By His Wounds we Are Healed:
He Died of a Broken Heart

Good Friday Meditation
Matthew 27:45-50

(c) Copyright 2005 Rev. Bill Versteeg

Matthew 27:45-50
The Meditation was done in conjunction with a Good Friday Cantata.

Beaten and bruised, his beard plucked out, the Rose bore no signs of beauty. He was a sight to be pitied, turned away from. His head, still adorned by a crown of thorns, bled, the drops falling like crimson petals upon the ground. Outwardly stripped of his dignity, with great effort he summoned his fading strength and said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not understand what they are doing.”

45 From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. 46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

Physicians and theologians have asked for years why Christ, the "rose," died so quickly. Normally, death on a cross, like a slowly wilting rose, was an agony that lasted for days involving exhaustion and asphyxiation. In contrast, Jesus only lasted six hours. Why?

One theory suggested by John Wilkinson (a medical missionary), (along with a host of other theologians and doctors), is that his death was this swift because he died of a ruptured heart. If Jesus heart was intact, when he was trust in the side with a spear, blood or water would have oozed out, because having deceased he would not longer have blood pressure. Instead, blood poured out, indicating that there was a pool of blood in his pericardium. Jesus literally died of a broken heart.

The last wound that we focus on this Lent, this good Friday is, as Leonard Sweet calls it, the “spirit wound” of Christ’s broken heart. “Jesus died broken-hearted, despised, rejected, weeping over Jerusalem, his spirit thorn torn to shreds by a sinful world dying itself of heart disease - hardness of heart.”p.15

At the end of the Lent Season, I invite you to remember that he loved us with such an all consuming passion that God would rather die than be without us. And so he died. He died heart broken. In a spastic cry, he gave us his Spirit. The last scarlet petal fell, and the Rose lay twisted and dead within the cruel embrace of the thorns.


(NIV) Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright (C) 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

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