ĎSpartacusí, played by a much younger Kirk Douglas, is an old movie directed by Stanley Kubrick. It's based on the story of a hard-nosed slave gladiator that leads a revolt against the Roman Empire in which thousands of slaves are liberated and for a time victorious in their quest for freedom.
In a final bloody showdown however, their power is seemingly crushed by an impressive display of Roman military might and for their audacity Spartacus and many of his men are crucified, equally spaced along The Appian Way from Capua right up to Rome. Spartacus, last to be crucified, manages to stab one of his closest followers to death so that he will not have to experience the more agonising end.
In a touching scene, Varinia (Jean Simmons), Spartacusí doting wife, catches sight of him up on a cross outside the gates of Rome as she escapes from the city. In front of the guards she weeps at his feet forgetting the threat of being captured again. Over and over she chides him to die. Suffocating slowly and unable to speak, all Spartacus can do is look down at her.
No doubt about it, death by crucifixion it the worst way to go. And unlike Spartacus, Jesus was whipped within an inch of his life before being subjected to this severe physical torture.
In addition, what was going on spiritually and psychologically?
In the Garden of Gethsemane, what made The Lord sweat blood?
Where there powerful evil forces tormenting Him under the covers?
How does one man bear in His body the full wrath of a limitless God?
But just as the failure of Spartacus marked the beginning of the end of slavery in Rome, a world system, so did the death of Jesus mark the beginning of true freedom. People at the time thought His death meant defeat but from that point on through the ages, endless victory against sin and its effects had been ushered in.
For more details on Christís crucifixion see this website (Be warned, itís not for the squeamish!): http://www.csun.edu/~hbeng151/icc/studies/account.html
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