Is there any archaeological evidence for Crucifixion?
Did you know that punishment and ultimately death by crucifixion was the most horrifying, inhumane, cruel, savage, brutal, severe, harsh and heartless, atrocious, barbaric hellish, depraved, pitiless, unfeeling, uncompassionate way of killing a human being that was ever devised by man!
It was a literally excruciating way to die hence the term 'excruciating, literal meaning 'out of crucifying'.
It was also a humiliating way to die as a person would be nailed, often naked, in full view of the crowds that came to watch.
Crucifixion of St. Peter by Caravaggio
Even worse and even more inhumane was the form of crucifixion in which its unfortunate victim was crucified upside down as in the case of St Peter.
But how do we know about this horrifying execution which became known as the 'slave's punishment'. Many people today know of it by the famous film Spartacus in which the horrors of crucifixion were depicted.
Photo of Spartacus film.
The ancient Jewish historian Josephus also talked about it and there are other sources that refer to the crucifixion of thousands of people by the Romans who eventually themselves outlawed crucifixion for its barbaric practice.
However the most recorded sources and most famous victim of crucifixion ever recorded was the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ alongside the two criminals on each side of him.
Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, with the two criminals on each side of him.
However there was a problem here, in that for nearly 2000 years there was no archaeological evidence of this cruel and savage execution because of the fact that a crucified body was left to decay and rot on a cross.
You see, what was left of the executed criminals was usually dumped as rubbish in a tip and quite often then eaten by vultures and finished off by scavenging dogs who loved chewing on the bones and eating the bone marrow as a special treat therefore leaving no evidence of a Crucified man.
However this all changed in 1968 when another type of treasure to illustrate a truth was discovered, a truth that was again hidden on the earth for thousands of years.
Only this time those truths would appear physically and would again reveal the hidden secrets which would then give us rock solid evidence, outside of the Bible, that confirms with John 19:32, which I will address shortly.
For the first time ever the remains of a crucified man's heel bone was found accidentally in an ossuary with the crucified man's name on it, 'Yehohanan, the son of Hagakol'. It was believed to be in the same time frame that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified.
Heel bone of crucified man named, 'Yehohanan, the son of Hagakol'.
After the only heel bone in human history had been sent to the Hebrew University Medical School in Jerusalem they discovered that a nail had been driven through its side, indicating that the man not only had been crucified but the position of the nail indicated that the feet had been nailed to the cross from their side and not from their front.
They also discovered olive wood fragments on the point of the nail indicating that he was crucified on a cross made of olive wood or on an olive tree. This led them to also discovering that the condemned man was crucified at eye level since olive trees are not very tall.
It gets better, they discovered a piece of acacia wood between the bones and the head of the nail which is believed to keep the condemned from freeing his foot by sliding it over the nail.
Here below is recorded in the gospel of John 19:31 to 35 information of the culture around crucifixion and its practice at in Roman times.
'Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.'
The crucified man, 'Yehohanans', legs were also found broken just as they did to the two criminals. More evidence outside of the Bible that confirms with John 19:32.The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus.
Friends it gets even better. Iron was rare in Roman times so they would always remove the nails to use them again. However in this case they could not remove this nail because the nail in question was bent so much at the tip. Now, amazingly history is preserved for ever. Here again is a treasure that shows us the truth.
However what else can we learn from this savage, brutal, severe and harsh execution? Well we know that the Romans crucified people for a reason. It was reserved for people who they believed were rebels or criminals. In civilised society today where a crime is committed there is to be expected that if a person is caught then some sort of punishment is required. That punishment of course varies immensely according to each countries culture and customs and ranges from loss of freedom through incarceration to loss of life through capital punishment.
But what if the criminal were our own son? It is hard to imagine the agony that a parent would go through in seeing their own child, their own flesh and blood be punished by way of execution and in particular crucifixion.
Could we give up our own child to extreme sufferings for somebody else's evil deeds?
Yes, the evil deeds of people who are guilty, deeds that some of us would condemn a person forever.
Could we even sacrifice our only child to die for others who are good, let alone bad?
Here in John 3:16, told by Jesus, the Creator and the Maker of the Universe God shows us the highest act, the highest expression, the highest manner and the depth of the love by the Father towards all humans in which he created since the beginning of the world, his unmerited gift to mankind - a gift that no man has earned or deserved.
This is true love, there cannot be any higher love expressed by the Most High Creator of the world. We were lost in darkness but the Lord God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob demonstrates to the human race the greatest deed which no man can truly comprehend.
The Creator and the Maker of the Universe gave up his one and only son Jesus. God's heart must have nearly been broken to see his beloved Sons inhumane, cruel, savage, brutal and horrifying death. We know from Bible scholars however that the crucifixion was not the thing that killed Jesus. It was in actual fact the separation between Jesus and his Father while he was on the cross that had broken Jesus' heart that brought Jesus to his final death on the cross. God the Father and our Lord Jesus took the blame for our evil sin.
Not to condemn us but to give us everlasting life. How amazing is that!
The New Jerusalem, Revelation 21.
Elvis Presley once sang a song calledWho Am I?
Who am I that The King would bleed and die for?
Who am I that He would pray not my will, thine Lord?
The answer I may never know
Why He ever loved me so
That to an old rugged cross He'd go
For who am I?
This is true loyalty. To save the human race God sent and allowed his only Son to die an agonising death. Surely that is absolute, deep proof of Gods incredible love, Gods amazing and unconditional love extended towards every human being upon the earth.
'What marvellous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it-we're called children of God! That's who we really are. But that's also why the world doesn't recognize us or take us seriously because it has no idea who he is or what he's up to'.
The Message (MSG)
1 John: 3
By Simon Brown.
Dear friends do you know the Lord Jesus yet? Time is running out FAST in this evil world.
ARE YOU READY? WE ARE HEADING IN TO THE GREAT TRIBULATION
God is always listening, and he will be there for you when you choose to speak to him. God's there, listening for all who pray, for all who pray and mean it.
All I ask is that you don't wait UNTIL IT IS TOO LATE. CLICK HERE and watch this video, and Surrender Your Heart To God, because He Loves you, and will save your SOUL.
Surrender Your Heart To God
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.Psalm 53:1
Thank you for reading this article. May the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless those who seek him. In Jesus name we pray. Simon and Emma Brown.