And They Crucified Him by Art Katz
Topic: Cross Of Christ
Description: Empty entertainment/worship sung by pretty people -Doctrinally-correct sermons devoid of power -Sunday-only Christian lives barely distiguishable from the world All these and many more ills are symptoms of a disease Art clearly identifies in this message. It's such a fundamental thing, our understanding of the cross. It's an indictment of our lives and the current impetence of the church. In the final analysis, unless we know Christ and Him crucified, our knowledge of God will be false.
This speaking is not some nominal word that ought to set up in our minds as just “another message”. This ought to register down in the depths of our spirit until we can say with Paul, “I am crucified with Christ”.
This was actually a definition of crucifixion used by Katz during this message...Powerful!
The cross was unanimously considered the most horrible form of death. Among the Romans the degradation was also a part of the infliction. And the punishment if applied to free-men was only used in the case of the vilest of criminals. The one to be crucified was stripped naked of all his clothes and then followed the most awful moment of all; he was laid upon the implement of torture. His arms were stretched along the cross-beams. At the center of the open palms, a huge iron nail was placed and by the blow of the mallet was driven home into the wood.
Then through either foot separately or possibly together as they were placed one over the other; another huge nail tore its way through the quivering flesh. Whether the sufferer was also bound to the cross we do not know, but to prevent the hands and feet from being torn away from the weight of the body which could not rest upon anything but four great wounds; there was about the center of the cross a wooden projection strong enough to support at least in part a human body, which soon became a weight of agony.
Then the accursed tree with its living human burden was slowly heaved up and the end fixed firmly in a hole in the ground. The feet were but a little raised above the earth. The victim was in full reach of every hand that might choose to strike. A death by crucifixion seems to include all that pain and death can have of the horrible and ghastly: Dizziness, cramps, thirst, starvation, sleeplessness, traumatic fever, tetanus, publicity of shame, long continuance of torment, horror of anticipation, mortification of untendered wounds, all intensified just up to the point at which they can be endured at all but stopping just short of the point which would give to the sufferer the relief of unconsciousness.
Their natural position made every move painful. The lacerated veins and crushed tendons throbbed with incessant anguish. The wounds inflamed by exposure gradually gangrened. The arteries especially of the head and stomach became swollen and oppressed, with surcharged blood. And while each variety of misery went on gradually increasing, there was added to them the intolerable pang of a burning and raging thirst. Such was the death to which Christ was doomed!