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Descriptions of Roman crucifixion bear this out, and Christ's execution was no exception, apart from its brevity. Jesus was utterly exhausted, not just from lack of sleep, but also from the scourgings and beatings He had received (see Matthew 26:67; 27:26, 30; Luke 23:11). Having no strength to carry His cross, as was customary, another man, Simon of Cyrene, was compelled to do it for Him (Matthew 27:32; Mark 15:21; Luke 23:26).
In addition, crucifixion often pulled its victims' bones out of joint, either from the jarring jolt of the stake plunging into its rocky posthole or from the full weight of the sagging body hanging from the cruelly driven nails in the hands and feet (or often in the wrists and ankles). That His heart was like melted wax, explains the Keil and Delitzsch Commentary, "recalls His burning anguish, the inflammation of the wounds, and the pressure of blood on the head and heart, the characteristic cause of death by crucifixion." Jesus, however, died, not of a broken or failed heart, but by exsanguination, that is, He bled to death, "as a lamb led to the slaughter . . . He poured out His soul unto death" (Isaiah 53:7, 12).
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
David the Prophet