What kind of death did Christ die?


Christ experienced the painful and shameful death of the cross.

The type of death Jesus died was called a crucifixion. It was a horrible punishment used by the Roman people to punish criminals and rebels. During a crucifixion, a piece of wood shaped like the letter T would be laid down on the ground. This was called the cross. The criminal would then be forced to lie with their back on the cross.

The soldiers next spread the criminal’s arms out to the side. Using a hammer, they drove huge nails straight through their wrists and into the wood. They also drove one single nail through both feet. With the criminal firmly stuck to the wood, the soldiers lifted the cross so that it stood up high for all to see. And the criminal would hang up on that cross until they died.

Sometimes they died from all of the blood they lost. Other times they died because hanging on the cross made it hard to breathe. But crucified criminals didn’t die right away. They suffered for hours and hours until their bodies could take no more. A crucifixion was excruciating. In fact, the word “excruciating” actually comes from the word “crucifixion.” It means “like the pain from a crucifixion.”

Jesus’ death was painful! His suffering started well before his hands and feet were nailed to the cross. Soldiers tore open his back as they repeatedly lashed him with a spiky whip. They also beat him and forced a crown made of sharp thorns onto his head. Jesus suffered all those things… and then had to suffer a crucifixion after it! The pain our savior experienced that day is unimaginable!

Jesus’ death was also shameful. As he hung dying on the cross, a crowd gathered around him. Luke 23:35-36 says, “The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, ‘He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.’ The soldiers also came up and mocked him.” While Jesus was literally dying to save us from our sins, heartless people mocked him for not being able to save himself!

Jesus’ death on the cross shows us what God thinks about sin. Remember, every sin deserves the anger and judgment of God. The excruciating torture Jesus endured on the cross gives us a pretty clear picture of how ugly sin is and how much God hates it! The ugliness of the cross demonstrates God’s hatred of sin.

But that’s not all the cross shows us: it also demonstrates how much God loves us! If Jesus was willing to suffer such a painful and shameful death for our sins, imagine how much he must love us! Romans 5:8 explains it this way: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."


+ What does the ugliness of the cross tell us about God’s view of sin?

+ Jesus had the power to leave the cross if he wanted, but he didn’t. What does that tell us?


Ps. 22; Is. 53; Gospel Accounts in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John

© 2023 Andrew Doane. All rights reserved.