Crucifixion was one of the most hideous forms of execution ever devised by man.
It was the basest of deaths, reserved for slaves and rebels. Cicero called it “the supreme capital penalty, the most painful, dreadful, and ugly.”
There was nowhere lower to go.
The condemned person would usually be scourged until his back was a mass of torn flesh. Then he would be exposed to public mockery, sometimes stripped naked. Then he would be crucified.
“The physical and mental sufferings which this slow death involved are unimaginable” (J. Schneider).
Think of the utter horror the convicted criminal would feel when he would hear the sentence pronounced, “Crucify him!” The cross meant suffering, agony, and death.
Yet Jesus calls us to “take up our cross.”
What is He saying?!