- It seems that the Gospel accounts of the death of Jesus describe a standard Roman procedure for crucifixion. After the pronouncement of sentence, the condemned was required to carry the horizontal piece to the place of execution, always outside the city.
- The victim's outstretched arms were affixed to the cross-bar by either nails or ropes. This was then raised and secured to the perpendicular pole (which in some areas may have been left in place permanently, both for convenience and as a warning). A small board or peg may have been provided as sort of a seat to bear some of the weight of the condemned (this actually may have prolonged suffering by prohibiting suffocation). The feet were then secured in a manner forcing the knees into a bent position. Contrary to popular contemporary opinion, crosses were not high; the feet were probably only a few inches above the ground. The sign describing the accusation was secured to the cross.
- Death usually came slowly; it was not unusual for persons to survive for days on the cross. Exposure, disease, hunger, shock, and exhaustion were the usual immediate causes of death. Occasionally death was "mercifully" hastened by breaking the legs of the condemned. In Jesus' case death came much more swiftly than usual. A spear was thrust into his side to assure he was really dead before the body was removed (John 19:31-37). Bodies of the crucified were often left unburied and eaten by carnivorous birds and beasts, thus adding to the disgrace.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Penned by The P O R S C H E