The Guide to the Scriptures

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Crucifixion

A Roman form of execution, common during New Testament times, in which the person was put to death by tying or nailing his hands and feet to a cross. It was usually done only to slaves and the lowest criminals. Crucifixion was often preceded by scourging or whipping (Mark 15:15). The person being crucified was usually made to carry his own cross to the place of execution (John 19:16–17). His clothing was usually taken by the soldiers who carried out the sentence (Matt. 27:35). The cross was driven into the ground so that the feet of the person were only a foot or two above the ground. The cross was watched by soldiers until the person on the cross died, which sometimes took up to three days (John 19:31–37).

Jesus Christ was crucified because a group of unbelievers falsely charged him with sedition against Caesar and blasphemy because he said he was the Son of God. A purple robe (John 19:2), a crown of thorns, and other insults were given to Jesus (Matt. 26:67; Mark 14:65).