For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. (Zechariah 12:10)
And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.
Background on the practice of crucifixion
Crucifixion, execution of a criminal by nailing or binding to a cross. It was a common form of capital punishment from the 6th century bc to the 4th century ad, especially among the Persians, Egyptians, Carthaginians, and Romans. The Romans used crucifixion for slaves and criminals but never for their own citizens. Roman law provided that the criminal be scourged before being put to death; the accused also had to carry either the entire cross or, more commonly, the crossbeam from the place of scourging to the place of execution. The practice was abolished in 337 by Constantine the Great out of respect for Jesus Christ, who died on the cross.
The crucifixion of Christ between two thieves is recorded in the New Testament by all four evangelists (see Matthew 27:33-44; Mark 15:22-32; Luke 23:33-43; John 19:17-30). The significance of the crucifixion has been a subject for theological discussion throughout church history.
- From MSN Encarta