Tuesday, March 28, 2017

What Kind of Person was Crucified?

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

Plutarch, the famous essayist and philosopher (c. 46-120 AD), wrote an interesting account of the time Julius Caesar, then 25 years old, was captured by Cilician pirates. Early in his political career, Gaius Julius was hated badly by the Romans. He thought it best to leave his beloved country, so he set sail for Rhodes. While on the Aegean Sea, his ship was attacked, and he was kidnapped. 

According to Plutarch, the pirates at first didn't know they had captured Caesar (although they figured him to be a man of means). When it was finally made known that he was Gaius Julius Caesar, they demanded a ransom of 20 talents of silver (about 620 kg, roughly $400,000 in today’s market). Caesar laughed and demanded that they ask for 50 talents because of who he was. 20 talents of silvers was simply not enough.

One of Caesar’s staff was sent to Rome to make arrangements for payment. It took over a month for the transaction, all the while, they held Julius Caesar captive. He would often tell them that one day, he would find and crucify them. They were amused and dismissed his threats. 

Caesar was released when the payment was made and the first thing he did was to gather an army to pursue the pirates. True to his promise, they were captured and crucified.

That was Rome’s attitude toward crucifixion. It was a cruel death reserved for the worst of criminals. The pain and humiliation of crucifixion had no parallel. It was designed to show extreme contempt for the condemned.

Jesus suffered that pain and humiliation at the hands of the Romans about 2,000 years ago. As Christ followers, we understand His horrific death, yet we rejoice in that “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” [Romans 4.25].

He died for the sins of mankind, even those who tortured Him and nailed Him to the cross, even the likes of you and me! That’s why we want to tell others about Him. There is life in His name!

[Jesus said]: "I tell you the truth, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” John 5.24

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