The Cross Throughout the Scriptures – Part 1 –
PHI 2:8 In fact, although having being discovered in outward appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of spiritual death, even death on a cross.
1CO 1:18 “For the doctrine concerning the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
Josephus described crucifixion as “the most wretched of deaths” – suicide was preferable to the cruel fate of being put on the cross.
It originated several centuries before the Common Era and continued into the fourth century AD when the practice was discontinued by Constantine.
They would offer the Lord Jesus Christ gall and vinegar, PSA 69:21.
Death by crucifixion was invented by the Persians which is now Iran.
Later it was adopted by the Phoenicians (Canaanites, a perverted people) and the Carthaginians (North Africa).
Only one word can describe death by crucifixion: agony.
“On the cross there are only two things, pain and eternity. They tell me I was only on the cross twenty-four hours, but I was on the cross longer than the world existed. If there is no time, then every moment is forever.”
Mass executions in which thousands died, such as the crucifixion of 6,000 followers of Spartacus as part of a victory celebration in 71 BC, appear in literature.
Alexander the Great had 2,000 survivors from the siege of Tyre crucified on the shores of the Mediterranean.
During the times of Caligula, AD 37-41, Jews were tortured and crucified in the amphitheater to entertain the inhabitants of Alexandria.
Many researchers have believed death occurred as the result of a ruptured heart – JOH 19:34 – the water and blood flowing out of the wound.
Other scholars have regarded asphyxiation or suffocation as being the cause of death.
If the victims are hanging with their hands extended over their heads, death can occur within an hour, or in minutes if the victim’s legs are nailed.
For exhaling to occur in a normal manner two sets of muscles are needed – the diaphragm and the intercostalis muscles between the ribs.
As a deterrent in the ancient world, many of its victims were crucified where the criminal event took place.
It was common to have a procession through the streets of Jerusalem where the criminal, along with a statement of his crime, could be publicly displayed.
MAR 15:20 And after they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, and put His garments on Him. And they led Him out to crucify Him.
MAR 15:21 And they pressed into service a passer-by coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), to bear His cross.
He carried the patibulum – the crossbeam.
Around our Lord’s neck hung the titulus on which were inscribed the charges for which He was being executed.
To add further humiliation to the process the victim was stripped completely naked.
Once stripped, the victim would be thrown on his back upon the patibulum, the crossbeam.
The long, square-headed spikes would inevitably pass through or close to the median nerve of the hands or the wrists so the nerve was severely damaged.
The crossbeam would drop into place with such force that the victim’s shoulders would often be dislocated, increasing the suffering and torture.
PSA 22:14 “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.”
Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries 2002