Last year I covered why the crucifixion should impact us differently. In my documentary link, I reported about the many people crucified along both sides of the road (after different riots), how long it takes to die, etc. Today I’ll share more, adding a few crucifixion-to-Passover connections.
SACRIFICE WITHOUT BLEMISH, PROPERLY DRAINED
When the soldiers are checking whether any of these criminals need to have their death hastened because of Sabbath Friday night sunset approaching…. With a mallet, they would shatter the legs at the knees…. With…the lack of ability to push up the body to breathe, the person would die…. The soldiers didn’t take a pulse to see if this was required. He draws his sword, stabs the first guy. If the guy jumps, the soldier breaks the legs. If he doesn’t jump, the soldier didn’t have to break his legs…. A lamb with a broken leg is not an appropriate paschal sacrifice. The paschal sacrifice…is ritually slaughtered. The fluids are properly drained before taking it home to cook it…. Why…describe the fluids that drain? So your first readers will make the connection, “…the similarities in Jesus’ death and…in the Temple at Passover.”Abbreviated from The Gospels and the Feast of the Land
THE CURSE AND STUMBLING BLOCK FOR THE JEWS, FOLLY OR MADNESS FOR GENTILES
In I Corinthians 1:18 Paul says that in the eyes of “those who are perishing,” the “word of the cross” is “folly.” He goes on to emphasize…further in v.23…Christ is a “stumbling-block” for the Jews…. The Greek word…to the ancient world…madness…. It is the crucifixion that distinguishes the new message from the mythologies of all other peoples…. The real gods of Greece and Rome could be distinguished from mortal men by the very fact that they were immortal….From Crucifixion
And as far as the Jews were concerned:
If someone guilty of a capital offense is put to death and their body is exposed on a pole, you must not leave the body hanging on the pole overnight. Be sure to bury it that same day, because anyone who is hung on a pole is under God’s curse. You must not desecrate the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.From Deuteronomy 21:22-23
How could their Messiah be crucified when crucified men are cursed? You see: the Romans knew how the Jews felt about crucifixion. They crucified Jews to discourage rioting and “messiahs” from leading riots.
WHY DID HEROD THE GREAT BREAK FROM TRADITION?
Remember Herod the Great always wanted his Jewish subjects to like him, which was why he built the temple.
Y. Yadin has demonstrated by means of the Qumran temple scroll that in the Hellenistic-Hasmonean period crucifixion was practiced as the form of death penalty applied in cases of high treason…this explained the crucifixion of 800 Pharisees by Alexander Jannaeus…. It is all the more significant that Herod broke with this tradition of execution…not a single crucifixion is reported by Josephus during this time…. This mass murderer would surely not have had humane considerations in mind…use…of crucifixion by the Romans…meant that…crucifixion was taboo as a form of the Jewish death penalty. This change can also be inferred from rabbinic interpretation of Deuteronomy 21:23. Varus [right after Herod the Great died]…had 2,000 prisoners crucified around Jerusalem…. Nevertheless, the cross never became the symbol of Jewish suffering…Deuteronomy 21:23 made this impossible.From Crucifixion
THE “NORM” FOR THE MANNER OF CRUCIFIXION
Crucifixion is a thesis, referenced in my documentary link. From the various ancient writings this author studied, he gives some examples of crucifixion, but then writes:
We have very few more detailed descriptions, and they come only from Roman times: the passion narratives in the gospels are in fact the most detailed of all. No ancient writer wanted to dwell too long on this cruel procedure. Even in the Roman empire, where there might be said to be some kind of “norm” for…execution (it included flogging beforehand, and the victim often carried the beam to the place of execution, where he was nailed to it with outstretched arms, raised up and seated on a small wooden peg), the form of execution could vary considerably…caprice and sadism of the executioners were given full rein. All attempts to give a perfect description of the crucifixion in archaeological terms are therefore in vain; there were too many different possibilities…. It should be noted that in Roman times not only was it the rule to nail the victim by both hands and feet, but that the flogging which was a stereotyped part of the punishment would make the blood flow in streams. Binding the victim to the cross only with bonds remained the exception….From Crucifixion