From the Cross

When we speak of excruciating pain, we do well to look at the etymology of that adjective: ex cruce, “out of the cross.” It is nearly impossible to exaggerate what the Savior suffered on the cross.

Whether the cause of Jesus’ death was asphyxiation, or hypercarbia, or hypovolemic shock, or heart failure, or exsanguination, or total physical exhaustion brought on by tetanic contractions throughout his entire body—or any combination of these, or any other plausible suggestion—the astounding fact is that Jesus, at the very end, “cried out again with a loud voice.” From a medical perspective, this is surprising.

Surely, it was the last thing anyone on Calvary could have expected. This “loud voice” demonstrated, nonetheless, the truth . . .

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Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of Christ in the Psalms, Christ in His Saints, and The Trial of Job (all from Conciliar Press). He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

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