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Crossing The T
by Wayne Blank
Gospel Truth or "gospel" fantasy - which do you prefer?
The crux commissa, shaped in the form of a capital T, was actually the commonly-used device used by the Romans for crucifixions. The upright post, which was notched at or into the top, was already in place. The executed man was tied and/or nailed (nailed through the wrists, not the hands which would not hold) to the cross-section (which was often carried to the place of crucifixion by the condemned man, as was done with Christ - the entire cross, which weighed 300-400 pounds, or more, was simply too heavy for anyone to carry or drag any distance); the cross beam, with the condemned man attached, was then simply lifted up (as the Christ spoke of before it happened. i.e. "even so must the Son of man be lifted up" John 3:14 KJV) and set into the notch or joint at the top of the upright post.
From an engineering perspective, the T-shaped cross was quickly and easily assembled, and also the strongest, because the weight of the condemned man was drawing down directly into the notch, where it couldn't go anywhere, unlike the traditional idea of the crucifix that had the cross section fastened to the side of the post, which could much more easily pull away. And, since the condemned man hung down below the level of the horizontal beam, there was still plenty of room for a sign to be nailed above his head, as was done with the Messiah; the "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews" on the sign is shown written below in the original Greek of John 19:19.
If you want to visualize what was done to Jesus Christ before He was killed, to "witness" parts of the horrendous brutality that He endured for you, Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ will do that for you - it's unlikely that you will ever forget it. It's probably the most accurate film ever made to show what was done to Jesus Christ by the Romans, up the point that He was actually crucified. It's also a film riddled with Biblical errors (even though the film's producer claims that it is Biblically accurate), a number of which seem deliberately misleading in intent, to stubbornly and blatantly conform to Roman Catholic doctrine that in fact contradicts the Holy Scriptures.
Many who have seen the film wondered why the two thieves, one on each side of the Christ, were shown crucified on T-shaped crosses, as actually happened, while the Christ character was shown crucified on the traditional Roman-Catholic crucifix, which didn't happen. The producers of the film obviously knew what crosses were really like, since the two thieves were shown being executed as actually happened, but they then chose to propagate non-Biblical tradition by putting Christ on a fictional crucifix. Truth lost out to tradition.
Fact Finder: What does the Word of God warn about replacing Bible Truth with human tradition?