37 The one who loves a father or mother more than Me is not worthy of me and the one loving a son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And the one who does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. 39 The one who has found his life will lose it and the one who has lost lost his life because of me will find it. Matthew 10:37-39 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)
When we say, “The Cross,” we state the very focal point of history. The Old Testament points to it, the New Testament presents it, and the Christian proclaims it. It is the cross that is our salvation, not religion….
A study of the cross as used in crucifixion is a sobering exercise. Several years ago my wife and I took our small group, made up of young singles, to Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of Christ.” I believe that was in either 2004 or 2005. In any case, the way the movie presented how our Lord was treated all through his arrest, trial and crucifixion was one of the most brutal things I have ever seen. I was not the only person weeping throughout that movie.
Crucifixion was, without question, the cruelest, the most disgraceful, barbaric, and excruciating execution ever devised by a depraved mind. It was probably invented by the Persians, who used it because it would not defile the ground, which they consecrated to their god Ormuzd. Alexander the Great introduced it to Egypt and Carthage, and the Romans seem to have picked it from the Carthaginians and “perfected” it. It was reserved for slaves, foreigners, revolutionaries, and the vilest of criminals.