The cross is a familiar object. It’s been fashioned into jewelry, wall art, and various household trinkets, but before it was gold (or silver, etc.), it was rugged.

I. It was rugged by design

  • As a symbol – The Romans didn’t invent the cross, but they perfected it as their method to execute non-Roman criminals and rebels. It was a brutal reminder to the world that any who dared test their imperial sovereignty would get the cross as a consequence (which is why Jesus’ words in Matthew 16:24 to “take up your cross and follow” wouldn’t have sounded poetic, but sobering).
  • As a process – It was meant to be a slow, excruciating, humiliating death. It started with a scourging, which was done by an expert “Lictor” swinging a “Flagrum”. His choice of whip (one with leather only or one including metal/bone fragments) determined the severity of the lashes.

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