What was unfair and unlawful about the Cross 6 – The Execution

6.  The execution

Jesus was fastened to the cross by spikes driven through his wrists and ankles, then the cross was raised so that he hung from the spikes.  The position made it impossible to expand his chest so he had to keep pulling himself up on the spikes in his wrists and pushing himself up on the spikes in his ankles in order to breathe.

6.1   What was unfair about Jesus’ execution

a. The curse of death by crucifixion
b. Jesus was crucified between two thieves

6.1.a        The curse of death by crucifixion

Jewish law only allowed criminals to be stoned, burned, beheaded or strangled.

Under the Romans, the Jews were allowed to stone people to death because they earlier wanted to stone the adulterous woman to death and later stoned Stephen to death.  The Roman death by crucifixion was a worse fate for a Jew because “cursed is he who hangs on a tree”.  That was probably why the Jewish leaders conspired to have Jesus sentenced under Roman law by Pontius Pilate.

Deuteronomy 21:23.  And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God.  You shall not defile your land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance.

Galatians 3:1313 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”.

6.1.b  Jesus was crucified between two thieves

Jesus was hung on the cross between two thieves, as though he was also a thief.

The criminal crucified with Jesus: “We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.  But this man has done nothing wrong” (Luke 23:41). 

The centurion: “Surely this was a righteous man” (Luke 23:47). 

Back to top

1.  Background
2.  The arrest
3.  The trial
4.  The sentencing
Previous post – 5.  The judges
6.  The execution
Next post – 7.  Summary
8.  Conclusion

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