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Were the two thieves nailed to their crosses?
Did the two thieves on the cross shed any blood? We beleive that they were tied to the cross unlike Jesus being nailed to the cross.
There is no indication in the text to assume that the three were attached to the crosses any differently from each other. Luke 23:32, 33 says, "And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there THEY CRUCIFIED HIM, AND THE MALEFACTORS, one on the right hand, and the other on the left."
When a person dies, their blood is shed, whether any is seen on the outside or not. The word shed not only means "to pour out," but also, "to set apart, segregate" (Merriam-Webster's 11th Collegiate Dictionary). When the blood stops being pumped regularly through the body, it begins to separate. That is the medical proof that Jesus was already dead when the solders came along to break their legs and hasten death. The soldiers recognized this, and thus the scriptures were fulfilled which said not a bone of Jesus would be broken. John 19:31-37 says, "The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and FORTHWITH CAME THERE OUT BLOOD AND WATER. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced."
Leviticus 17:11 says, "For THE LIFE OF THE FLESH IS IN THE BLOOD: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul." The reason that Jesus' blood was different, was because He is God in the flesh, and never once sinned. So His blood was pure, and could be shed on our behalf. Hebrews 9:12-14 says, "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 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?" Pilate, the judge over His trial, had to confess, "I find in him no fault at all." But when it came to the two thieves, their sin was evident for all. Luke 23:39-41 says, "And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for WE RECEIVE THE DUE REWARD OF OUR DEEDS: BUT THIS MAN HATH DONE NOTHING AMISS." When the theives died, their blood was shed -- their blood stopped flowing and was separated. But their blood was sin-stained blood, and had no power to atone for anyone's sin -- including their own. The one repentant thief had Jesus' blood applied to his soul before he died, that is why Jesus promised him in verse 43, "And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise." But the other unrepentant thief would discover immediate judgment when he died, like the lost rich man, "...the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments" (Luke 16:22, 23).
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