“Jesus came as our substitute. He endured crucifixion for us. Cicero (the Roman politician) described crucifixion as ‘the most cruel and hideous of tortures’. Jesus was stripped and tied to a whipping post. He was flogged with four or five thongs of leather interwoven with sharp jagged bone and lead. Eusebius, the third-century church historian, described Roman flogging in these terms: the sufferer’s ‘veins were laid bare, and… the very muscles, sinews and bowels of the victims were open to exposure’. He was then taken to the Praetorium where a crown of thorns was thrust onto his head. He was mocked by a battalion of about 600 men and hit about the face and head. He was then forced to carry a heavy cross bar on his bleeding shoulders until he collapsed, and Simon of Cyrene was press-ganged into carrying it for him. When they reached the site of crucifixion, he was again stripped naked. He was laid on the cross, and [crude nails were driven into his hands and feet]. He was lifted up on the cross which was then dropped into a socket in the ground. There he was left to hang in intense heat and unbearable thirst, exposed to the ridicule of the crowd. He hung there in unthinkable pain for six hours while his life slowly drained away. [It was the height of pain and the depth of shame.] Yet, the worst part of his suffering was not the physical trauma of torture and crucifixion nor even the emotional pain of being rejected by the world and deserted by his friends, but the spiritual agony of being cut off from his Father for us, as he carried our sins.”

Nicky Gumbel, Alpha: Questions of Life, Eastbourne: Kingsway (2007), p.44-45