The horror and humiliation of Christ’s crucifixion with iron whips, 7-inch nails

March 25 is widely believed to have been the date Jesus was crucified.

While most people likely have a loose understanding of the final days of Christ, the depths of his suffering and gory details of his execution are less widely spoken about.

That's despite the Bible being very specific about the gruesome nature of how his time on Earth is believed to have come to an end.

Here's what really happened during the Passion, the short final period in Jesus' life after the Last Supper including his agony in the Garden, his arrest, trial, crucifixion and death.

And a warning — this tale is a stomach-turning one, so put down your Easter chocolate before you start reading.

The Passion began on Holy Thursday after the Last Supper, when Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane and was arrested following the betrayal of Judas.

He spend the night in prison and was described as "very sorrowful, even to death" (Mark 14:34).

The following morning he was brought before Pontius Pilate, who sent him to Herod for sentencing – but Herod ultimately ordered Jesus back to the Roman.

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Pilate finally asked the gathered crowd what his punishment should be and they demanded Jesus be whipped and crucified.

Jesus was then tied to a pillar and flogged with a Roman scourging whip, which "had iron balls tied a few inches from the end of each leather thong on the whip. Sometimes, sharp sheep bones would be tied near the ends."

The metal weights would cause severe bruising while the bones would deepen the prisoner's cuts so that after just a few lashes, the lacerations would be deep enough to reach muscle tissue.

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The Roman soldiers whipped Jesus on the back and the front, meaning he was covered in open wounds before he even got near the cross.

He was also forced to wear the famous crown of thorns at this point, both to cause him more physical pain and to humiliate his claims of leadership.

Jesus was then made to carry a heavy wooden cross all the way from inside Jerusalem to Calvary (Golgotha in Hebrew), the site of his impending doom.

Biblical scholars have estimated the crossbeam weighed approximately 100lbs (45kg), a hefty load for any man but particularly burdensome for someone who just endured a flogging.

The distance between Gethsemane and Calvary has been estimated at about a mile and a half — not a long distance in normal circumstances but very difficult when trudging under the weight of a cross.

Jesus is described as falling three times during the journey, and with his arms bound to the cross beam would have been unable to break his fall, crashing down on his face each time.

Once he finally reached Calvary he was stripped naked — despite being depicted wearing a loincloth in most artistic depictions of the crucifixion, in reality the condemned were not permitted clothing to maximise their humiliation.

Next came the nails, enormous iron spikes averaging five to seven inches in length.

The nails driven into Jesus' palms would not have been sufficient to support his body weight, so his feet would have been nailed into the vertical beam as well.

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Christ is believed to have been nailed to the cross at 9am but did not die until 3pm, meaning he endured six hours of absolute agony alongside two criminals who were executed at the same time.

Crucifixion victims would only be able to take shallow breaths and only until his arms gave out, at which point he'd have to push his body up using his feet to breath.

This would have caused unbearable pain due to both pressure on the nail wounds in his feet and rubbing his freshly flogged back against the wooden cross.

Jesus asked for a drink while hanging from the cross, and was offered it three times. The first is believed to have been poisoned wine, the second was only mockingly offered and the third was a sour, vinegary substance.

Finally at about 3pm Jesus said "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit" and died, either from suffocation, blood loss or organ failure.

His executioners thrust a spear through his torso to ensure he was really dead, but it's hard to see how there could have been any doubt given what he had suffered.

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