Throughout history, humans have established laws and punishments to enforce those laws. The ultimate punishment of the death penalty has been carried out in various and gruesome ways.
Crimes that brought the death penalty in the Old Testament included murder, kidnapping, adultery, prostitution, rape and cursing or striking one’s parents. The punishment was generally carried out by stoning, though there were other methods used as well.
Through the years, man has devised many other means to execute criminals. Ancient despots seemed bent on developing the most frightful and gruesome punishments: being cut in pieces, being burned alive and being thrown to lions, just to name a few (Daniel 2:5; 3:6; 6:7).
One primary form of capital punishment administered in the Roman Empire was that of crucifixion—the punishment the Jewish leadership sought for Jesus.
Jesus came with a message of peace, forgiveness and love, with the promise of eternal life for those who turned to Him. He broke no law, committed no crime and sanctioned no rebellion. However, He was considered a threat by those religious leaders who wanted to maintain their position in society. He was obedient to the ways of God His Father to the point of death (Philippians 2:6-8).