The Messianic King Of Psalm 22 (Eleven)

It is written:

“I am poured out like water, And all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It has melted within Me.” (Psalm 22:14)

In the twenty-second Psalm, we read a graphic description of the Messiah’s death.

Doctors have catalogued the physical strain which would be present in a person who was dying of crucifixion. Death would be ultimately caused by a combination of suffocation and heart failure, as the crucified person would be constantly straining to push himself up for air on the cross while his heart tried desperately to pump enough blood to his body.

“Once a person is hanging in the vertical position,” he replied, “crucifixion is essentially an agonizingly slow death by asphyxiation. “The reason is that the stresses on the muscles and diaphragm put the chest into the inhaled position; 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. “As the person slows down his breathing, he goes into what is called respiratory acidosis—the carbon dioxide in the blood is dissolved as carbonic acid, causing the acidity of the blood to increase. This eventually leads to an irregular heartbeat. In fact, with his heart beating erratically, Jesus would have known that he was at the moment of death, which is when he was able to say, ‘Lord, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ And then he died of cardiac arrest.” (Alexander Metherell, “The Medical Evidence: Was Jesus’ Death A Sham And His Resurrection A Hoax?” In Lee Strobel, The Case For Christ: Solving The Biggest Mystery Of All Time, 215 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Zondervan)

Another author has written:

“This prophecy from Psalms 22:14, describes the Messiah’s heart melting like wax within Him. Finally, when dehydration and exhaustion ended their efforts to raise their body up to breathe, the torture achieved its intended goal; being deprived of oxygen, the heart begins to accelerate its rate to over 300 beats per minute, called: “Tachardia.” In one final massive failure, the heart bursts due to the stress placed upon it and the crucified dies immediately. The testimony of those who were present at the time that Jesus was crucified—describes a Roman soldier who pierced Jesus side to ensure that He was dead. As the lance pierced Jesus flesh—blood and water came from the wound. John 19:34 “ But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. ” Medical science describes the process of intense stress on the heart when under the suffering of crucifixion: The outer lining of the heart will often fill with fluid. As the heart races to try and carry the limited availability of oxygen to the lungs, the stress becomes so great that the heart ruptures. The presence of blood and water from the wound as described by the Apostle John, is an indication that Jesus heart had ruptured due to “Pericardial Effusion.” Literally, Jesus heart melted within Him and He died of a broken heart. The horror of crucifixion is the topic of Psalm 22. Unquestionably, David was not describing anything that he had personally experienced. He was never placed on a cross—nor had anyone in Israel ever heard of this brutal form of death before. The specific details written by David which graphically describe a man being pierced in His hands and feet, his ribs protruding due to his outstretched arms, and ruptured heart from the intense suffering of the cross—were written one thousand years before this horrific form of death was invented. David’s description in Psalm 22, was clearly intended as a prophetic prediction for the coming Messiah.” (Robert Clifton Robinson, The Suffering Servant: The Messiah of Isaiah 53 and Psalms 22, 336-337 (Kindle Edition, emphasis added, M.T.); Scottsdale, Arizona; Teach The Word Ministries, Inc.)

In light of this, the “blood and water” that flowed from Jesus’ side when the Roman soldier pierced Him with the spear is very significant:

John 19:34-But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.

This was a testament to the fact that when the soldier stabbed Jesus, He was already dead. His heart had ruptured; it had “melted like wax” within Him, as the Psalmist foresaw.

Medical science confirms this diagnosis:

“Tradition implied the wound was on the right side. The Ethiopic version of John’s Gospel and the Acts of Pilate (B recension 11:2) depicted the right side as the one pierced. [52] Early church fathers such as St. Augustine also agreed with this tradition. [53] [54] There were some reasonable facts lending credence to this tradition of the piercing the heart through the right side. First, the fencing schools of the Roman army taught this fatal theist— puncturing the heart to produce immediate death. The right side was usually unprotected in combat because shields protected the left side. Renowned French surgeon Dr. Pierre Barbet recalled Caesar’s use of the expression, “ latus apertum the side being opened,” to denote classically the right side. [55] [56] [57] A legionnaire delivered this joust with deadly accuracy. “The ancient sculpture The Dying Gaul immortalized this wound, for it depicted the death of an enemy warrior struck just beneath his right breast in battle. [58] [59] This particular sculpture dated to Pergamum between 240 and 200 BC, demonstrating the deadly thrust’s usage even prior to the maneuver being taught in the Roman military academies. “Medical science has demonstrated more blood flows with perforation of the distended, thinner- walled right atrium and ventricle than from any other body part. [60] Blood normally would not spill easily from the dead unless the lance perforated the right atrium, for blood pooled in this chamber with death after the heart stopped pumping. [61] In an erect corpse (for example, on a cross), gravity drains the blood above the heart to the right atrium without clotting. [62]…”The question of “how” still remained until physicians investigated it. Barbet performed experiments on autopsies by inserting a syringe beneath the fifth intercostals space (between the fifth and the sixth ribs) toward the heart. He first noticed serum (watery fluid). [64] In cases of excess fluid such as heart failure, the fluid was more diluted and thus clearer. As the surgeon inserted the needle further, Barbet then noticed blood when he penetrated the right side of the heart. Barbet followed these experiments by the use of a knife instead of a syringe with the same results. If he vigorously thrust the knife into the side, the clear, serous fluid of the lungs and pericardial sac flowed along the edges of the blood from the right atrium. “American surgeon Dr. Harold Blanton reported similar findings in studies performed by a pathologist in Birmingham, Alabama. [66] A pericardiocentesis (aspiration of the pericardial sac surrounding the heart) followed by a cardiocentesis (aspiration of the heart) then confirmed scientifically what John saw was indeed plausible. For these reasons, forensic scientists believed the flow of water was excess pericardial fluid and excess fluid in the lungs from pulmonary edema. In a case of “an exceptionally painful death- agony, as was that of the Savior, this hydropericardium would have been particularly abundant.” “In Jesus’ case, the severe loss of blood and the other portions of His Passion caused His heart to fail. Congestive heart failure resulted from His agony, and this condition caused the building up of excess fluid not only around the heart, but also in the lungs with pulmonary edema. Because the heart failure worked like a dam, the excess fluid seeped from the vessels to pool in the lungs and chest. This burden of excess fluid made it easier to identify with the piercing of Jesus’ side. It proved Jesus died an agonizing death— even one causing His internal organs to fail.” (J. Shan Young, M.D., Crushed: A Physician Analyzes The Agony Of Jesus, 4577-4614 (Kindle Edition); Glass Road Media)

Some in our day and age deny that Jesus died on the Cross; yet the facts tell a different story.

“Clearly, the weight of the historical and medical evidence indicates that Jesus was dead before the wound to his side was inflicted. . . . Accordingly, interpretations based on the assumption that Jesus did not die on the cross appear to be at odds with modern medical knowledge.” (William D. Edwards et al., “On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ,” Journal of the American Medical Association (March 21, 1986), 1455–63).

Yet in His death, Jesus knew victory was His.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

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