But they shouted, “Take Him away! Take Him away! Crucify Him!”
“Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered. Finally Pilate handed Him over to them to be crucified. -John 19:15-16
Crucifixion was not just an ancient form of criminal execution, it was also a deterrent, the mere sight of the cross striking fear in any that would transgress the law or simply the will of an oppressor. It was not just a way to end a life, but to prolong a death in the most painful, agonizing, humiliating, dehumanizing method possible. It was a cross that awaited Jesus, God’s only Son, since before the moment of His birth.
Only Jesus could transform the sign of fear and death, into a symbol grace and love. Only a blood sacrifice would atone for the most heinous crime to the smallest transgression. The innocent condemned, the guilty set free. He could have been assassinated in secret, or quietly locked away, but it had to be a cross. He would endure the very worst of humanity and make a cross the key to divine immortality for all.