Handwriting of Ordinances
When we clear out minds from the images Hollywood creates for us and study the scriptures instead, we get a completely different picture of the events that transpired at the crucifixion of our Lord.
It was a cruel method of death, no doubt, and often times took several days for the men to finally die. The movies have painted for us, perhaps unintentionally, a grand scene of glorious crosses, reaching ever upward toward a morning sky. Fifteen, perhaps twenty feet high and spread as far from one another as first and second base in a baseball stadium.
In fact, the reality is more down to earth in several ways. One, the location was on a path near to the city, probably on the way to the trash fires. Many of the residents used these fires, and it the location was convenient for the Romans who would later dump the bodies there.
Secondly, wood was valuable, and there was no need for crosses to be expansive and sky-reaching. Most were low enough to the ground the people could hear the victims, and display their disgust if they desired.
Third, we hear of the three men speaking one to another on the fateful day. Breathing was hard and labored and oxygen at a premium, so most communication was barely above a whisper (expect for Jesusí final loud voice). That means the crosses were close together.
Real estate was not wasted.
While cruel in their punishment, the Romans believed themselves to be just in matters of trial and accusations. It was a practice therefore, to post the crimes of those condemned on the cross, so that in the days to come, curious passers-by (en-route to the dump and trash fires) could read the of the crime and offense that caused one to be subjected to this cruel fate.
Jhn 19:19 And Pilate wrote a title, and put [it] on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Jhn 19:20 This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, [and] Greek, [and] Latin.
Jhn 19:21 Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.
Jhn 19:22 Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.
All of that background that you might picture in your mind this site, and rejoice at this verse:
Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Our crimes, our sins, our condemnation, nailed to HIS cross.
Brother Royce Ellis