A Detailed Look at the Suffering of Jesus Christ

Here’s a blog that describes in detail the pain and suffering of Jesus Christ when he was arrested, scourged, and nailed.

A lot of us might have already known that Jesus Christ (Yahshua the Messiah) suffered and died for us. Going through the Bible, it seems it is easy for us to simply brush off the magnitude of Christ’s suffering during his final 48 hours on earth.

That’s why, in this post, let me share a deeper look at the pain and suffering of our Savior just to make salvation available to all of us.

Lack of sleep

By the time Jesus was nailed on the torture stake, He is most likely awake for 36 hours, making him deprived of vital sleep to go through such a gruesome scourging. 

Remember, Christ’s custom was to wake up early. He went through his day, ate the Passover with his disciples, prayed all night, was betrayed by Judas, arrested, brought to various rulers and courts, and finally died on the cross.

Christ would go through the arduous process of crucifixion without enough sleep.

Walking through the old city

We read in the Gospels that the soldiers arrested Jesus and brought him to the high priest’s courtyard (Matthew 26:58). From there, he would be delivered to Pontius Pilate the governor (Matthew 27:2). From Pilate, Christ was brought to Herod Antipas (Luke 23:7). He would then eventually travel to Golgotha.

According to some estimates, Yahshua might have walked a total of about 4 kilometers in a half-dead state. All these added up to his suffering.

Sweating blood

blood hands suffering

In the garden of Gethsemani, we read in Matthew 26:37-38:

37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” 

 We see here that Yahshua was sorrowful and deeply distressed. We know that Yahshua was fully a man like any of us. 

However, at the same time, he was also a God. Thus, He FULLY knew what was going to happen to Him in the next 12-24 hours. He knew very well the exact detail, the pain, anguish, and suffering he would go through.

We understand that Christ already knew about this long before He became a human being. In Revelation 13:8, we read:

8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world

This tells us that even when Christ was still in heaven, he was destined to one day die for all of us.

The mental agony was so great that Yahshua went through a medical condition we now call hematidrosis

We read in Luke 22:44:

And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground

Hematidrosis is associated with a HIGH DEGREE  of psychological stress.

When the soldiers arrested Yahshua, they might have noticed the blood all over his body and face. 

The gruesome scourging

Perhaps, the most painful part of Christ’s suffering was during the scourging. Typically, Yahshua would have been stripped naked, exposing his whole body for beating. He was then whipped from the back of his neck, down to his bottom, calf, and all the way to His heels.

Some historians tell us what type of whip could have been used to scourge Yahshua. The whip has become known today as the cat of nine tails. In the book “The Case for Christ,” Lee Strobel, the author, interviewed Dr. Alexander Metherell to talk about the scourging.

Let me quote:

Roman floggings were known to be terribly brutal. They usually consisted of thirty-nine lashes but frequently were a lot more than that, depending on the mood of the soldier applying the blows. 

The soldier would use a whip of braided leather thongs with metal balls woven into them. When the whip would strike the flesh, these balls would cause deep bruises or contusions, which would break open with further blows. 

And the whip had pieces of sharp bone as well, which would cut the flesh severely. The back would be so shredded that part of the spine was sometimes exposed by the deep, deep cuts.

The whipping would have gone all the way from the shoulders down to the back, the buttocks, and the back of the legs.

One physician who has studied Roman beatings said, ‘As the flogging continued, the lacerations would tear into the underlying skeletal muscles and produce quivering ribbons of bleeding flesh.’ 

A third-century historian by the name of Eusebius described a flogging by saying, ‘The sufferer’s veins were laid bare, and the very muscles, sinews, and bowels of the victim were open to exposure.’

The number of stitches

I have watched a documentary of how the scourging might have been like during the time of Yahshua. 

One historian mentioned that each whip could leave a cut of 2 inches long and ¾ of an inch deep. This type of cut needs 10 stitches to close if ever you’re going to a doctor and have it closed. Now, in one lash, since there are 9 whips, that means 90 stitches are needed to close the wounds. If there are 39 lashes, then it would take up to 3,500 stitches to close all the wounds of Yahshua.

Now, this is just a conservative estimate as some scholars would tell you that even twice as many stitches would be needed to close all the wounds.

This should give us an idea of the number of cuts and wounds Yahshua received at that time.

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Beaten face of Jesus

Aside from that flagging, we know that Yahshua was beaten up, punched in the face, and struck with a rod on his head. 

We can just imagine how that has swollen his eyes. Both of them might have already closed due to inflammation. His teeth might have already been knocked out. He was spitting blood. His lips might have already burst and cut.

Crown of thorns

To make things worse, the soldiers twisted a crown of thorn and put it on his head as we read in Matthew 27:29:

29 When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on 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!”

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

These thorns can be about 1-2 inches and can be as sharp as an ice pick. When the crown is driven down Yahshua’s head, it can be sharp and hard enough to penetrate the skin and reach the skull bone. 

The head and scalp would then bleed profusely as the thorns hit blood vessels.

Beyond recognition

Miraculously, Yahshua survived the scourging. However, this left the Messiah beaten to a pulp.

The Prophet Isaiah tells us:

14 “Just as many were astonished at you,
So His visage was marred more than any man,
And His form more than the sons of men” (Isaiah 52:14).

This means that Yahshua was tortured to the point that He suffered more than any man in history. His face and body were so deformed that He didn’t look like any human being anymore!

 The Messiah has been so beaten up that his appearance is unrecognizable. Anyone who had seen him would not even recognize him anymore as a human being. 

In Psalms, we read a prophetic description of what the Messiah suffered:

17 “I can count all My bones.
They look and stare at Me” (Psalms 22:17).

This tells us that Yahshua was scourged so hard that he even saw his bones staring at him.

The crucifixion 

If that’s not enough, Yahshua had to go through the final stage of his suffering. He would be nailed to the torture stake.

Let me continue quoting the book of Lee Strobel:

The Romans used spikes that were five to seven inches long and tapered to a sharp point. They were driven through the wrists. 

And it’s important to understand that the nail would go through the place where the median nerve runs. This is the largest nerve going out to the hand, and it would be crushed by the nail that was being pounded in.” The pain was absolutely unbearable.

In fact, it was literally beyond words to describe; they had to invent a new word: excruciating. Literally, excruciating means ‘out of the cross.’ Think of that: they needed to create a new word, because there was nothing in the language that could describe the intense anguish caused during the crucifixion.

Crucifixion is essentially an agonizingly slow death by asphyxiation. Basically, in order to exhale, the individual must push up on his feet so the tension on the muscles would be eased for a moment. 

In doing so, the nail would tear through the foot, eventually locking up against the tarsal bones. After managing to exhale, the person would then be able to relax down and take another breath in. 

Again he’d have to push himself up to exhale, scraping his bloodied back against the coarse wood of the cross. This would go on and on until complete exhaustion would take over, and the person wouldn’t be able to push up and breathe anymore.

A fresh perspective on Christ’s suffering

What I have just described to you may or may not be exactly what happened to Jesus Christ. It could even be worse. However, one thing is for sure, Yahshua went through the most gruesome, sadistic, and inhumane torture no one has ever experienced.

With what I have discussed with you, I hope I was able to tell you how much pain and suffering Christ has to endure just to make salvation available to us.

As a closing passage, let us read Isaiah 52, starting with verse 14:

14 Just as many were astonished at you,
So His visage was marred more than any man,
And His form more than the sons of men;

Jumping to Chapter 53:2.

2 He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.

3 He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.

With this in mind, I hope you now know what it means for Christ to suffer for us. Paying for the penalty of sin isn’t cheap. Giving us the chance to receive eternal life wasn’t easy.

It required the sacrifice, life, and death of our Master and Savior Yahshua the Messiah. We were bought by the precious blood of Christ.

Let us not put it to waste. Let us not forget how much God the Father and His Son love us to the point that they have made the ultimate sacrifice.

May all these things give us more reasons to overcome sin and live a pleasing life before God.

For more information, you may want to read, “10 Remarkable Reasons Why Jesus Have to Die.”

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