I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
The ancient Roman senator and orator Cicero wrote about crucifixion 75 years before Christ, “The very word ‘cross’ should be far removed not only from the person of a Roman citizen, but from his thoughts, his eyes and his ears. For it is not merely the actual occurrence of these things but the very mention of them that is unworthy of a Roman citizen or a free man.” He would go on to describe it as “atrociously cruel,” and “the most extreme form of punishment.” This is not only because of the physical pain it causes, but also because of the deep humiliation it inflicts upon the sufferer.
It is indeed difficult for us to imagine in our day and time such a form of execution. In particular it is hard for us to envision the fact that the Word who “became flesh” was resolutely determined to suffer such an undignified and cruel death. Even more challenging is the fact that the innocent Word suffered this “atrociously cruel” punishment for our sake—for the sake of a humanity that could in no way repay him for what he has done. To consider such a sacrifice is almost too much for the mind to contemplate.
Today we celebrate the freedom and salvation that we enjoy because Jesus Christ suffered on our behalf. Let us worship in full knowledge of what Christ has done. Let us also live in a way that reflects what Jesus has accomplished. Have a great day.