<<execution on a cross>>

A barbaric method of execution practised by the Romans whereby the victim’s naked body was nailed and tied at the wrists and ankles to a wooden cross. This was then stood upright in the ground with the victim painfully suspended in the air. It was a slow and excruciating death ultimately brought about by suffocating; sometimes the victim had their legs broken so they could not raise themselves up by their feet to breathe.

Jesus experienced such a death as a substitute for us, taking the penalty for our sin that we might be set free (1 Pet 3:18). All four gospels recount the story of Christ’s crucifixion.

The cross is where our sinful nature is crucified, there is no place for negotiation as the symbolic putting to death is the only solution for our evil, sinful, earthly self-nature. The altar however, is where we surrender our legitimate desires knowing full well that God has the say whether these sacrifices are ‘consumed’ or if they are returned to us.

We have to figuratively put the nails into our own fleshly nature – “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires” (Gal 5:24). It is something we have to do. Crucifixion is always slow and painful – there is no quick painless method. This ‘death’ to the old life of sin is symbolised by baptism; as we live

 Am I more ‘dead’ to the world now                          than I was yesterday?

out that confession, sins hold over the old life is broken and we are no longer slaves to sin (Rom 6:3,4,6; Gal 6:14). Am I walking the crucified path, putting to death the desires of my natural sinful self or am I holding out for my rights?

To “crucify Christ again” is to bring shame and disgrace upon Him by utterly rejecting His claims to be the son of God as was the case of those who actually crucified Him (Heb 6:6).

See also: altar, baptism (water), cross, flesh, sacrifice and offering, self, surrender, walk.

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