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Page 74




When experiencing either pain or nakedness, we desire privacy. How are these both used to increase the shame attached to crucifixion? How did the Jews' demand that Christ be crucified reveal their deep hatred for Him?



 

His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

- Deuteronomy 21:23

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.

- Galatians 3:13

 

Jesus was not only condemned to death, He was condemned to death by crucifixion. This form of Roman execution was the cruelest possible.

    A Roman crucifixion was generally preceded by cruel scourging. This usually consisted of thirty-nine strokes from a whip across a person's bare back. The criminal was then forced to painfully drag his own cross, bound to his sore back, to the place of execution.

    After arriving at the place of crucifixion, he was stripped naked and nailed or tied to the cross. The Roman soldiers received the person's clothing as partial payment for their work. Before the nailing took place, a drink of wine and myrrh was offered to the criminal to confuse his senses and dull the extreme pain. Jesus, however, refused this drink in order that His mind would be clear to knowingly bear the full punishment of sin to the end.

    The cross was then hoisted by the soldiers and put into a hole which had been previously dug for it. The person then hung on the cross naked with his feet about four or five feet above the ground. He suffered the most intense pain imaginable, and in this manner, slowly died.

    This terrible punishment was reserved for the worst criminals in Roman times. A Roman citizen could not be crucified - it was considered too degrading. A sign stating the crime(s) the person had committed was posted above his head as a clear warning to the crowds which gathered to watch.

    Concerning Jesus, the condemning Jews did not yell "Kill Him! Kill Him!" to Pilate; but, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" How is the depth of their hatred and enmity toward Christ revealed in this?

When paying the full price for the sins of His Church, Jesus died a type of death which was the most painful, shameful, and cursed possible.

The pain of having nails driven through one's hands and feet is indescribable. The pain of slowly dying with one's body weight pulling upon these nail wounds is unimaginable.

The shame of being made a public spectacle, held up for all to view, naked and dying from pain, is inconceivable.


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