26 - 33 AD Pilate's Power is Subject to the Will of the Father 26 - 33 AD The Crucifixion 26 - 33 AD The Resurrection
Did you know?

Crucifixion was not invented by the Romans. Crucifixion probably originated with the Assyrians and Babylonians.

What Ancient Jews Thought of Crucifixion

In the Law of Moses, many sins were punishable by death. All of these sins corrupted the society that God wanted to keep separate and untainted. Although the punishment seems extreme in some cases, capital punishment was rarely carried out.

A good example is disobedience to parents. This was a sin punishable by death. But true to the Law of Moses, there were protections. The parents had to witness, accuse, and throw the first stone. Evidently, this punishment never occurred. There were no parents willing to do it; the children knew how serious disobedience was. God was trying to keep His children in the covenant.

Stoning was the method Jews used for executions, and it actually was relatively humane. The guilty person was thrown off a cliff or into a deep hole. The fall hurt the person enough that he/she was senseless or unconscious. Throwing stones then finished the execution.

Crucifixion was not invented by the Romans. Crucifixion probably originated with the Assyrians and Babylonians. The Persians in the 6th century BC used the method often. “Alexander the Great brought it from there to the eastern Mediterranean countries in the 4th century BC, and the Phoenicians introduced it to Rome in the 3rd century BC. It was virtually never used in pre-Hellenic Greece. The Romans perfected crucifixion for 500 years until it was abolished by Constantine I in the 4th century AD” (NIH).

Crucifixion was considered humiliating, shameful, and brutal by everyone in all these societies and time periods. The Romans rarely used the method for their own citizens; they saved it for people they hated or looked down upon, like slaves and Christians.

The Jews considered it so low and shameful that they thought a person who was crucified could not be resurrected. So Jesus had a humble birth, but He had an even more humble (humiliating) death. He truly descended below all things on our behalf.