Born to Walk Around on Crucifixion Ground

 

jacopo-tintoretto-crucifixion-1500s

“Two particular details about Roman crucifixion are of special interest to us in this book. First, it would not be much of an exaggeration to say that Jesus of Nazareth grew up under the shadow of the cross…The Galilee of Jesus’ boyhood, then, all knew about Roman crosses (Antiquities 17.286-98; War 2.66-79)…When he told his followers to pick up their crosses and follow him, they would not have heard this as a metaphor…The second point of special interest for us is the way in which the Romans sometimes used crucifixion as a way of mocking a victim with social or political pretensions. “You want to be high and lifted up?” they said in effect. “All right, we’ll give you ‘high and lifted up.’” Crucifixion thus meant not only killing by slow torture, not only shaming, not only issuing a warning, but also parodying the ambitions of the uppity rebels. They wanted to be move up the social scale?  Let them be lifted up above the common herd…”

– from the chapter The Cross in Its First-Century Setting, N.T. Wright’s The Day the Revolution Began

 

Jacopo Tintoretto (1518-1594) – The Crucifixion of Christ

(In the public domain)

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