Countless thousands of people were crucified during the period of the Roman Empire. Yet it took the death of one man by crucifixion to transform the meaning of the cross. That was Jesus Christ. Viewed in one way, he was a victim of the ancient equivalent of ‘cancel culture’. His teaching upset the leaders of the Jewish people. They wanted Jesus silenced. Dead men don’t speak, so the religious authorities pressurised the Roman governor Pontius Pilate into condemning Jesus to death by crucifixion. Pilate knew that Jesus was an innocent man, but he had him crucified anyway.
Another brutal display of Roman power. Yet Jesus knew full well how he was going to die on that first Good Friday. He made no attempt to evade arrest, or to argue his case before those who sat in judgement upon him. He willingly gave himself to the death of the cross because he knew that was the only way to break the power of sin. Sin is defiance of God’s throne that cries to high heaven for justice to be done. Even in our culture where many believe that right and wrong are ‘all relative’ we can sometimes be shocked by the horror of sin; the atrocities of totalitarian regimes, the murder of a young woman on the streets of our capital city.