To understand why Jesus was crucified as opposed to being beheaded by the Romans, we need to understand the thinking of the Romans at the time. Wood was scarce and wooden beams placed on top of poles that had been secured in the ground were reusable. It appears that this was a favored method of the Romans because it was thought to emphasize the severity of the execution and expedient for maximum psychological effect as a deterrent.
When it was time to go to the place of execution, a heavy beam of wood, the crossbeam, was placed across the man's shoulders, probably attached there by leather straps to prevent the weakened man from dropping it. The route taken by the procession of soldiers and condemned man was along a crowded street, so that his suffering was evident to as many people as possible - crucifixion was used as a deterrent to other citizens who might be tempted to commit the crime for which the condemned man was being punished.—Torture and death in ancient times.That Jesus was crucified appears to have been because this was what was done as a common means of execution at the time He was sentenced to death. But when we speak of the reason Jesus was crucified, we need also to take into account the reason for His death, which was to ransom humankind from the captivity of the Evil One, who reigns in those who violate the Ten Commandments.
Simply put, Jesus of Nazareth was permitted to die through a series of events whereby the authorities of the day were able to blame others for the execution of an innocent man and not feel they had committed any crime. This is evidenced when we read the following words from the gospel of Matthew:
- And he said, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified.” So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” (Matthew 27:23-24)
- Claudius Lysias to his Excellency the governor Felix, greeting. This man was seized by the Jews, and was about to be killed by them, when I came upon them with the soldiers and rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman citizen. And desiring to know the charge on which they accused him, I brought him down to their council. I found that he was accused about questions of their law, but charged with nothing deserving death or imprisonment.(Acts 23:26-29)
- But I have nothing definite to write to my lord about him. Therefore I have brought him before you, and, especially before you, King Agrippa, that, after we have examined him, I may have something to write. For it seems to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not to indicate the charges against him. (Acts 25:26-27)
Jesus was crucified by Pilate because the governor feared a riot. Political expediency was exercised, wherein Pilate made out it was not he who was crucifying the man, but those who had made the request that an innocent man should die. At the time, crucifixion was the favored instrument of punishment by the Romans to discourage the populace from unlawful acts. This meant that Jesus had to carry His own cross and be an example of what happens to those who create unrest.
Jesus was crucified because of political expediency on behalf of Pilate to avoid a riot, because the Omniscient One used the devious plans of men to bring about His own purpose. God's purpose is to use the foolishness of man's wisdom to demonstrate His power and provide an inheritance of eternal life for all who accept the death of His Son on behalf of their futile lives—of being born only to die—without contravening each one’s freewill. Absolutely brilliant!
Political Expediency Seems Right To Those Who Desire Worldly Fame And Comfort