Jarrod Jacobs: The Crucifixion Of Christ
The Bible speaks very matter-of-factly about the crucifixion of Christ. We know that this event was a matter of prophecy in the Old Testament (Gen. 3:15; Ps. 22; Isa. 53; Dan. 9:26). We also know that Christ alluded to this event, declaring that He would die by crucifixion (Matt. 16:21, 17:23, 20:19; Mk. 9:31, 10:34; Lk. 9:22, 18:31-33, 24:7). When the time came, the Holy Spirit inspired the writers to say simply, “They crucified him” (Matt. 27:35; Mk. 15:25; Lk. 23:33; Jn. 19:18).
What does it mean to be crucified? Many in the 21st century need to know what this is. What happened when “they crucified him”? Please read the statement below. May it help us appreciate what Christ endured 2000 years ago.
“The cross was not a gilded and ornamental structure, but one of rude material, hastily and roughly put together.
“Death on the cross was the most cruel, most awful, most shameful, and most disgraceful punishment and death which barbarian brutality could invent. It was common among the Persians, Carthaginians, Greeks, and Romans. It is said that the Romans probably copied this hideous form of punishment from the Phoenicians. Romans did not crucify their own citizens but inflicted it upon slaves and the conquered. The Egyptians simply bound victims to the cross, leaving them there to die of exhaustion and starvation, but Jesus was nailed to the cross.
“The victim was laid on his back on the cross, his arms and legs stretched out, and long nails were driven through his hands and feet, then the cross was raised up and set in its place, or it was first erected, and then the victim was nailed to it. His body was not altogether supported by his arms; for a peg passed through the cross between his legs, which, in part, supported the body. It has been said that burning was preferable to the cross.
“Farrar graphically describes this suffering and torture: ‘For indeed, death by crucifixion seems to include all that pain and death can have of the horrible and ghastly — dizziness, cramp, thirst, starvation, sleeplessness, traumatic fever, tetanus, publicity of shame, long continuance or torment, horror of anticipation, mortification of untended wounds — all intensified just up to the point at which they can be endured at all, but all stopping just short of the point which would give to the sufferer the relief of unconsciousness. The unnatural position made every movement painful; the lacerated veins and crushed tendons throbbed with incessant anguish; the wounds, inflamed by exposure, gradually gangrened; the arteries, especially of the head, became swollen and oppressed with surcharged blood;’ and ‘each variety of misery went on, gradually increasing,’ until death relieved the sufferer.”
(Elam’s Notes On Bible School Lessons 1925, p. 79-80).
This description certainly brings matters into focus. Let us never forget the pain, suffering, and all Christ endured as that sacrifice. The blood of Christ (Acts 20:28) flowed that day for our salvation. His sacrifice and suffering were a fulfillment of prophecy. Because of this event, we can be saved from sin! (Rev. 1:5; Lk. 19:10; I Tim. 1:15)
Though men wish to say sin is nothing, never forget that God required the crucifixion to save a sinful world! Let the description of the cross by brother Elam sink deep into our minds, and let us never forget what was meant in the simple statement, “They crucified Him.”
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