Crucifixion was one of the most sadistic, painful, and degrading of all executions of criminals. Although crucifixion may have originated with the Persians, the Romans used it as a form of execution for its worst criminals. Normally, death by crucifixion would take days. After hanging on the cross for some time, the criminal would die from heart attack, loss of blood, dehydration or other reactions of the body to this cruel, cruel punishment.

Although some were tied to a cross, most were nailed to a cross, even as the Lord Jesus was. The hands were nailed, along with nails being driven into the feet or ankle area. We have a prophetic word concerning the Lord’s crucifixion in Psalm 22:16 which says, “For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.” Death from crucifixion was so awful that the word ‘excruciating’ was derived to describe the pain of crucifixion. We read prophetically of the Lord on the cross in Psalm 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.” All the bones of the convicted one would come out of joint as their cross was dropped into the ground after they were nailed to it.

The unique thing about the Lord’s crucifixion was that He had committed no crime. He willingly and voluntarily went to the cross, and despite the terrible physical sufferings of the cross, that paled in comparison to the judgment that God poured down upon His blessed Son as He bore our sins in His own body on that cross.

  • Christ suffered innocently. We read in Luke 23:4, “Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.” We also read the same words of Pilate in John 18:38; 19:4, and 19:6.
  • Christ suffered willingly. The Lord Jesus said in John 10:17-18, “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”
  • Christ suffered greatly. We read prophetically of the Lord in Lamentations 1:12, “Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.”
  • Christ suffered vicariously. Speaking of the Lord Jesus, 1 Peter 2:24 says, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree…”

The crucifixion of the Lord Jesus was terrible. He was beaten. He was mocked. He carried His own cross to Calvary. He died a most shameful death. Matthew 27:46 tells us, “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” While on the cross, God forsook His Son as He took our sins upon Himself and suffered under the righteous hand of God. God literally emptied His wrath on His dear Son while He was on that cross. God punished His Son for the sins that we have committed.There is so much more that could be said about the crucifixion of the Lord. The most important thing we should know about His crucifixion is that He endured that death to save sinners like you and me. Titus 2:14 tells us that Jesus, “…gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Have you put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? Have you repented of your sins and bowed your knee to Him, taking Him as your savior and Lord? The Lord Jesus was crucified for you, but it does you no good if you do not trust Him as your savior. (159.4)