The first documented use of crucifixion was by the Persians in 400 BC. The Romans started using this method of execution around 100 BC. A Roman citizen could not be crucified except for treason. Psalm 22:1-18 was written by David about 1000 BC. It accurately describes the death of the Messiah by crucifixion several hundred years before crucifixion came into existence. Around 700 BC Isaiah 53:1-12 described the suffering Messiah.
Today the cross is the universal symbol of Christianity.
The vertical bar reaches up to the height of God’s holiness. The horizontal beam reaches out like God’s love. Because of God’s holiness and justice payment for sin is required. But due to God’s love for us He provided the payment for our sins through the death of His Son.
God is just and judges the world with righteousness.
“The Lord reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice.” Psalm 9:7-9
Sin is serious. It is so serious that it requires justice. In God’s justice, He requires a blood sacrifice to atone for sin. Sin brings death. but blood brings life.
“In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” Hebrews 9:22
In God’s mercy, He provided the means for our sins to be forgiven because all of us have sinned and deserve to be punished by a just God.
“But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known…this righteous from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood. He did this to demonstrate His justice, because in His forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished — He did it to demonstrate His justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:21-26
Jesus died for our sins because of God’s love.
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him.” Romans 5:6-9
Our salvation is a gift from God that we receive through our faith in His Son Jesus.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
When you see the cross, remember the extreme sacrifice the Lord Jesus made for you. He chose to shed His blood on the cross for you.