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  • Rick LoPresti

The 5 pointy things

When Jesus was being tortured and murdered, there were 5 pointy things that were used to inflict maximum pain. Each one these things tortured a specific area of His body. These areas are symbolic of areas of our life that His suffering paid the price to redeem from the curse of sin.

Jesus was tortured using 5 pointy things. Each of them represents a specific area of life He suffered in so we could be blessed. The first one is the crown of thorns (MT 27:29). These were not rose bush thorns. They were 4-6 inches long. They hit His head with a reed to drive the thorns into His head, but there is almost nothing between the skin and the skull, so there was no place for the thorns to go. The head symbolizes 2 things - thoughts and authority. Thorns symbolize the curse of sin (Gen 3:18, Num 33:55, Mt 13:22, Heb 6:8). Our thoughts define who we are, and dictate what we do (Prov 16:3,Prov 23:7). Our thoughts are either influenced by the word of God or the flesh (Rom 8, 1Cor 1-2). Jesus wore the crown of thorns so our thoughts could be sanctified. The Bible is essentially a book about the authority of God and whether or not we submit to it. Jesus died because of our rebellion to God in sin. He imputes righteousness to us through the crown of thorns.

Another point thing was the cat-o-nine tails (Mt 27:26). It was not just a leather whip. It had pieces of bone and metal in it which would tear the flesh with each blow. The scourging was in some ways worse than the crucifixion. Some men did not survive it. He was scourged on his back. The back symbolizes labor (Rom11:10). Our works are by nature sinful and empty (Ecc). Jesus took the cat-o-nine tails so we could do right works that are fruitful (Jn 15:1-16).

The next pointy thing Jesus experienced was the splintered wood of the cross. The cross was not made of fine finished timber. It was rough cut wood and would have had splinters. He had just been brutally scourged and His flesh was severely damaged. There can be little doubt that the splinters went into Him deeply as He carried the wood. It was laid on his shoulders. Shoulders symbolize burdens (Gen 49:15, Ps 81:6, Is 10:27, Eze 12:7). He not only took the burden of sin for us. He also made a way for us to replace it with burdens for His kingdom and for the souls of others. The prophets sometimes spoke of their messages as a burden (Jer 23:33-38, Nah 1:1, Hab 1:1, Zech 9:1, Mal 1:1).

Then they afflicted the Lord with nails (Ps 22:16, Jn 20:25). These were not small finishing nails. These were large spikes. They were probably squared rather than round. The nails were driven into His hands and feet. This was a precise fulfillment of prophecy. Hands symbolize deeds. The phrase "work of the hands" appears 48 times in the Bible. Murder described as “blood on hands” (Deut 21:7, Prov 6:17, Is 1:15, Is 59:3, Eze 23:37 & 45, Mt 27:24 – Pilate). Feet represent 2 things: our walk through life (1Sam 2:9, 2Sam 22:37, Job 12:5, Ps 31:8), and our direction (Ps 40:2, Ps 56:13, Ps 73:2, Ps 119:59 & 101, Prov 1:16, Prov 4:26, Prov 5:5, Prov 6:18). "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Heb 9:14)"

Last came the spear (Zech 12:10, Jn 19:34-37, Jn 20:25, Rev 1:7). Death by crucifixion could take 2 or 3 days. Since it was the day before Passover, they wanted to hurry up the deaths so they broke the legs of the other two to cause their unsupported weight to suffocate them. Jesus had already died, so to insure He was actually dead, they pierced His side with a spear instead. This was in fulfillment of prophecy that none of His bones would be broken (Ps 34:20, Jn 19:36). The spear was used to pierce His side and blood and water came out. It is theorized that blood and water came out because Jesus literally died of a broken heart. So the side symbolizes the inner man, which is called the heart (Mt 15:18-19, Acts 15:9, Heb 8:10), the bowels (Gen 43:30, 1Ki 3:26, SOS 5:4, 2Cor 6:12, Phil 1:8, Phil 2:1, Col 3:12, Philemon 7 & 12 & 20, 1Jn 3:17), and the belly (Job 15:2 & 35, Prov 18:8 & 20, Prov 20:27 & 30, Prov 26:22, Jn 7:38).

Jesus not only died to pay for the penalty of sin. He also died to free us from the effects of sin. We do not have to live under the curse. He took the curse (Gal 3:13). Now we can be whole and blessed in this life, and look forward to eternal life in Him. All we need to do is respond to the gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1Cor 15:1-4) by repenting, being baptized in His name for the remission of sins, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38). Then we continue in faith until we leave this world by death or rapture (1Thes 4:13-17), whichever comes first.

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