about how Jesus was impaled. The Gospel writers state only that he was impaled or fastened to the stake. They do not say in their accounts of the impaling how this was accomplished, whether by Christ’s being transfixed with the stake forced through part of the body, by being tied to the pole or by being nailed to it.—Matt. 27:35; Mark 15:25; Luke 23:33; John 19:18.
However, following Jesus’ resurrection, Thomas’ comment in John 20:25 indicates clearly that Jesus’ hands were nailed to the stake. But in what way? We do not know. The Bible does not say whether his hands were nailed one on top of the other with a single nail through them both, or side by side with a separate nail through each. If the latter was the case, Thomas’ remark could be understood as applying only to Jesus’ hands.
There is, though, another possibility that cannot be ruled out. Many scholars believe that a nail or nails pierced Jesus’ feet, fixing them to the post directly or to a small platform attached to the stake. Jesus himself may have referred to wounds in his hands and his feet on another occasion when he appeared to the disciples. So as to convince them that he really was the resurrected Jesus, he said: “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.” (Luke 24:39) Thomas did not specifically mention Jesus’ feet. But his comment about “the print of the nails” may have included Christ’s hands and feet, though only the hands were named.
Often in the Watch Tower Society’s publications Jesus has been illustrated as being impaled with a single nail through his two hands and another nail piercing his two feet. This is only an artist’s conception, but it is quite possible that this is how Jesus was impaled.
While such technical matters are of some interest, the major thing to keep in mind about Jesus’ death is what it accomplished. One point is that it ended the obligation to keep the Mosaic law, for God took “it out of the way by nailing it to the torture stake.” (Col. 2:14) By his integrity to God even during the agony and death on the stake, Jesus proved that out of love humans can serve Jehovah faithfully no matter what temptations and pressures Satan brings. And Jesus’ death on the stake provided the ransom, the price to release believing mankind from bondage to sin and death.—1 Tim. 2:5, 6; 2 Cor. 5:14, 15.
Spiritual warfare! This is the warfare for true Christians: “The weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but powerful by God for overturning strongly entrenched things.” (2 Cor. 10:4) Among those strongly entrenched things against which Christians wage spiritual war are Babylonish teachings of false religion. Against these Babylonish ideas, Jehovah’s witnesses wield the “sword of the spirit,” the Word of God. Also helping in maintaining the assault on false religion are the publications of the Watch Tower Society. For example, Awake! magazine last April featured a special issue entitled “Are the Churches Nearing Their End?” Each issue of Awake!, in fact, helps Christians in their spiritual warfare. As they maintain the assault on false religion during October, Jehovah’s witnesses will offer a year’s subscription for the Awake! magazine, with three Bible-study-aid booklets, on a contribution of $1.
WHAT HAS GOD PROMISED?
Really to know God we must know what he has promised to do for us. And to have faith in those promises we must have absolute assurance that he will carry them out. The Bible contains such assurance, and the book “Things in Which It Is Impossible for God to Lie” will help you to be convinced. Its twenty-two absorbing chapters give powerful assurance of the certainty of fulfillment of all God’s promises. It is hardbound, 416 pages, illustrated. Send only 50c.
“WATCHTOWER” STUDIES FOR THE WEEKS
October 26: The Approaching Peace of a Thousand Years, ¶1-25. Page 612. Songs to Be Used: 114, 102.
November 2: The Approaching Peace of a Thousand Years, ¶26-48. Page 619. Songs to Be Used: 43, 98.