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I was going to include a picture of it. I actually found some images on Google. But they were just too disturbing…………… a dislocated finger. I’ve never broken a bone but I dislocated the little finger on my left hand twice.

The first time it happened, I was playing football with some friends at a neighbor’s house. I tried to catch a ball for a touchdown and felt a weird pain in my hand. I looked down and there was my finger turned at 90 degrees. “Hmmm, well that’s not supposed to happen.” Not knowing any better, I thought it was broken. So I ran inside to use my friend’s phone and called my mom. She picked me up and rushed me to the doctor, only to find a very crowded waiting room. Honestly it didn’t hurt that much at first; but after waiting an hour to see the doctor, it began to throb. It took him all of 30 seconds to pop it back into place. I thought, “Shoot, I could have done that.” I had to wear a brace for a few weeks while it turned black and blue.

The next time it happened, I was playing volley ball with some church friends. The ball hit my hand sort of funny and bingo, my little finger found its way into a 90 degree position again. This time I knew what to do. I walked over to the associate pastor who was standing on the sidelines watching the game and said, “Here, pull my finger back straight.” He got a pale look on his face and said he couldn’t do it. ” Oh yes you can, ” I said. “If you don’t pull it back now, it’s going to start to seize up.” So he gathered up his strength and did it; that time it only hurt for a few days.

crucifixion

photo courtesy of catholicalcoholic.com

John 19:31-37 

 31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,”[c] 37 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”[d]

As I said, I’ve never broken a bone, but I have been told that the pain is excruciating. Crucifixion, the method of execution, was already cruel enough, but the Jewish leaders added to it by requesting that the prisoners’ legs be broken. Their reasoning? They were in a hurry and didn’t want the scene to spoil their celebration.

An interesting side note is that it wasn’t necessary to break the legs of Jesus, he was already dead. This fulfilled a prophecy from Exodus 12:46 where the Jews were commanded not to break any of the bones of the lamb sacrificed for Passover.

More than anything else, it was the realization and conviction of how much Jesus physically suffered for the purpose of paying the penalty for my sin that won my soul over. When I thought about the crown of thorns pounded into his head, the scourge that ripped his back, the railroad spikes that were thrust through his hands and feet and then his body hanging on the cross in humiliation for hours while he slowly suffocated ……….. it broke my heart and brought me to tears. He did all of that for my salvation.

The truth of the matter is that although Jesus suffered physically, it was the spiritual suffering, the separation from his Father, that hurt him the most. The weight of the sin of millions of souls consumed by his body on the cross that caused the Father to turn away ……… that is what broke Jesus’ heart.

And me? Honestly, one of the worst physical pains I’d ever suffered was a dislocated finger ………… not exactly close in comparison.

As you raise your mug today, remember what is so good about Good Friday – Jesus suffered so that you and I don’t have to.

 All verse quotes courtesy of biblegateway.com