions — it took me ten years of suspecting some of these things before I could bring myself to teach these as the most likely facts regarding Crucifixion, including that of Jesus. It took me that long because the years of teaching one way — and of seeing one way — made it hard to break those patterns of thought, even with mounting evidence to contradict what I once taught.

Myth #1: Crucifixion victims died by suffocation when they got too tired to repeatedly push themselves up on the nail(s) in the feet to exhale (A Doctor at Calvary — The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ as Described by a Surgeon), by Pierre Barbet, 1953).

  • One cannot cry out at moment of death if suffocating (Matthew 27:46).
  • Dr. Frederick Zugibe’s crucifixion volunteers couldn’t push themselves up even once to straighten their legs, let alone the thousands of times a Crucifixion victim would have had to do so to stay alive for hours or days on the Cross.
  • Crucifixion volunteers experienced little, if any, reduction in breathing capacity with their arms elevated 25-35 degrees above horizontal (and in reality, victims’ arms were probably closer to horizontal which would influence breathing even less).
  • Church Fathers wrote that they thought Crucifixion victims died of starvation (because they survived on the cross sometimes for days).
  • Crucifixion victims were regularly reported to easily speak from the cross, not only in the Gospels
  • There are no reports in hundreds of writings on crucifixions in antiquity of victims having difficulty breathing.


Myth #2: Jesus’ blood vessels burst in his skin, the blood flowed into his sweat glands and mixed with his sweat, and bloody sweat came out onto his skin in the Garden of Gethsemane.

  • Barbet wrote this in his book with no reference as to how he got this idea.
  • Recent cases of hematidrosis demonstrate no rupture of blood vessels when the bleeding skin is biopsied.
  • If the blood vessels burst, there would be bruising of the skin, yet no hematidrosis patients have bruised skin.
  • The blood seeps out of skin blood vessels, between collagen protein bundles in the dermis, and out through the skin next to hair follicles.


Myth #3: The Roman soldiers regularly broke crucifixion victims’ legs to hasten their death by bringing on suffocation (the victim could no longer push up to exhale).

  • There are no other reports of breaking legs of Crucifixion victims in antiquity. Only John 19 reports this.
  • The Gospels present a unique situation where the Jewish leaders requested the breaking of the legs to get the bodies off the crosses by sunset.
  • Breaking of legs was a separate capital and noncapital punishment in the Roman Empire that Constantine abolished along with crucifixion.
  • Breaking of leg bones leads to significant blood loss that leads to death.


Myth #4: Crucifixion victims’ feet were placed on top of each other when nailed to the cross.

  • This is not seen in crucifixion art until about 1,000 years after Christ. Think of the oldest Crucifixion depiction most American regularly see, the San Damiano Crucifix, beloved by St. Francis dating from the 12th century. The feet are side-by-side.
  • All early depictions of Crucifixion for the first 500 years or more after Christ show the feet side-by-side.
  • The only piece of archaeological evidence for Crucifixion shows a nail pounded in sideways through a heel bone – without breaking the bone. Moist, living bone does not necessarily break if impaled.

 

Myth #5: Crucifixion victims’ hands were above their heads.

  • All early (first 500 years after Christ) images of Crucifixion show the arms out to the side.
  • Early Greek and Roman descriptions of crucifixion talk about the arms being stretched out to the side.
  • Even the Roman word for the cross-bar, patibulum, derives from a verb meaning “to stretch out.”

           

Myth #6: A foot block was used for the feet to rest on during crucifixion.

  • A foot block is never mentioned in crucifixion literature contemporary with the torture by Romans.
  • Foot blocks on crucifixes do not appear for centuries after Christ.

 

Myth #7: Because of its analgesic properties, wine mixed with myrrh was given to crucifixion victims to reduce their pain and suffering.

  • Myrrh was a typical wine preservative at small quantities.
  • Mark the Evangelist must have mentioned because it was present in higher quantities.
  • Myrrh would make the wine as undrinkable as vinegar or gasoline.
  • It increased suffering because victims were ridiculously thirsty, and this drink would do the opposite of quenching their thirst.
  • Why would torturers want to reduce a victim’s suffering?

 

Myth #8: The flagrum used by Romans for scourging had both lead balls and pieces of sharp bone on it to increase the pain and suffering of victims.

  • Roman flagra have been found with lead balls on the ends, but not with bone.
  • Only the Greeks used pieces of bone on their flagra, the Romans never did according to ancient literature.

 

Myth #9: Because of the importance of Jesus’ death on the cross, early Christians frequently depicted the crucifixion in religious art starting from shortly after Jesus’ death.

  • The first image of Jesus on the Cross in religious art is from A.D. 420-430 (Santa Sabina church door and Maskell Passion Ivory found in the British Museum). Jesus is depicted alive on the cross in these images.
  • Early Christian religious art (as in the catacombs) depicted hope and delivery from death (like the resurrection of the three young men in Daniel rescued from the fiery furnace).
  • The first Christian image of Jesus dead on the cross (according to Dr. Frederick Zugibe) is from the ninth century (I couldn’t find one that old on the internet) look even at San Damiano Crucifix — Jesus alive, arms at side, feet side-by-side — from the 12th century.

 

Myth #10: The Shroud of Turin has blood flows that show us where the nail went through the victim’s feet

  • The Turin Shroud Center website, run by John Jackson, one of the original researchers who spent 120 hours with the Shroud in 1978, states on the TSC website that the Shroud’s blood flows are consistent with blood flowing from either the sides of the heels or the top and bottom of the feet.
  • In a phone conversation with official 1978 photographer Barrie Schwortz, he confirmed that from his high-resolution images and work with other researchers, the Shroud does not clearly demonstrate where or how the feet were affixed to the cross.

 

Myth #11: Jesus carried a complete cross made of two pieces of wood.

  • No one in antiquity, of the thousands of crucifixions, was reported to carry a T-shaped cross — they only carried the cross bar (Greek — stauros, Latin — patibulum).
  • Many depictions of crucifixion mention condemned men carrying one piece of wood to a place where they were placed with it onto another piece of wood.

           

Myth #12: Jesus’ crossbar that he carried weighed about 100 pounds.

  • The crossbar (purportedly of the Good Thief Dismas) brought back by St. Helena from Jerusalem weighs about 15 pounds.
  • Devotional aids to the Crucifixion often picture crosses almost like railroad ties, but we simply have no evidence of what victims carried — except potentially the one found of St. Helena.

 

Myth #13: Jesus’ cross was shaped like a small-letter ‘t.’

  • The standard shape of the Cross was ‘T’ like a Greek Tau (both upper and lowercase Tau do not form the shape of a plus-sign).
  • The upright post was in place and the victim was attached to the crossbar and then raised onto the upright post.

 

The Value of Studying the Crucifixion

What is the benefit of studying the Crucifixion of Jesus? Isn’t it enough to know that Jesus suffered for us without knowing the details of how he suffered for us?  Yes, I daresay it is enough. But when we love somebody, don’t we want to know every little possible fact about them? If you are married, think about how you and your spouse explored your personalities and histories as you were becoming acquainted. How much more with Christ.

Additionally, when we see Christ on his Cross, we see him exercising his priesthood. What is the essence of priesthood?  It is offering sacrifice on behalf of another. On his Cross, Jesus is exercising his priesthood — on our behalf!

And if we are baptized, we each have a priesthood to exercise, for we were each anointed priest, prophet, and king at our baptism. Jesus is the priest par excellence. When we see Jesus on the Cross, his Cross, we see the perfect exercise of priesthood in the specific lived experience of his life. We, too, are called to perfectly exercise our own priesthood in the particular lived experiences of our lives. We exercise our priesthood each time we offer it up, offer our lives, our pains, our struggles, our turning over of our wills to God, for others. This ability to offer it up can change lives – it can affect eternity! It is a greater superpower than any possessed by any of the comic book superheroes. Because Christ unites himself to us, and we unite ourselves to him, our offering of sacrificing has real power. Use it! See Jesus suffering. He is our model. Follow St. Paul’s advice — Imitate me as I imitate Christ.

Dr. Thomas McGovern is a dermatologist/Mohs surgeon and national board member of the Catholic Medical Association who resides in Fort Wayne, Indiana.



Was There Really Darkness And An Earthquake During Christ Crucifixion? Historians & Geological Evidence Gives Us Clues

Was There Really Darkness And An Earthquake During Christ Crucifixion? Historians & Geological Evidence Gives Us Clues

The Gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke, relays the passion narrative thus:

“From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked, rocks were split” – Matthew 27:45,51.

Today, some authors and historians dismiss this record of events as simply imaginative fiction. What secular evidence do we have for darkness and an earthquake taking place at the Crucifixion?

Thallus in 52 A.D.

Thallus was the earliest secular writer to mention Jesus; in fact, he is so ancient his complete volume of works does not even exist anymore. Writing not even twenty years after the Crucifixion, he is quoted by Julius Africanus around 221 A.D. as trying to provide an explanation for the darkness that occurred at the Crucifixion:

“On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun.” – (Julius Africanus, Chronography, 18:1).

Thallus attempted to explain the darkness at the Crucifixion away as simply an eclipse. A reasonable explanation, except that a solar eclipse can last at most seven minutes, not a full three hours as recorded in the gospels. Even more evidence the darkness was not simply a natural phenomenon, a solar eclipse can only take place at the new moon, however Christ was crucified during Passover which takes place during the full moon.

Phlegon in 137 A.D.

Even more conclusive non-Biblical evidence comes from Phlegon, who wrote an extensive chronology around the year 137 A.D. In his writing, he confirms the year of the Crucifixion darkness, and records that an earthquake took place.

“In the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad [33 A.D.] there was ‘the greatest eclipse of the sun’ and that ‘it became night in the sixth hour of the day [noon] so that stars even appeared in the heavens. There was a great earthquake in Bithynia, and many things were overturned in Nicaea.’”

Geological Evidence

In a study conducted by secular geologists of an outcropping on the southwestern shore of the Dead Sea, a distinctive mixed sediment layer was linked to the Qumran earthquake of 31 B.C.

About a foot above the layer is a narrow band of another mixed sediment layer. Using sedimentation rates, the study determined the thin layer was placed about 65 years after the first, in the year 33 A.D.

This thin layer was determined to be caused by a prominent seismic event between the years 26 A.D. – 36 A.D., causing rocks to combine and form the thin mixed layer. According to the geological evidence, the earthquake that occurred at the Crucifixion was a real historical event.😱



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