During Jesus’ time, crucifixion was a common practice implemented as a form of execution by the Romans. Though He was innocent, Jesus was sentenced to crucifixion because a group of people wrongly accused Him of false crimes that He did not commit. They said that He had committed treason against Caesar and charged Him with blasphemy because Jesus had claimed to be the Son of God.
When a prisoner was sentenced to crucifixion, the prisoner’s clothing would be taken by the soldiers. Then they would endure a scourging, also known as a whipping. Afterwards, the offender was required to carry his own cross to the place where the crucifixion would be accomplished.
The actual process involved tying, or in more severe cases like that of Jesus, nailing a person’s hands to a large wooden beam in the shape of a T and being left until death. This punishment was only given to the vilest of the criminals. In order to keep the body hanging, there were extra measures taken. Nails that were seven inches long were placed in the wrists, which would cut off the median nerve and cause immense pain and paralysis to the person’s hands as they hung for an extended time. The feet were also nailed to the bottom of the cross as well. Typically, the prisoner would hang on the cross with their feet only about a foot or two from the ground until death, which could last as long as three days depending on the way they had been crucified.