Dedicated to the Most Precious Blood and Most Sacred Heart
By Adam Marquart
How Much Are You Loved?
Upon talking with others about Good and Evil, I have found that people are more likely to believe that pure evil forces such as demons exist rather than the idea of a God who is wholly good and infinitely loving of His creation. I would tell these people of some of the details of Christ’s passion to support this idea of a loving God. Seeing that these details moved them, I decided to compile a medical narrative of Christ’s passion, so that we can more acutely understand His suffering and love for us.
Drawing near to His passion, Christ prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, knowing what was to come. He pleaded with His father that this task should pass Him, but that He would accomplish His Father’s will regardless. He sweated blood. Hematidrosis or Hemohidrosis is a medical condition which causes a person to sweat blood once blood vessels in the sweat glands have broken. This is typically caused by a state of extreme stress and anguish. Thinking of the task before Him, the pain before Him, Christ bled. His Passion had begun. And He was thinking of you. You are loved that much.
After being condemned to death, Christ was scourged with a Roman flagrum. The Romans, in their vast practice and experience of torture, had crafted an art and technique of human suffering. The flagrum was a whip with several ends, attached to which were bits of stone, hooked bone, and metal. The stone and metal ball pieces would leave bruises, breaking the blood vessels under the skin. The hooked pieces of bone would tear into the flesh, stripping it from the person and causing blood loss. Each strike from the flagrum would cause several wounds. Christ was struck thirty-nine times if the Jewish Law was followed, but since the Romans did this and not the Jews, there could have been more. And He was thinking of you. You are loved that much.
The Roman soldiers then dressed Christ for his procession as King of the Jews. They placed a robe on him, rubbing into the fresh wounds of scourging, sticking to His body through His blood. They then took thorns from a bush and stuck them on His head as a crown. Most likely, this crown resembled a helmet covering the entire scalp rather than a ring around the head. The human scalp carries a high concentration of blood which would have poured forth as the skin was punctured by dozens of sharp thorns. Some trauma victims have died of blood loss from the head alone. But Christ did not die. He kept going, shedding more and more of His blood. And He was thinking of you. You are loved that much.
Christ then carried the crossbeam about one thousand feet from the site of His trial to the gate of the city. The crossbeam would have weighed eighty to a hundred pounds. Each time Christ falls, dust and dirt rise into his dehydrated mouth and wounds festering in pain. Fearing a premature death, the Romans forced a man from the crowd to carry the crossbeam from the gate to the site of crucifixion. Throughout this, Christ is continually losing blood. Hypovolemic shock happens when a person loses one fifth of their blood. The heart struggles to pump enough blood to the body. This leads to paleness of skin, weakness, lightheadedness, and shallow breathing among other causes. At this point, it is surprising that Christ has not totally lost consciousness and is still able to walk unsupported. And He was thinking of you. You are loved that much.
Upon arrival, the Romans tore off the robe stuck to Christ’s body. Each wound which had stuck to the garment was freshly torn open again, causing further pain and blood loss. Not only this, but at this point, Christ was most likely completely naked before the crowd which spat and cursed at Him. And He was thinking of you. You are loved that much.
The Romans then nailed Christ to the cross through his wrists and feet. Going through the wrists, the nails would have either destroyed or constantly rubbed against nerves there, causing immense pain. Before His feet were nailed to the post, Christ was hoisted up, His wrists already attached. Without a means yet to support it with His feet, the weight of His body would have caused his shoulders to dislocate, stretching his arms out of their sockets and putting Him in a slumped position. Once His feet were nailed to the cross post, He was able to lift Himself up to take a breath before slumping forward again. Each time He did this, further pressure and pain were placed on the wounds of His wrists and feet. Not getting enough oxygen through this, the body would desire to hyperventilate. Not being able to do that, Christ’s heart pumped harder and would have gone into a state of cardiac stress. Under these conditions, the human heart is liable to rupture. And He was thinking of you. You are loved that much.
Upon his death, a soldier pierced Christ’s side which gushed forth blood and water. A symptom of trauma to the heart is that pericardial fluid builds up in the chest cavity and lungs. This buildup, along with all the other factors detailed above, shaped one of the most agonizing and bloody deaths in history. And He was thinking of you. You are loved that much.
The cross is not a piece of jewelry. It is not an ornament or piece of décor.
The cross is our salvation.
How much are we loved?
Look at a crucifix. Consider what you have read.
We are loved that much.