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Friday, April 2, 2010



And He began to be troubled and deeply distressed... [He] fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will."
~ Mark 14:33-36 (NKJV)

Jesus presented broken bread in token of fellowship and covenant, calling it His body. Hours later He showed what it is to allow oneself to be broken in submission to the Father’s will.

Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
~ Luke 22:43-44 (NKJV)

History records exceptionally few instances of a person under the most extreme duress sweating blood—the result of broken blood vessels releasing blood through the sweat glands. In Jesus' case, He was strengthened by an angel to persevere to that point.

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother ...
~ John 19:25 (NKJV)

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"
~ Matthew 27:46 (NKJV)

Consider the agony of suffering any one of these: betrayal, ridicule, false accusation, denial, condemnation as vilest criminal, humiliation of public nudity, inconceivable torture, shame and guilt for overwhelming sin. Just one of these would devastate one of us. Jesus endures them all, takes on the weight of all sin for all time, then faces His mother in her moment of greatest agony while His Father's face is turned away. What excruciating pain of heart accompanied the physical torment?

Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him... And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice ... [Then] Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last.
~ Mark 15:25,34,37 (NKJV)

Joseph of Arimathea ... coming and taking courage, went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate marveled that He was already dead.
~ Mark 15:43-44 (NKJV)

Crucifixion is not quick death by impalement, but death by slow suffocation taking days. Jesus' severely weakened condition is evidenced by the need to have Simon of Cyrene carry His cross. Yet Jesus' ability to twice cry out with a loud voice immediately before dying indicates He still had the ability to draw a strong breath. Pilate saw Jesus just hours earlier and obviously expected a protracted death. The testimony suggests cause of death was not suffocation.

One of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.
~ John 19:34 (NKJV)

There are records of strong emotions causing people to literally die of a broken heart. If one of the heart chambers or large blood vessels near the heart bursts from such psychosomatic stress, blood flooding into the pericardium (sac around the heart) can rapidly separate in to clotted blood cells and watery plasma.

Reproach has broken my heart,
And I am full of heaviness;
I looked for someone to take pity, but there was none;
And for comforters, but I found none.
~ Psalms 69:20 (NKJV)

In this passage which prophesies of Jesus' bitter crucifixion, the Hebrew verb for "broken" is shabar. Its most literal meaning is "to burst." Scripture strongly suggests that while Jesus' demise was aggravated by multiple and severe physical injuries, His cause of death was a broken heart due to the most extreme emotional trauma ever known.

Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things ... that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
~ Philippians 3:8-11 (NKJV)

Today is Good Friday, with its recollection of suffering and death.

Sunday is coming—and with it, the power of the resurrection.

Fellowship with Jesus means receiving only a taste of His suffering and death, yet sharing fully in His resurrection and life.

Your feedback is appreciated. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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  1. Thank you Anne. By his wounds we are healed ...

  2. Anne,

    I've never heard or read that about a broken heart before. What a powerful understanding of such a profound moment in history.

    Thank you for your ministry here.
    ~ Wendy

  3. Wonderful post. Thanks for your study, perspective, and reflections helping us all to reflect as well.

  4. The separation from His Father and the sense of abandonment must have been exceedingly painful, too.

  5. Oh, sin broke His heart, too. *sob*

    I am beyond words today. Even this writer is struck dumb by the glory of Christ, the majestic One who is also my best Friend.

    May He be forever praised.

  6. Thanks for ministering to me, love you.

  7. what strikes me the most about his dying on the cross is this.(from my understanding) He who knew no sin, took ALL the sin of the world upon Himself. so then He felt it too....maybe that's why He died so quickly?

  8. I'm so sad reading this. Good Friday is always tough, but to think about my savior's heart bursting from grief is, well, heart breaking.

  9. ...there's something else. i look at Him dying on the cross differently then before this past December. before i only knew that i had to be born again to get into heaven. i belived that if i believed He was the Son of God and accepted Him as my personal Saviour...i would get into heaven. it was like getting a pass if you to get into Heaven. i never gave a thought to Him being like us. being human. i always thought He was just like God walking around. thinking of Him being like you and me, puts suffering into a different perspective. you are an excellent mentor

  10. Russell ~ Indeed, even the wounds of His heart heal our own. I pray that in your counseling ministry, the Lord uses you as a powerful tool of His healing.

    Wendy ~ I believe it was by the Lord's timing that I stumbled upon the information about a rupture in the heart a few weeks ago. I literally choked upon sobs as I read it. (And you're welcome.)

    Jason ~ This truly was a difficult post. Even after the study, I wasn't sure how to put it all together. I continue to pray that it will impact people with love for our Savior, and deeper gratitude for all He has done for us.

    Susan ~ That abandonment is a topic all its own. I have to believe that it was the ultimate grief, which finally ruptured our dear Lord's heart. And I believe the Father was as deeply grieved to see His precious Son's suffering. I have yet to get over this. I pray I never do.

    Gwen ~ And that, dear one, continues to break my heart. I cannot be convicted of sin without grief for the pain I cause Him. I greatly praise Him that He continues to transform us.

    Denise ~ You're most welcome. I likewise thank you for your sweet ministry to me and to others. My love to you!

    T ~ This is why the words which resonate with me are "Amazing Grace" and "Oh to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be."

    Bud ~ It continues to awe me that Almighty God became so very human that He underwent such physical pain on our behalf. I can wrap my mind around the Trinity, but there are moments when I still struggle to comprehend just how much God made Man has done for us out of His love for me personally. For you, too, Bud.

  11. Thank you for your article and your wonderful appreciation for our Lord. Oh, how He humbled himself so much as to wear his own creation and suffer in it; on our behalf...



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