Death and crucifixion of Jesus, a fact of the bible

Jesus is brought before Pontius Pilate, who at that time was the Roman regent, it really did not seem to Pontius that Jesus was a man, a man guilty of any crime, however he decided to give in to the wishes of the people, who were crying out for the death of Jesus . Learn more about the subject by reading this article.

Detail of the crucifixion of Jesus

Everyone always wonders where did Jesus die ? Jesus dies in Judea between 30 and 33 AD. C. nailed a cross is said to be on Nisan 14, Friday April 7 to be more exact.

The death of Jesus and his crucifixion is reported by evangelicals and this is certified in the biblical writings. Almost all chroniclers and experts on the New Testament accept the death of Jesus of Nazareth as so much so that it is considered a historical fact, legitimized by historians and different Christian and non-Christian authors of the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. C. Even so, there is no agreement among the different historians on the specific circumstances or facts of the crucifixion.

In the New Testament it is said that Jesus was arrested, tried by the Court of Jerusalem and his crucifixion was dictated by the procurator Pontius Pilate Jesus was flogged and crucified. All of these events are known as the Passion of the Christ. In some source not belonging to the Christian faith such as: Josephus or Tacitus, historical images have been provided, although quite abstract, of the violent death of Jesus. However, it is the four canonical gospels that really make up the most characteristic reviews of the historical facts of the passion of Christ.

For a large part of the biblicist, the representation of the legend or special work of how Jesus of Nazareth died is stamped in the four gospels. All the suffering he suffered before his death represents the central aspects of Christian theologies, this contains some doctrines of salvation and fulfillment, are the Christians who have been able to study the death of Jesus on the cross and consider it as death as a compensatory sacrifice.

Catholic and Orthodox Christians assume that the act of celebrating the Eucharist or Communion is a readjustment or persistence, of time and space, of this sacrifice.

Understanding of the gospels (harmonization)

In the Passion of Christ the sufferings that Jesus suffered before dying on the nail to the cross are described, all the particular, canonical or apocryphal gospels without any relationship have tried to create a harmony of the 4 canonical gospels.

Tacio between the academics K. Bornhäuser and P. Benoit, back in the 2nd century they harmoniously narrated the history and images of the death of Jesus but this was never accepted, as homogeneous because we could name different demonstrations, the disputes between Greeks, Christians and Latins on the date of the Passion. Even so, the Syrian Church, which protected the work of Christian literature of the second century (170 AD) Diatessaron, written by Tatian, which harmonizes the four canonical gospels, which he later preferred to leave in favor of the gospel tapes.

Some time later, Augustine of Hippo (354-430) noted the inequalities between the narratives of the passion of Jesus that are read in the canonical gospels, without rejecting them for that.

Trial and conviction

According to the three Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane by a group of men under the orders of the high priests, the scribes and the elders, and was identified by Judas Iscariot with a kiss. Mark 14:43-46 says that: They arrest Jesus:

43: Jesus was still speaking when Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived accompanied by many people armed with swords and clubs. They were on behalf of the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders. 44: Judas, the traitor, had given them a password, telling them: «Whoever I kiss, he is; arrest him and take him away safely.” 45: So he came up to Jesus and said, “Master! And he kissed him. 46: Then they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him.

According to John, those who arrested Jesus were guards chosen by the priests and Pharisees, along with a platoon of soldiers commanded by the Roman military tribune as the work of a Roman officer. In this version Jesus identified himself. John 18:3-12 says:

3: So Judas arrived with a troop of soldiers and some temple guards sent by the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were armed, and carried lamps and torches. 4: But since Jesus already knew everything that was going to happen to him, he went out and asked them: — Who are you looking for? 5: They answered him: —To Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus said: “I am. Judas, the one who was betraying him, was there with them. 6: When Jesus said to them, “I am,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 

7: Jesus asked them again: — Who are you looking for? And they repeated: —To Jesus of Nazareth. 8: Jesus said to them again: – I have already told you that it is I. If you’re looking for me, let these others go. 9: This happened so that what Jesus himself had said would be fulfilled: “Father, not one of those you gave me was lost.” 10: Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and cut off the right ear of one named Malchus, who was a servant to the high priest. Jesus before Annas:

11: Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword back in its place. If the Father gives me this bitter pill to drink, will I not have to drink it? 12: The soldiers of the troop, with their commander and the Jewish temple guards, arrested Jesus and bound him.

Some contradict what John says about the involvement of Roman soldiers in the operation moments before Jesus’ death, others simply accept it.

After the arrest of Jesus, he is taken to the house of the high priest Caiaphas. John’s gospel says that he was first brought before Anas, who then sent him to Caiaphas, who would be his son-in-law at the time.

John 18:13-28 says: The high priest questions Jesus:

13: They took him first to the house of Annas, because he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, high priest that year. 14: This Caiaphas was the same one who had told the Jews that it was better for them that one man should die for the people. 19: The high priest began to ask Jesus about his disciples and what he taught. 20: Jesus said to him, “I have spoken publicly before the whole world; I have always taught in the synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews meet; so I haven’t said anything in secret.

21: Why do you ask me? Ask those who have listened to me, and let them say what I have spoken to them about. They know what I have said.22: When Jesus said this, one of the temple guards slapped him, saying, “Is this how you answer the high priest? 23: Jesus replied, “If I have said something wrong, tell me what it was; And if what I said is right, why do you hit me? 24: Then Annas sent him, bound, to Caiaphas, the high priest.

Mark and Matthew in the gospel speak of the first meeting that took place in an assembly or council of wise men structured in twenty-three or seventy-one rabbis in each city of the Land of Israel (Sanhedrin), who acted as judges. all this happens on the same night of the arrest of Jesus, in this first assembly it was decided that Jesus deserved death for blasphemy, and the next morning a second meeting of the Sanhedrin was held, which sent Jesus before Pilate.

Matthew 26:57-68 says: Jesus before the Supreme Board who decide the death of Jesus:

57: Those who had arrested Jesus took him to the house of Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders were gathered. 58: Peter followed him at a distance to the courtyard of the high priest’s house. He went in, and sat with the temple guards, to see how it would all end.

59: The chief priests and the entire Supreme Board were looking for some false evidence to condemn Jesus to death, 60: but they did not find it, despite the fact that many people came forward and falsely accused him. Finally, two more appeared, 61: who affirmed: —This man said: “I can destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.”

62: Then the high priest got up and asked Jesus: – Do you not answer anything? What is this they are saying against you? 63: But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, “In the name of the living God, I command you to tell the truth. Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.

64 Jesus replied, “You have said it. And I also tell you that you are going to see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of the Almighty, and coming in the clouds of heaven.65: Then the high priest tore his clothes in a sign of indignation, and said: – The words of this man are an offense against God! What need have we of more witnesses? You have heard the offensive words from him;

66: what do you think? They answered: — He is guilty, and he must die. 67: Then they spat in his face and beat him. Others hit him in the face, 68 telling him: —You who are the Messiah, guess who hit you!

Mark 14:53-65 says: Jesus before the Supreme Board

53: Then Jesus was brought before the high priest, and all the chief priests, the elders, and the teachers of the law came together. 54: Peter followed him at a distance into the courtyard of the high priest’s house, and sat with the temple guards, warming himself by the fire.

55: The chief priests and the entire Supreme Board were looking for some evidence to condemn Jesus to death; but they couldn’t find it. 56: For though many bore false witness against him, they contradicted one another. 57: Some rose up and accused him falsely, saying:

58: We have heard him say: “I am going to destroy this temple that men made, and in three days I will raise another one not made by men.” 59: But they still didn’t agree on what they said.

60: Then the high priest stood up in the midst of all, and asked Jesus: – Do you not answer anything? What is this they are saying against you? 61: But Jesus remained silent, without answering anything. The high priest asked him again: Are you the Messiah, the Son of the blessed God?

62: Jesus said to him: —Yes, I am. And you will see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of the Almighty, and coming on the clouds of heaven.63: Then the high priest tore his clothes in a sign of indignation, and said:

“What need have we of more witnesses?” 64: You have heard him say offensive words against God. What do you think? They all agreed that he was guilty and he should die. 65: Some began to spit on him, and to cover his eyes and hit him, saying: — Guess who hit you! And the temple guards hit him in the face.

Lucas only mentions a single meeting in the morning and there is no mention or explanation of the conviction. And since we already spoke before John, who does not speak of the condemnation, he only speaks of a Sanhedrin meeting that took place a week before in relation to the resurrection of Lazarus of Bethany, where Caiaphas decided that if the death of Jesus took place .

Luke 22:63-71 says: They mock Jesus, Jesus before the Supreme Board

63: The men who were watching Jesus made fun of him and beat him. 64: They covered his eyes and asked him: — Guess who hit you! 65: And they insulted him saying many other things.

66: When day came, the elders of the Jews, the chief priests, and the teachers of the law came together and brought Jesus before the Supreme Board. There they asked him: 67: —Tell us, are you the Messiah? He answered: “If I tell you yes, you won’t believe me.” 68: And if I ask them questions, they won’t answer me.

69: But from now on the Son of man will be seated at the right hand of Almighty God. 70: Then they all asked him: — So you are the Son of God? Jesus answered them, “You yourselves have said that I am.

71 Then they said, “What need do we have of more witnesses? We ourselves have heard it from his own lips.

John 11:47-53 says:

47: Then the Pharisees and the chief priests assembled the Supreme Board, and said: — What shall we do? This man is doing many miraculous signs. 48: If we let him, everyone will believe in him, and the Roman authorities will come and destroy our temple and our nation.

49: But one of them, named Caiaphas, who was the high priest that year, said to them, “You do not know anything, 50: you do not even realize that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation be destroyed.

51: But Caiaphas did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year, he prophetically said that Jesus was going to die for the Jewish nation; 52: and not only for this nation, but also to gather all the children of God who were scattered. 53: So from that day on the Jewish authorities made the decision to kill Jesus.

These are the different synoptics about the interrogation of Jesus by the Jewish authorities.

John prefers to mention that meeting that takes place just a few weeks before the death of Jesus. According to Brown, one of the first Catholic scholars to use historical criticism in exegesis, this meeting of the Sanhedrin on that occasion, before Jesus’ arrest, may seem more dignified than the urgent night session mentioned by Mark and Matthew. John takes the resurrection of Lazarus as the reason for the sentence of the Sanhedrin against Jesus.

Köstenberger also thinks that John’s mention of a Lazarus-related meeting explains his silence about the session that Mark and Matthew speak of.

Köstenberger also thinks that John’s mention of a Lazarus-related meeting explains his silence about the session that Mark and Matthew speak of. Brown points out, five points that have a concrete basis in the narratives of the 4 gospels:

  • A session of the Sanhedrin is called to consider how to deal with Jesus.
  • The night of Jesus’ arrest he was questioned by the high priest;
  • The threat Jesus posed to the Temple in those days was discussed;
  • The one who urged the others to decide the death of Jesus was the high priest, whom Matthew and John identify as Caiaphas;
  • An equivalent of a death sentence was carried out.

Ed Parish Sanders, an academic and one of the forerunners in contemporary research on  when Jesus died and his history, when analyzing the differences in the account of the trial, also believes that the nocturnal meeting of Matthew and Mark is unlikely, he says:

“It is hard to believe that a court actually met on the first night of Passover, as Matthew and Mark claim. Note that Luke says that Jesus was led to the Sanhedrin at daybreak (Lk 22,66). John does not present any judgment before the Sanhedrin. It is even harder to believe that Matthew and Mark are correct in presenting two trials: one overnight and one the next morning. It has long been thought that the night judgment (Mt 26,57-75//Mk 14,53-72) seems like an expansion of the brief note of a meeting in Mt 27,1//Mk 15,1 that is It becomes a process.”

Sanders concludes:

“We have no detailed knowledge of what happened when the high priest, and possibly other characters as well, questioned Jesus. We cannot know if “the Sanhedrin” really met. Also, I doubt that the first disciples of Jesus knew about it. […] I do not doubt that Jesus was arrested and interrogated by order of the high priest. But we cannot know more. Scholars will continue to dissect the accounts of the ‘trial’, but I am afraid that our knowledge will not be further advanced by it. The accounts give us the general impression of a confused night, and it probably was… It is unlikely that anyone, even close to the scene, knew precisely who did what. It seems impossible that those on whom the evangelists depended knew the inner motives of the actors.”

A Sanders and Brown qualify that the accusation against Jesus of blasphemy for declaring himself the Messiah and Son of God is a predominance back at the time of the Passion, of the ideas of the period of the composition of the gospels, when these terms had for Christians the they give a meaning that to non-Christian Jewish contemporaries seemed blasphemous.

“The cause which according to Matthew and Mark led to the accusation of blasphemy is the claim of Jesus to be Christ (the Messiah) and the Son of God, but that is not convincing…As almost all authors admit, neither of these propositions can be classified as blasphemous. […] Later messiah claimants were not accused of blasphemy, and the title “son of God” can mean anything. In fact, all the Israelites considered themselves “sons of God” (cf., for example, Rom 9,4), and the later Christian affirmation that Jesus was a divine being can only be considered blasphemy… It seems to me entirely conceivable that speaking and acting against the Temple might have been considered blasphemous, but according to the gospels this accusation did not lead to a sentence for blasphemy. So that, we have an accusation that could amount to blasphemy, but which we are told led to nothing, and a combination of titles that, while unlikely, are not blasphemous, but which ended in a sentence for ‘blasphemy’. The trial scene is thus improbable from all angles.”

Brown says he interprets it as the evangelists writing it for people studying the narrative’s high priest question, “Are you the Messiah, the blessed Son of God?”, as an expression of hostility .

What the 4 gospels do agree on is that, the next morning after his capture, Jesus was taken before Pontius Pilate, he was handed over to the authorities of great Rome, since trials were held there until before noon and he was taken out the death of Jesus. The procurator in Mark 15:1-15 says: Jesus before Pilate:

At dawn, the chief priests met with the elders and the teachers of the law: the entire Supreme Board. And they took Jesus bound, and handed him over to Pilate. 2: Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” “You said it,” Jesus replied.

3: As the chief priests were accusing him of many things, 4: Pilate asked him again: — Do you not answer anything? Look how many things they are accusing you of. 5: But Jesus did not answer him; so that Pilate was very surprised.

Matthew 27:11-26: Jesus before Pilate: something very similar to the Gospel Mark 15:1-15 is said. In the Gospel of Luke it is added that Pilate sends Jesus before Herod Antipas, governor of Galilee who was in Jerusalem visiting for Easter, Herod despised Jesus and sent him back to Pilate as he found no crime, much less malefactor.

Luke 23:1-25 says: Jesus before Pilate and Jesus before Herod:

23.- They all got up, and took Jesus to Pilate. 2: In his presence they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man stirring up our nation. He says that we should not pay taxes to the emperor, and further states that he is the Messiah, the King.

3: Pilate asked him: – Are you the King of the Jews? “You said it,” Jesus replied. 4: Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the people: —I find no reason in this man to condemn him.5: But they insisted with more force: —With his teachings he is stirring up all the people. He started in Galilee, and now he continues to do it here in Judea.

6: Hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was from Galilee. 7: And knowing that Jesus was from Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to him, since he also was in Jerusalem those days. 8: Seeing Jesus, Herod was very happy, because for a long time he had wanted to see him, because he had heard about him and hoped to see him perform some miracle. 9: He asked Him many questions, but Jesus did not answer him at all. 10: The chief priests and the teachers of the law were also there, accusing him with great insistence.

 11: Then Herod and his soldiers treated him with contempt, and to mock him they dressed him in luxurious clothes, like a king. Then Herod sent him back to Pilate. 12: That day Pilate and Herod became friends, who before were enemies.

The gospels present Pilate as hesitant because before his condemnation he places a crown of thorns on Jesus and the charge written on the charge sign indicates that he was sentenced to die on the cross under the charge of pronouncement, considering that he had announced himself king. of the Jews.

Flagellation before the death of Jesus

All this disagrees with what was defined by Flavio Josephus, who was a Pharisee Jewish historian, and has descendants from a family of priests, he said that Pilate’s personality was violent and acts of extreme cruelty. In addition, the episode that presents Pilate granting the people the decision to release a prisoner by acclamation on the occasion of the Passover festival lacks valid precedent in Roman, Jewish and Hellenistic sources.

Until now It is not known how many lashes Jesus was given, since it is said that in Jewish law only 39 blows were given, now the Romans used to give much more. The subsequent disgrace that included dressing him up as a king with a red cloak, a reed in his right hand as a scepter and a crown of thorns, are customary for the legions, who choose a slave on the Saturnalia of the end of the year to dress him as a king, humiliate him and then sacrifice him. The Roman soldiers spat on him and beat him. They mocked him saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”

John 18:28-19:16 narrates: Jesus before Pilate

29: That is why Pilate went out to speak to them. He said to them: – What do you accuse this man of? 30: “If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.” 31: Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves, and judge him according to his own law.” But the Jewish authorities replied: “We Jews do not have the right to kill anyone.”

32 Thus was fulfilled what Jesus had said about the manner in which he would have to die. 33 Pilate went back into the palace, called Jesus and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews? 34: Jesus said to him, “Are you asking this on your own, or because others have told you about me?” 35: Pilate answered him, “Am I a Jew? Those of your nation and the chief priests are the ones who have handed you over to me. What have you done?

36 Jesus answered him, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, I would have people in my service who would fight so that I would not be handed over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from here. 37: Then Pilate asked him: So you are a king? Jesus replied, “You have said it: I am a king. I was born and came into the world to tell what is the truth. And all who belong to the truth, listen to me. 38: Pilate said to him: “And what is truth?

Jesus is sentenced to death:

After asking this question, Pilate went out again to speak to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no crime in this man. 39 But you have the custom that I release a prisoner for you during the Passover feast: do you want me to set the King of the Jews free for you? 40: They all shouted again: — Not that one! Release Barrabas! And Barabbas was a bandit.

19. Pilate then took Jesus and had him flogged. 2: The soldiers braided a crown of thorns, put it on Jesus’ head, and dressed him in a dark red cloak. 3: Then they came up to him, saying, “Long live the King of the Jews!” And they hit him in the face.

4: Pilate went out again, and said to them: —Look, here I bring him, so that you realize that I find no crime in him. 5: So Jesus came out with the crown of thorns on his head and dressed in that dark red cloak. Pilate said, “There you have this man!”6: When the chief priests and the temple guards saw him, they began to shout, “Crucify him!” crucify him! Pilate said to them, “Well, take him away and crucify him yourselves, because I find no crime in him.”

7: The Jewish authorities answered him: —We have a law, and according to our law he must die, because he has pretended to be the Son of God. 8: Hearing this, Pilate was even more afraid. 9: he entered the palace again and asked Jesus: — Where are you from? But Jesus did not answer him.

10: Pilate said to him: – Are you not going to answer me? Do you not know that I have authority to crucify you, as well as to set you free? 11: Then Jesus answered him: —You would not have any authority over me, if God had not allowed you to do so; Therefore, the one who gave me to you is more guilty of sin than you.12: From that moment, Pilate was looking for a way to set Jesus free; but the Jews shouted at him: “If you set him free, you are no friend of the emperor!” Anyone who makes himself a king is an enemy of the emperor!

13: Pilate, hearing this, brought Jesus out, and then sat on the court, in the place that in Hebrew was called Gabatá, which means The Stoned. 14: It was the day before Passover, about noon. Pilate said to the Jews, “Here is your king!

15: But they shouted:—Get out! Outside! crucify him! Pilate asked them, “Am I going to crucify your king? And the chief priests answered him: – We have no king but the emperor! 16: Then Pilate handed Jesus over to them to be crucified, and they took him away.

Jesus to Calvary

It is said that Jesus, as he was being led out to be executed, forced a man named Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross. In the synoptics of the gospels, there is never any mention of Jesus falling to the ground under the weight of the cross or of a woman named Veronica wiping his face with a cloth: these stories stem from later ecclesiastical tradition.

Where does Jesus die? According to the Gospel of John, Simon of Cyrene is not mentioned either, but instead describes Jesus carrying his own cross, to a place called Calvary, which means, in Aramaic, “place of the skull.” The Gospel of Mark 15:25 says that Jesus was crucified at the third hour (9 a.m.), while the Gospel of John 19:14-16 says it was at the sixth hour (11 a.m. to 12 noon). ). Matthew 27:38 and Luke 23:33 say that he was crucified between two robbers or criminals, one to his left and one to his right.

Making an estimate of a full classical cross, it is estimated that it would have weighed around 100 kg, making it impossible for a man weakened by torture to carry it. This confusion stems from the fact that the Greek word for cross (stauros) was used in classical sources to refer indistinctly to any component part of it, and not precisely to a complete cross. In Judea crucifixions were not very tall, since the most available wood for executions would be olive and these trees are not very tall, which would suggest that people were crucified “at eye level”.

Sign with the inscription of the position

The Gospel of John 19:19 says that Jesus’ cargo sign read “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews” (ιησους ο ναζωραιος ο βασιλευς των ιουδαιων). 26 only says: “The king of the Jews” (ο βασιλευς των ιουδαιων) Luke 23:38 “This is the king of the Jews” (ο βασιλευς των ιουδαιων ουτος); and in Matthew 27:37 “This is Jesus the King of the Jews” (ουτος εστιν ιησους ο βασιλευς των ιουδαιων).

Only in John 19:19-22 is the objection of the chief priests mentioned.

19.- Pilate ordered that a sign be placed on the cross in which was written: «Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews». 20: Many of the Jews read it, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city. The sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek.

21: “Do not write ‘King of the Jews’,” the chief Jewish priests protested to Pilate. It was he who claimed to be king of the Jews. 22: “What I have written remains written,” Pilate replied.

Exploitation and death

The word Exploitation refers to, Unfairly and violently taking something that belongs to a person, in the execution groups in ancient Rome they were made up of 4 soldiers and 1 centurion, they claim the victim’s property as part of his salary (expollatio). The Bible tells that, after the crucifixion, the soldiers shared Jesus’ clothes.

It is possible that the drink that was offered to Jesus while he was on the cross was the “posca”, a weak, acid or bitter wine, known in Latin as “acetum (vinegar)”, In the time of Jesus Christ, the Roman soldiers they drank it In the gospel it is said that he refused to drink a sour wine mixed and drugged with myrrh (or gall) that was presented to alleviate his suffering. Many believe that this wine was prepared by the women of Jerusalem to ease the pain of crucifixion victims.

When it was already 3 in the afternoon, Jesus pronounced: “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabactani”, which in Aramaic is defined as: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”. His last words were: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” John 19:25-30 makes no mention of Elijah, it says that Jesus naturally expressed himself by saying “Everything has been fulfilled”, thus the final words of Jesus also differ in the gospels.

Mark 15:33-41 and Matthew 27:45-50 say something like: Death of Jesus:

33: When noon came, the whole land was in darkness until three in the afternoon. 34: At that same hour, Jesus shouted loudly: “Eloí, Eloí, lema sabactani?” (meaning: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) 35: Some of those who were there heard him and said, “Hey, he’s calling Elijah the prophet.”

36: Then one of them ran, soaked a sponge in sour wine, tied it to a reed, and brought it to Jesus to drink, saying, “Let him alone, let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down from the cross.”

37: But Jesus gave a loud cry, and died. 38 And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 The Roman captain, who was in front of Jesus, seeing that he had died, said: “Truly this man was the Son of God.

40 There were also some women watching from afar; among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joseph, and Salome. 41 These women had followed Jesus and helped him when he was in Galilee. Besides, there were many others there who had gone with him to Jerusalem.

Nail placement

The renowned doctor Frederick Zugibe, forensic doctor of the county of New York, tells us that the nails with which they fix Jesus to the cross could have been located between the palm, at the base of the thumb and resurfacing through the wrist, crossing through the carpal tunnel. Well, the gospels say that Jesus’ hands were nailed, but let’s remember that the Greek word for hand is “χείρ (kheír)”, this refers to the forearm as to the hand.

John 20:25 speaks of: Thomas sees the risen Lord

24: Thomas, one of the twelve disciples, who was called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus arrived. 25: Then the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord. But Tomás answered them: “If I don’t see the nail wounds in his hands, and if I don’t put my finger in them and my hand on his side, I won’t be able to believe it.”

26: Eight days later, the disciples had met again in a house, and this time Thomas was there too. Their doors were closed, but Jesus entered, stood in their midst and greeted them, saying, “Peace be with you!” 27: Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger in here, and look at my hands; and bring your hand and put it in my side. Do not be incredulous; believe! 28: Thomas then exclaimed:—My Lord and my God! 29: Jesus said to him, “Do you believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who believe without having seen!

Research led by Professor Joe Zias and Dr. Eliezer Seketes, from the University where the investigation of the crucifixion was conducted, showed that the nail which had been supposed to be 17 to 18 cm long was actually of only 11.5 cm, with which each foot was nailed separately to each side of the cross. While the investigation was underway, a piece of acacia wood was found between the bone and the nail head, possibly used to prevent the heels from sliding through the nail. This may have been how Jesus was pinned to the cross.

Given this, there are two hypotheses as to how Jesus could have been a nail. In the oldest representations of the crucifixion the feet of Jesus appear nailed separately (5th century), but in the later representations they are crossed and fixed to the vertical pole with a single nail”. Either way, the Romans loved cruelty, they were really quite ingenious to nail the prisoners in different positions on a cross, as Flavius ​​Josephus expresses them.

In different Christian artistic customs it also shows Crucifixion Sedile (Latin: Suppedaneum) a to fix the feet of Christ, which consists of a table to support the feet next to a cross, which was used in the Crucifixion in the Roman Empire as a method to lengthen the duration of an execution with torture.

In the gospels it is not specified how the nails were placed or the exact number of nails used to crucify Jesus.

Causes of the death of Jesus

Jesus’ death on the cross is thought to have happened for many reasons, such as:

  • Hypovolemic shock as a result of bleeding caused by whipping and nails.
  • Generalized sepsis from infected wounds.
  • It could also be due to the mixture of a series of causes such as dehydration, sunstroke, chronic fatigue, which could eventually lead to cardiac arrest.
  • A cardiac rupture would have been related to previous myocardial damage that could have occurred due to a blow to the chest during the performance.

For all these reasons, it would be unfair to affirm that the death of Jesus was due to a single cause. Theories exist that establish that the typical cause of death on the cross was suffocation. Since the entire weight of the body is supported by the outstretched arms, the condemned man had severe problems inhaling, due to the instability of the intercostal and chest muscles.

It is said that the Romans, when they wanted to hasten the death of the crucified, used to fracture the legs with iron mallets, since in this way the victim was left without support to be able to get up and continue breathing. There are researchers who believe that Jesus’ death occurred as a result of a “heartbreak,” due to the gospel story of water and blood flowing from Christ’s wound.

John 19:34 speaks of this; The spear in the side of Jesus:

31: It was the day before Passover, and the Jews did not want the bodies to remain on the crosses during the Sabbath, because that Saturday was very solemn. That is why they asked Pilate to order the legs of the crucified to be broken and the bodies to be removed from there. 32: The soldiers then went and broke the legs of the first, and also the other who was crucified with Jesus.

33: But as they approached Jesus, they saw that he was already dead. That is why they did not break his legs.34: However, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35: The one who tells this is one who saw it, and he tells the truth; he knows that he tells the truth, so that you too believe. 36: Because these things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled, which says: “No bone shall be broken.” 37: And elsewhere, the Scripture says, “They will look at the one they pierced.”

Even so, there are those who defend the hypothesis that Jesus could not have died on the cross, but simply fallen unconscious.

Date of When did Jesus die?

In the gospels the date is not specified, the synoptics only say that Jesus would have been crucified on the same day of the Jewish Passover, while in the Gospel of John it was on the eve of that feast.

The Encyclopedia Judaica explains:

“We have to suppose that Jesus celebrated the festival the day before, according to Galilean custom, in case the festival had to coincide with the Sabbath. For according to the concept of [the Pharisaic school of Shamay], prevailing in Galilee, the sacrifice of the Passover lamb was a private sacrifice and was not admissible on the Sabbath.”

What is established in the canonical gospels (Matthew 27:27-61; Mark 15:1-47; Luke 23:25-54; John 19:1-38) is that Jesus was crucified at the command of Pontius Pilate. According to Flavius ​​Josephus, Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea between 26 AD. C. until he was replaced by Marcelo, either in the year 36 or 37 AD. C., we can establish the date of the death of Jesus between the years 26 and 37 d. c.

astronomical aspects

When Jesus died it is said that the sky darkened but a solar eclipse could not happen on a date very close to the fourteenth of Nisan, because in the Jewish calendar, every year on that date, the moon appears as full. An eclipse happens when the earth is between the moon and the sun and the astronomical phenomenon only occurs when there is a new moon, that is, when the moon is between the earth and the sun. Furthermore, a solar eclipse does not last three hours. All four Gospels indicate that the crucifixion occurred around noon. Those of Mateo and Marcos say that there were three hours of darkness. Luke uses a term that can mean that the sun was eclipsed.

Matthew 27:45-56: Death of Jesus

45: From noon until mid-afternoon the whole land was left in darkness. 46: Around three in the afternoon, Jesus shouted loudly: —Elí, Elí, lama sabactani? (meaning: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). 47: When they heard it, some of those who were there said, “He is calling Elijah.

48: Instantly one of them ran in search of a sponge. He soaked it in vinegar, put it on a reed, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49: The others said: —Let him alone, let’s see if Elijah comes to save him. 50: Then Jesus shouted loudly again, and gave up his spirit.

51: At that moment the curtain of the sanctuary of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. 52: The graves were opened, and many saints who had died were resurrected. 53: They came out of the tombs and, after the resurrection of Jesus, they entered the holy city and appeared to many.

54: When the centurion and those who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and everything that had happened, they were terrified and exclaimed: – Truly this was the Son of God! 55: There were many women who had followed Jesus from Galilee to serve him, looking from afar. 56: Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons. 

Luke 23:45-47 says: Crucifixion and death of Jesus

45: And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in the middle. 46: Then Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said: Father, into your hands I commend my spirit. And having said this, he expired. 47: When the centurion saw what had happened, he gave glory to God, saying: Truly this man was just.

 descent from the cross

Taking into account that the spear that pierced Jesus on the cross could have pierced the lung and the heart on the right side, and since all this happens after the Lord had died, there could be evidence of lacerations on the corpse that would disturb a vital organ and would cause the immediate death of Jesus.

By lowering Jesus from the cross and placing him in a horizontal position, he favored him because of the hardness of his body. There are researchers who say that it may have been possible that some of the fluid from the pulmonary and pleural edema escaped through the mouth and nostrils, wetting the shroud placed around the head. Normally, these liquids could contain blood particles, which is common in anyone who has died from acute pulmonary edema. This is also known as pulmonary flooding.

In short, the death of Jesus is the result of a long agonizing process that has lasted approximately 12 hours since two in the morning on Thursday night, beginning with the crowing of the rooster in which Peter’s denial occurred, without the Agony that lived in the Garden happened shortly before his arrest, until 3 in the afternoon after noon, this is the time of the following Friday.

For the Jews it was customary to wrap the head of the deceased with a shroud or cloth, especially if it was especially disfigured.

The Gospels of, Matthew 15:42-47, Luke 23:50-56 and John 19:38-42: Jesus is buried

57: When evening came, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had also been a disciple of Jesus. 58: He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded that the body be given to him. 59: And Joseph taking the body, he wrapped it in a clean sheet, 60: and put it in his new tomb, which he had hewn out of the rock; and after rolling a great stone at the entrance of the tomb, he went away. 61: And Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, seated before the tomb.

It is said that the moment Joseph of Arimathea unpins Jesus from the Cross and proceeds to place the inactive body of Jesus on the ground, he holds him in his arms, removes the crown of thorns, and perhaps he could perceive that from the neck and on Jesus’ shoulders a pleasant scent of valuable, legitimate nard, which a woman generously sprinkled on his hair a few days before his crucifixion.

Matthew 26:7 tells: A woman anoints Jesus at Bethany

6: While Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon called the Leper, 7: a woman approached with an alabaster jar filled with a very expensive perfume, and poured it on Jesus’ head while he was sitting at the table. 8: Seeing this, the disciples were indignant. “Why this waste?” they said. 9: This perfume could have been sold for a lot of money to give to the poor. 10: Aware of this, Jesus said to them:

“Why are you bothering this woman?” She has done a beautiful work with me. 11 You will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. 12 As she poured this perfume on my body, she did it in order to prepare for her burial. 13 I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached in the world, what she did will also be told in memory of this woman.

Real and proven existence of the death of Jesus

For many, the fact that Jesus lived and died is a lie, but the fact of his public death that has altered the course of history is true. You do not need to go to the Bible for verification. There are several references to Jesus given the impact that Jesus had on the whole world. At his time in history That lasted a century. The Roman historian governor Tacitus is said to have made a highly suggestive reference to Jesus when he described how Nero martyred first-century Christians (in AD 65) as scapegoats for the burning of Rome.

“Nero… punished with the most refined penalties those whom the common people hated for their wickedness and called Christians. The one who gave them this name, Christ, had been condemned to death during the empire of Tiberius by the procurator Pontius Pilate. This disastrous superstition, repressed for the moment, spread again not only in Judea, the place of origin of evil, but also in the city of Rome” Tacitus. Annals XV. 44

Perhaps the best way to try to answer all these questions is to think of all possible alternatives and see which one makes the most sense – without prejudging by “faith” any supernatural explanation. But today, they give the crucifixion of Jesus an unprecedented authentic endorsement for an ancient character. Well, from theological-exegesis and the phrase: “Without his death, Jesus would not have been historical” which is supported by modern historiography; even the most radical criticism according to the consensus of the scholars of Jesus as an “accidental fact, but historical in the end”.

The facts of Jesus’ baptism and his crucifixion are considered two true facts about Jesus. Here are words and what various Christian and non-Christian researchers express:

  • James Dunn who states “that there are two facts in the life of Jesus: the baptism of Jesus and the crucifixion of Jesus that claim almost universal acceptance” and that “highlight with such pre-eminence… those facts that are impossible to doubt or deny…in the scale of historical events” that are very often the starting points in the study of the historical Jesus.
  • Bart Ehrman expresses that the crucifixion of Jesus by command of Pontius Pilate is the most reliable fact that we have about Jesus, it is as true as any other historical statement can be.
  • Eddy and Boyd along with Craig Blomberg state that as of this date it has already been “firmly defined” that we have access to non-Christian confirmation of the crucifixion of Jesus. they say that the vast majority of scholars of the third “quest for the historical Jesus” regard the crucifixion as indisputable.
  • Christopher M. Tuckett teaches that although the precise reasons for Jesus’ death are difficult to determine, one of the indisputable facts about him is that he was crucified. ​

Although it is true, there are still quite derogatory theories of other religious visions such as The Koran, it is a book that was written until around 500 to 600 years after the death of Christ. Some believe that Mohammed personally wrote this holy book for many, but he did not. The transmission of his doctrine was oral and after his death it was when it acquired the form of a manuscript and in it are the revelations that Muhammad had in Mecca and Medina. Today in Islamic schools the memory of him continues to be taught, a tradition that has lasted for more than 1,300 years.

Koran 4:157-158 says in the story. Muslims who consider that Jesus mentioned as Isa, Prophet and Envoy of God Allah, was not crucified or killed but Allah, that is, God raised him to himself.

The cross of Christ

The cross represents the primary symbol for Christians. Its shape is different in different Christian groups, for example, for the Catholic Church its representation is: a vertical line crossed at the top by a horizontal line is known or called a Latin cross. For the Orthodox Church, the cross with eight arms predominates, which are made up of a vertical line and three horizontal ones. For Christians the cross is represented as a “tree of salvation”, but for all religions it refers to the method of execution when Jesus died .

By imagining the cross we say that it is the manifestation of fulfillment and fullness of Jesus. For us to understand the meaning of the cross, we would have to understand the mysteries hidden by God. Now, the original word used in the Bible to refer to this instrument of death, σταυρός (saturós), primarily meant only “pole”, “stake” and later came to be used.

It is on the cross where the most amazing elevations of wisdom are combined, it is about the discovery of the infinite love that is there, it expresses the culmination of the hidden truths beyond humiliation, all this is because on the cross there is also the fact of resurrection this is there. The word cross came to be used, already before Christ, to refer to a wide range of crosses that were used by the Romans in classical antiquity.

We can say that the door to the highest of the dimensions of its truth. Some mystical interpretations clarify that the vertical portion represents the death of Jesus and his divinity and the horizontal portion represents his humanity. For some researchers like:

Raymond Edward Brown who states: “The term “cross” conditions our concept of it, because it conveys the idea of ​​two intersecting lines, despite the impossibility of knowing for sure, on the sole basis of the meaning of the word σταυρός , what was the specific form of the cross on which Jesus died, is if it can be concluded from the fact that Simon of Cyrene or Jesus himself carried the cross to the place of execution, which must refer to the patibulum that was to serve as a crossbar of the execution cross. Thus, therefore, Jesus died on a compact crux.

Evidence of the shape of the cross is found in the interpretation given by early Christians to its posture of prayer. For the Odes of Solomon (from the end of the 1st century to the beginning of the 2nd century AD), the praying position, the representation of the silhouette of the praying person, the cross and the crucifixion of Jesus were somehow not understood by non-scientists. initiates. Thus, Christians prayed with their arms outstretched in the form of a cross, this was the figure that the first Christians took when praying, it represented the position of Jesus on the cross. While the pagans prayed with their hands raised above their heads.

Between 150 and 270 he also compares the shape of the cross (crux) to that of a man who prays with outstretched hands and to other similar symbols: Minutius Félix, lawyer and apologist from Rome, says that “Well, we see the sign of the cross, as it is natural, in a boat carried with full sails or gliding with outstretched oars; and when the crossbar is raised it is the sign of the cross; and when a man with outstretched hands worships God with a pure mind.”

In the British Museum Presents Jesus bearded and naked, tied by ropes to the crossbar of a cross. The Greek language inscription combines magical words with Christian terms. The catalog description of an exhibit in which it was included observes: “The appearance of the crucifixion on an engraved gem of such an early date suggests that images of the crucifix (now lost) may have been widespread in the second and third centuries, more probably in conventional Christian contexts.”

The terminology used to refer to various forms of cross was made by Justo Lipsio in 1594. The fundamental distinction is based on the number of pieces of wood used to make the cross, one or two. If it consists of a single piece, it is a crux simplex ad affixionem: a single vertical post to which the condemned man is tied with his hands raised above his head. If it consists of two pieces, it is a crux compacta: a set in which the condemned man has his arms extended to both sides. As a subdivision of the crux compact, Lipsius distinguished between the crux decussata (X-shaped), the crux commissa of T) and the crux immissa (in the form of †).

mention of the cross in the bible

The bible refers to the cross as the instrument on which Jesus died and Jesus was executed “by hanging on a tree” and both words refer to a single piece of wood. In Acts 5:30 it speaks of Peter and John being persecuted:

17: Then the high priest rose up and all who were with him, that is, the sect of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy; 18: And they laid hands on the apostles and put them in the public prison. 19: But an angel of the Lord, opening the prison doors by night and bringing them out, said: 20: Go, and stand up in the temple, announce to the people all the words of this life.

21: Having heard this, they entered the temple early in the morning, and taught. Meanwhile, the high priest and those who were with him came, and summoned the council and all the elders of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to be brought. 22: But when the officers came, they did not find them in the jail; then they came back and gave notice,

23: saying: Verily, we have found the jail securely locked, and the guards outside standing before the gates; but when we opened, we found no one inside. 24: When the high priest and the chief of the temple guard and the chief priests heard these words, they doubted what would come of it.

25: But when someone came, he told them this: Behold, the men whom you put in prison are in the temple, and they teach the people. 26: Then the chief of the guard went with the bailiffs, and he brought them without violence, because they feared being stoned by the people. 27: When they brought them, they presented them in council, and the high priest asked them,

28: saying: Did we not strictly command you not to teach in that name? And now you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and you want to shed that man’s blood on us. 29: Answering Peter and the apostles, they said: It is necessary to obey God before men.

30: The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree.

31: Him God has exalted with his right hand as Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32: And we are his witnesses of these things, and also the Holy Spirit, which God has given to those who obey him. 33: They, hearing this, became enraged and wanted to kill them.

34: Then a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, revered by all the people, rose up in the council and ordered the apostles to be brought out for a moment, 35: and then he said: Men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you are going to do. do with respect to these men.36: For before these days Theudas arose, saying that he was someone. He was joined by a number of about four hundred men; but he was killed, and all who obeyed him were scattered and reduced to nothing.

37: After him, Judas the Galilean arose, in the days of the census, and led a great people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were scattered.38: And now I say to you, turn away from these men, and leave them; because if this advice or this work is of men, it will vanish; 39: but if it belongs to God, you will not be able to destroy it; you may not be found fighting against God.

40: And agreed with him; and calling the apostles, after flogging them, they warned them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and they released them. Of the name. 42: And every day, in the temple and in the houses, they did not stop teaching and preaching Jesus Christ.

Everything that is minutely hidden in each drop of his blood shed by Jesus on the cross is so deep and so wonderful that for the Apostle Paul he lived this truth, and it was his ardent longing to live crucified together with Christ, so that everything that Jesus era will manifest through your being.

In 2 Corinthians 4:10: Living by Faith, he explains:

7: But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the excellence of the power may be of God, and not of us, 8: that we are troubled in everything, but not distressed; in distress, but not desperate; 9: persecuted, but not abandoned; shot down, but not destroyed;

10: Carrying the death of Jesus everywhere in our bodies, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11: For we who live are always given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that life of Jesus is manifested in our mortal flesh. 12: So that death works in us, and life in you.

13: But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written: I believed, therefore I spoke, we also believe, therefore we also speak, 14: knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will present us with you.

15: For we suffer all these things for your sake, so that grace abounding through many, thanksgiving may abound to the glory of God. 16: Therefore we do not lose heart; Before, although this exterior man of ours wears out, the interior, however, is renewed day by day.

17: Because this slight momentary tribulation produces in us an ever more excellent and eternal weight of glory; 18: We do not look at the things that are seen, but at the things that are not seen; for things that are seen are temporary, but things that are not seen are eternal.

Symbology and meaning of the cross

Whenever we refer to the cross, people think that it is the image with which Christianity is represented, but this symbol is very old and over time it has changed its simple form, to adapt to different cultures and beliefs, adopting this way different new interpretations always referring to when Jesus died.

  1. Tau cross: It belongs to the nineteenth letter of the Greek alphabet, which in turn, comes from the last letter of the Phoenician and Hebrew alphabet. Originally, its meaning was “life”, but over the centuries it has become a symbol of different religious orders, with a new meaning: “salvation”. This cross is also known as the cross of San Antón, and was used by San Francisco himself as his personal seal, from there it became associated with the Franciscans.
  2. Egyptian Cross: Also known as the Cross of Life, “Anj” or “Cruz Ansada”, it is extremely fascinating. It was born in Ancient Egypt as a hieroglyph, its meaning is “life”, and it can also be seen frequently in Egyptian art. It passed into Christianity through the Copts, or better known as Egyptian Christians.
  3. Cross of peace: The beginnings of that cross begin in the stage of primitive Christianity. The symbols that can be seen on the front of the cross correspond to the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, Alpha and Omega, which take on their Christian meaning from the famous quote from the book of Revelation, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last”, which represents the eternal essence of God.
  4.  Christian cross: In the Christian world, the cross represents the instrument of crucifixion of Jesus. Despite its simple design, the cross has grown to have too many variables, each of which has its own meaning.
  5. Cross of the Good Shepherd: the cross that has been chosen by Cardinal Bergoglio to accompany him in his papacy. This pastoral cross is extremely different from the others, because it has a style and shape that is unique in its kind. Moreover, in addition to not being a crucifix, it puts the focus on the role that Pope Francis wants to play for us: that of the Good Shepherd, guiding us through the difficulties of life, and helping us to continue on the right path.

cross type

Brow has been indicating that there are different types of cross used by the Romans and here we will be defining each one of them. Crux commissa, immissa, simplex and Cruz tree was the place where the notch was available in the vertical post, or on top or on the side, where to insert the crossbar brought to the place of execution for the condemned.

Crux commissa

The crux commissa, or “St Anthony’s cross” as the Greek and Latin sources express this cross, was the most common form and the one used by the Roman Empire for crucifixions. Well, for this one it was not so forced when lowering the wood to place the sign of the position, since it could be placed and add an attachment for it, or to increase the angle of the arms to leave a space above the head.

The use of this cross became popular and common for the Romans, who over time came to be considered as the natural form of the cross, it represents the form of the cross of Christ present in the early paleo-Christian art, and in the oldest writings on the cross of Jesus.

Lucian of Samosata, Syrian-Greek writer of the 2nd century AD. C., in his work “El Juicio de las Vocales”, confirmed the popularity of this type of cross:

“Thus he reviles men (the letter Τ) as to words; and indeed, how he outrages them! Lamenting the men, they deplore their misfortune and curse Cadmus for having introduced the Tau (Τ) in the Guild of letters. They say that the tyrants took it as a model and imitated its form to carve the same type of wood and fix men on a cross on them; and that from this infamous machine comes its infamous name. I believe that no other lesser penalty can be imposed on her than to condemn her to the execution of herself, so that in her very figure she may atone for her crime, since the cross was formed for her and for her men also called it that. ”.

In relation to the Christian writers of the first centuries who blame this form of cross for the death of Christ, they are based on the comparison they make with the letter Tau that is related to the word “stauros” this does not imply that According to the rules of the etymology “stauros” means “to fix in Tau”, but it is a play on words that manifests the usual way in which men remembered this instrument of death.

The pseudo-epigraphic that consists in assigning or signing a document with the name of someone famous from the Epistle of Barnabas by an anonymous author appears in quotations from Clement of Alexandria and Origen in the middle of the 2nd century AD. C. and for this reason it was strummed no later than the first half of that century, or at the end of the 1st century AD. C.., which would form it in one of the oldest texts of Christianity, together with the Dianche this work explains that the execution cross (σταυρὸς) is very similar to the letter T:

“Abraham, who was the first to practice circumcision, circumcised his household by looking forward in spirit to Jesus, taking the three-letter symbols. Indeed, the Scripture says: And Abraham of his house circumcised three hundred and eighteen men. Now, what is the knowledge that was given to him? Note that he puts the eighteen first and, pausing, the three hundred. The eighteen is composed of the I, which is worth ten, and the H, which represents eight. There you have the name of IHSOUS.

More like the cross had to have grace in the figure of the T, it also says the three hundred. Consequently, in the first two letters it means Jesus, and in another, the cross.” In turn, it is said that Moses made “a figure of the cross and of him who was to suffer on it” (τύπον σταυροῦ καὶ τοῦ μέλλοντος πάσχειν) by extending his arms to save the people from defeat.

In Exodus 17:8-13 it is narrated: War with Amalek

8: Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim. 9: And Moses said to Joshua: Choose men, and go out to fight against Amalek; tomorrow I will be on the top of the hill, and the rod of God in my hand. 10: And Joshua did as Moses told him, fighting against Amalek; and Moses and Aaron and Hur went up to the top of the hill.

11: And it happened that when Moses raised his hand, Israel prevailed; but when he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed.12: And Moses’ hands grew weary; so they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur held up his hands, the one on one side and the other on the other; so his hands were firm until the sun went down.

13: And Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

All this is done to show that the writer of the Epistle could not be the Apostle Barnabas McClintock and Strong’s 1867 Cyclopædia stated: “Evidently the writer was not acquainted with the Hebrew Scriptures and has made the folly of supposing that Abraham knew the Hebrew Scriptures.” Greek alphabet several centuries before it existed.”

Said Epistle was handled for the allegorical interpretation of the Scriptures, as many Fathers did in the different Churches, this technique admitted by antecedents in the same Scriptures, having been widely used by the writers of the New Testament, in Paul his Epistle to the Galatians He says:

Tertullian (wrote between 190 and 220 AD) “But, to go back to Moses now, I wonder why, when Joshua was fighting Amalek, he did not pray sitting down, but stretched out his hands…? Unless there, […] the figure of the cross was also necessary…”. “Now the Greek letter TAU in our own letter is a T and it is the same shape as the cross”’.

Jerome (lived 347-420 AD) “What is he saying indignantly? ‘This could have been sold for more than three hundred pence!’, because he, who was anointed with this perfume, was crucified. We read in Genesis that the ark that Noah built was three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide, and thirty cubits high. Note the mystical importance of the numbers […] The three hundred contains the symbol of the crucifixion. The letter T (tau) is the sign for three hundred.” ​

immissa crux

This cross represents the Christian iconography is the most common is personified with the crossbar lowered. The Gospel of Matthew says that the titulus was placed “above and above” the head of Jesus.

See in Matthew 27:37, Jesus is crucified:

32: As they left there, they found a man named Simon, a native of Cyrene, whom they forced to carry the cross of Jesus. 33: When they came to a place called Golgotha, (ie, “Place of the Skull”), 34: they gave him wine mixed with gall to drink; but Jesus, after tasting it, did not want to drink it.

35: When they had already crucified him, the soldiers cast lots to divide Jesus’ clothing among themselves. 36: Then they sat there to watch him. 37 And above his head they put a sign, on which was written the cause of his condemnation. The sign read: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 38: Two bandits were also crucified with him, one to his right and one to his left.

 39: Those who passed by insulted him, shaking their heads 40: and saying: —You were going to tear down the temple and rebuild it in three days! If you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!41: In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law, along with the elders, mocked him. They were saying:

42: —He saved others, but he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel: let him come down from the cross, and we will believe in him! 43: he Has put his trust in God: well God save him now, if he really wants it! Has He not told us that He is the Son of God? 44: And even the bandits who were crucified with him, insulted him.  

From the prefix used in the Gospels of Luke «on him». (Gr.: ἐπάνω, epanō), ἐπί (“above”) and ἄνω (“over”), see Luke 23:38 : Jesus is crucified:

26: When they took Jesus to be crucified, they seized a man from Cyrene named Simon, who was coming from the field, and made him carry the cross and carry it behind Jesus. 27: Many people and many women who cried and cried out in sadness for him, they followed him. 28: But Jesus looked at them and said, “Women of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but for yourselves and for your children.

29: Because the days will come when it will be said: “Blessed are those who cannot have children, women who did not give birth or have children to raise.” 30: Then the people will begin to say to the mountains: “Fall on us!” and to the hills: “Hide us!” 31: Because if they do all this with the green tree, what won’t they do with the dry one?

32: They also led two criminals, to crucify them together with Jesus. 33: When they arrived at the place called La Calavera, they crucified Jesus and the two criminals, one to his right and one to his left. [34: Jesus said: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”] And the soldiers cast lots to divide Jesus’ clothing among themselves. 

35 The people was there looking; and even the authorities mocked him, saying: “He saved others; that he save himself now, if he really is the Messiah of God and his chosen one of him .36: The soldiers also made fun of Jesus. They approached and gave him sour wine to drink, 37:saying to him: — If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!

38: And there was a sign above his head, which said: “This is the King of the Jews.”

39: One of the criminals who were hanged, insulted him: – If you are the Messiah, save yourself and save us too! 40: But the other rebuked his companion, saying: – Are you not afraid of God? , you who are under the same punishment? 41: We are suffering with all reason, because we are paying the just punishment for what we have done; but this man did nothing wrong. 42: Then he added: —Jesus, remember me when you begin to reign. 4 3: Jesus replied: —I assure you that today you will be with me in paradise.

Brown tells us that this is the last delineation due to the representation of the cross in the form of crux immissa instead of crux commissa. If Jesus had been fixed on a crux simplex or commissa, the title would have been placed on his hands or at a height that would have made it very difficult for him to breathe.

It is Professor JH Bernard who indicates that this statement in Matthew “suggests that the cross was of the form called crux immissa, with a crossbar for the arms, as painters have generally represented it to be.” The “International Standard Bible Encyclopedia” makes the same observation: “The form normally seen in paintings, the crux immissa (Latin Cross “†”), is one where the right post projects with a shorter crossbar. From the mention of the inscription nailed over the head of Jesus, it may be safely inferred that this is the form of the cross on which he died.”

The Christian writers of the first centuries who professed that this was the shape of the cross of Jesus, we have in addition to the already mentioned anonymous author of the Epistle of Barnabas: In his First Apology Justin stated:

[…] the cross is now the greatest symbol of God’s power and sovereignty. In fact, we can all observe that the shape of the cross is essential to our routine affairs of life. For example, you use the cross every time you sail across the sea, the mast forms a cross. The farmer’s plow is of this shape, as are most of the tools used by craftsmen and workers. Also, look at the shape of the human body and how it differs from irrational animals. We differ from animals in that we stand upright. And when our arms are extended we form the figure of the cross (τὸ σχῆμα τοῦ σταυροῦ). Finally, look at your own flags and military standards. These also have the shape of the cross.

crux simplex

One of the ways to represent the cross of Christ is with the “crux simplex ad affixionem” or vertical pole without a crossbar, with the hands directly above the head which is supported by various scholars and religious of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Pastor Hermann Fulda reflects in his writings from the year 1878: “Trees were not available in every place that was chosen for a public execution. For this reason, a simple beam was sunk into the ground. To this, with her hands raised upwards, and frequently with her feet as well, she tied or nailed the outlaws.” Indeed, it seems that the Romans could sometimes use the simple crucifixion form without a crossbar, even directly on living trees, in this regard

Joe Zias states in his opinion that: “The number of individuals to be crucified, in fact, may have determined the way the execution took shape. Thus, as in the case of the account of 6,000 prisoners of war who were crucified along the Appian Way between the cities of Rome and Capua [when Spartacus rebelled], as part of a victory celebration, it seems plausible which is used in the fastest and most efficient way. That would be simply tying the victim to the tree or cross with their hands suspended directly above their head.”

Zias does not comment on the death of Jesus, a situation in which the condemned were three, not 6,000.

There are 2 objections to this:

  1. One that has been presented to this hypothesis referring to the case of Jesus is the description of the Gospels themselves, where a plurality of nails used in the hands of Christ is implied. Also the mention that the charge sign was on the head of Jesus, and not on his hands, would present a refutation of this thesis.
  2. It is that, as has been seen, the Christians of the second century, at the same stage of the composition of the Gospels, knowing the usual manner of Roman crucifixion, never describe the cross of Christ as a crux simplex but as a patibular cross made up of crossbar.

Similarly, the theory that the presence of a crossbar would cause the victim to die quickly of suffocation has been questioned. According to Dr. Frederick Zugibe, suspension by hands extended directly above the head at a distance of less than a meter from each other, as performed in a crux simplex, precipitated asphyxiation in a few minutes, but Jesus was suspended by one hour minimum.

Zias asserts that “death in this manner, which is a form of crucifixion, is the result of suffocation,” and that “if the victims were bound with their hands extended above their heads [as in the crux simplex hypothesis], and left hanging, death could be predicted in less than half an hour, or in a matter of minutes, depending on whether the victims’ legs were nailed down, so that they could not use their arms and raise their bodies to exhale.”

New Bible Dictionary (1962) by James Dixon Douglas in his work writes that: “The Greek word for ‘cross’ (stauros, verb stauroō) means a vertical stake or beam and, secondarily, a pole used as an instrument of punishment and execution. […] In addition to the single vertical stake on which the victim was tied or impaled, there were three types of crosses […] the crux immissa was the usual two-beam †, which tradition maintains to be the shape of the cross in which our Lord died (Irenaeus, Haer. ii. 24. 4).

This is strengthened by the references in the four Gospels (Mt 28:37; Mk 15:26; Lk 23:38; Jn 19:19-22) to the title nailed to the cross of Christ above his head.” “Stauros” comes from the Greek word ἵστημι (Ístemi), which means “to stand, stop, hold, keep (standing)”, etc., and in turn derives from the Indo-European “stáo”, which means “stem, upright, erect” (and hence “stand, in English, Stecken, Stand in German, and our word “stake”).

tree cross

One of the hypotheses that exist is based on the fact that Jesus was crucified on a living tree. Due to the eventuality of the scarcity of wood. Joe Zias says that the Romans at various times crucified victims directly on trees. Zias, as has already been said, does not pronounce on the execution of Jesus.

It is on TV shows that documentarians such as Jean-Claude Bragard and Bryan Bruce have claimed that Jesus could also have been executed on a live tree, and Bruce attributes this view to Zias. Evangelical pastor John D. Keyser of the Hope of Israel church claimed that Jesus died on a patibulum attached to a tree and that the two thieves crucified with him were tied to the same tree.

Citing Ernest L. Martin’s book The Secrets of Golgotha, he says that the tree and gibbet assembly was a stauros in the broad sense that this word had been borrowed in the 1st century AD. c.

The Greek word ξύλον (xylon) is used to refer to the cross of Christ, a word that among many other meanings has the meaning of “tree”. The possibility of the sense of “tree” for the word ”xylon” is confirmed in Xenophon’s Anabasis, 6.4-5, and in what we can see in:

Revelation 22:14, The coming of Christ is near:

6: And he said to me: These words are faithful and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel, to show his servants the things that must soon take place. 7: Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.8: I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And after he had heard and seen them, I prostrated myself to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things.

9: But he told me: Look, don’t do it; because I am your fellow servant, of your brothers the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. He worships God.10: And he said to me: Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near.11: He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he that is unclean, let him be unclean still; and he who is just, practice justice still; and he who is holy, let him be holy still.

12: Behold, I am coming quickly, and my reward is with me, to reward each one according to his work. 13: I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

14: Blessed are those who wash their clothes, to have the right to the tree of life, and to enter through the gates into the city.

15: But the dogs will be outside, and the sorcerers, the fornicators, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lies. 16: I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you of these things in the churches. I am the root and offspring of David, the bright morning star. 17: And the Spirit and the Bride say: Come. And let him who hears say: Come. And the one who is thirsty, come; and whoever wants, take the water of life freely.

18: I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will bring on him the plagues that are written in this book. 19: And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the book of life, and from the holy city and from the things that are written in this book. 20: He who bears witness to these things says: Certainly I am coming shortly. Amen; yes, come, Lord Jesus. 21: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

However, it has been contradicted that the meaning of “wood” for the word xylon refers to the material from which it was built, and not to its shape. This use of the word xylon, to refer to the cross of Christ, has been expressed for centuries, without having meant a living tree. Already in early Christian literature this word was used as in the Odes of Solomon says:

The Odes of Solomon (late 1st to early 2nd century AD): “I stretched out my hands and brought them close to my Master, for the spread of my hands is His sign: My expansion is the xylon (tree / cross) stretched out, which stood in the way of the Righteous. (Ode 42:1-2).

Archaeological discoveries of representations of the death of Jesus

In paleochristian art which is rich in symbology. And in which representations such as The Good Shepherd, the Orante, the Dove, the Fish, the Anchor, among other things, appear, but strangely the sign of the cross with the image of Christ on it, this appears in pamphile form, De Somehow there are some quite interesting ones in these finds that could mean, according to their adaptation and interpretation, even older representations of the death of Christ, and therefore, this throws some clue about the earliest traditions about his crucifixion.

Crosses in ossuaries and Jewish inscriptions

Archaeological analysis using a robotic camera of an undamaged first-century tomb in Jerusalem has uncovered a series of Jewish limestone ossuaries that are carved with a Greek inscription and a unique iconographic image that experts identify as Christian.

In 1873 a famous French scholar named Charles Clermant-Ganneau reported the discovery of a burial cavern on the Mount of Olives. Inside there were 30 ossuaries, several of them had cruciform signs next to names as common for that time as John or Jesus.

Then, in 1945 a family tomb was discovered in “Talpiot”, Jerusalem, by Professor EL Sukenik of the “Museum of Jewish Antiquities of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem”. Two ossuaries have the name “Jesus” in Greek. The second also has four large crosses drawn on it. Prof. Sukenik concluded that the inscriptions and the crosses were related, they being “expressions of sorrow for the crucifixion of Jesus”. In the light of paleographic studies, these inscriptions would date from the 1st century BC. C., al i d. c.

The four-line Greek inscription on one ossuary refers to God “lifting up” someone, and a carved image found on an adjacent ossuary shows what appears to be a large fish with a human figure in its mouth, interpreted by the excavation team as an image that evokes the biblical story of Jonah. In the early gospel writings, Jesus referred to the “sign of Jonah”, which has been interpreted as a symbol of his resurrection.

From there, images of Jonah in early Christian art, like the images found in the Roman catacombs, are the most common motif found in tombs as a symbol of Christian resurrection hope. By contrast, the story of Jonah is not depicted in first-century Jewish art, and iconographic images in ossuaries are extremely rare, given the prohibition within Judaism on depicting images of people or animals.

The graphite of Alexamenos

It was revealed in 1857, when the building called domus Gelotiana was exhumed on the Palatine Hill. The monarch Caligula had achieved the abode for the Imperial Palace, after the emperor died it was changed into a Paedagogium or boarding school for the imperial pages, then the street where the house was located was set aside with a wall to support the ramifications of the building, so it remained sealed for centuries.

The image personifies a man with the head of a donkey who would be crucified. On the left is a man who raises a hand. Under the cross there is a legend written in Greek:

Αλεξαμενος σεβετε θεον – Alexamenos [worships his god]. Although the time of acquisition of the dwelling for the imperial palace and its subsequent conversion into Paedagogium, the graffiti has been dated between the years 85-95 AD The vast majority of the eager concert in which the inscription is an ironic writing against Christianity. The donkey’s head insinuates the sarcastic accusation of idolatry (adoration of an ass), which the Christian sect of that time received from the Greco-Roman intellectual world.

The ironic assertion that Christians engaged in figurative donkey worship practices would be commonplace at the time. Tertullian, who wrote in the late second and early third centuries, relates that Christians and Jews were thought to be worshipers of an ass-headed omnipotence.

In Pompeii and Herculaneum

Herculaneum, the city where Pompeii survived the great volcanic eruption and where the discovery of several crosses took place, circumscribed one of plaster on the wall which is called “Casa Panza” and the vestige of another on the wall from a bakery in the so-called “Casa del Bicentenario”, have been interpreted as proof of an early cult of the Christian cross and testimony of the way in which the death of Jesus occurred, prior to the year 79 AD. c.

The existence of the graffiti from Domus 22 in Pompeii, which says Bovius Audit Christianos (“Bovio listens to the Christians”), this strengthens this hypothesis.

It is Professor José María Blázquez, in his work “Primitive Christianity and Mystery Religions”, who states that “it is doubtful that it was a Christian symbol at such an early date,… since the cross as a Christian symbol is attested from the fourth century, as in sarcophagi no. 171 and no. 169 of the Lateran Museum, already from the middle of that century, or no. 106 of this same museum, from the end of the century”.

For the Spanish archaeologist Antonio García y Bellido, the Herculaneum discovery has the basic characteristics of a kind of carving belonging to a private Christian sanctuary. Dissenting a lot from a condensed activity in non-Christians of the cross known in the region; This is based on 4 essential facts:

  1. The cross stands out, unique and isolated, in the stuccoed cloth, and the fact that it is precisely at the back of the room, opposite the entrance door, through which the light that came from an open window in the corridor, precisely to the East. Also remembering the wings or wings that should flank it to cover it (something illogical in pre-Christian cruciform cults).
  2. It is intimately linked in its history to the landing in Pozzuoli, of Pablo de Tarso in the year d. C. according to the Acts of the Apostles.
  3. Its unexpected violent disappearance from the stuccoed cloth that frames it can only be plausibly explained in relation to an event whose threat was the exposure of the symbol itself, most likely fulfilling this during the Neronian persecution of the year AD. C., given that the same case does not occur with other types of religious relics, which were found intact in other houses (including the painting of the totem snake). What could be interpreted at the time as an “unpleasant symbol” for its badge.
  4. It was found in a type of room that was most likely intended for slaves who served in this type of business within the patrician town.

The crucifixion of Jesus according to theology

Even for theology, the image of the crucifixion where Jesus died is protected in the Old Testament centuries before. In Numbers 21:8-9 they tell us about figures like the bronze Serpent:

8: And Jehovah said to Moses: Make yourself a fiery serpent, and put it on the flag: and it shall be that whoever is bitten and looks at it shall live. 9: And Moses made a metal serpent, and put it on the flag, and it was, that when some snake bit someone, he looked at the metal snake, and lived.

For which it was placed on a pole, there was a means of healing for the Israelites bitten by snakes, or the blood of the lamb immolated in

exodus Exodus 12:7 we are told about the Passover

12.- The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2: This month shall be the beginning of months for you; for you this will be the first in the months of the year. 3: Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: On the tenth of this month let each one take a lamb according to the families of the fathers, one lamb per family.

4: But if the family is so small that it is not enough to eat the lamb, then he and his immediate neighbor to his house will take one according to the number of people; according to the eating of each man, you shall make the account on the lamb.5: The animal shall be without blemish, male one year old; you shall take it from the sheep or from the goats.

7: And they will take of the blood, and they will put it in the two posts and in the lintel of the houses in which they have to eat it.

8: And that night they shall eat meat roasted over the fire, and unleavened bread; They shall eat it with bitter herbs. 9 You shall eat nothing of it raw, nor boiled in water, but roasted over fire; his head with his feet and his entrails .10: You shall leave nothing of him until morning; and what remains until morning, you shall burn in the fire.11: And you shall eat it thus: with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you will eat it hastily; It is Jehovah’s Passover.

This means that the engraving on the posts and the lintel of the houses of the Hebrews, preserved them from the plague of death. There is also the mark that Ezekiel put on the forehead of the people who remained faithful saving them from death. The Hebrew word for the mark is the same as the last letter of the alphabet (Tav), which is handwritten in the shape of the Greek cross Tau (T), one of the possible shapes of the cross where Jesus died.

Ezekiel 9:4, Vision of the death of the guilty:

9.- He cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying: The executioners of the city have come, and each one brings in his hand his instrument to destroy. faces north, and each one brought in his hand his instrument to destroy. And among them was a man clothed in linen, who had a writer’s inkwell at his waist; and entered, they stood by the brazen altar.

3: And the glory of the God of Israel went up from above the cherubim, on which it had been, to the threshold of the house; And the LORD called to the man clothed in linen, who had a writer’s inkstand at his waist, 4 and the LORD said to him, Go through the middle of the city, through the middle of Jerusalem, and set a mark on the men’s foreheads. who groan and cry because of all the abominations that are done in her midst.

 Although characteristics and properties of the divinity are needed for theology, for Christians passion is considered beyond words and what really moves them is faith and devotion.

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