3. Crucifixion involved not only physical pain, but shame and humiliation. 4. The shame of crucifixion explains why to many the cross of Jesus became a “stumbling block”. (A. from a pagan point of view, it made no sense that any sort of “victory” could be gained or good accomplished by someone being crucified. B. a crucified person could not possibly be the Messiah, whichpronounced a curse on everyone who was “hanged on a tree”. C. This partially explains the mockery which Jesus received both before and during his crucifixion.) 5. The cross remains a stumbling block to many today, because it does not appeal to human reason and pride.-Historical reason:He died because 1. He had aroused the resentment of the religiousleaders of Judaism. 2. He claimed authority over some of the most sacred of Jewish institutions, including the Temple itself. 3. He predicted the eventual downfall of the Jewish system as it then existed. 4. Some of his contemporaries considered him to be a blasphemer. He was accused of insurrection, and because the Roman governor, who realized that Jesus was no political or military threat, was nonetheless too weak to resistthe pressure to have him put to death.-Theological reason: 1. Jesus bore our guilt and punishment for us. 2. In order to conquer death on our behalf. 3. The death of Jesus setting us free from “the curse of the law” (law: in our inability to keep it and the condemnation which results from that failure.) 4. Set an example for us of suffering unjustly while doing right.-Stake: 1. the validity of the Gospel and of the Christian faith. 2. The identity of Jesus. 3. The content of Christian hope.