I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death. For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet — I can count all my bones— they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. Psalms 22:14-18
I cannot find anyway that today’s verses could be about David. It would be hard to come up with a better description of a crucifixion than what David wrote. Crucifixion was a slow, painful death. Eventually the condemned suffocated. But at David’s time no one had thought up this form of execution. It would be another 500 years before we see a mention of crucifixion as a punishment. Most likely the Persians invented it but the Romans perfected it.
When the Romans crucified someone they would strip the person and then either tie or nail them to the cross, sometimes both. When a person was hung on a cross they could only breathe when they pushed up on the foot rest. If they hung their chest was constricted and they could not fill their lungs. However since the feet were nailed in place, pushing up was painful. Much time the person being crucified was scourged first. The scourging consisted of 39 lashings from a Roman whip. This whip had many strands of leather in which bits of bone and rock were imbedded. Even had the feet been only lashed to the cross the constant scrapping of the back against the upright of the cross would have been painful.
No water was given so the condemned would dehydrate. Dogs gathered at the sites of crucifixions as many time the bodies would be taken down and thrown into shallow graves. In the hanging position the ribs would stick out, thus you could literally count them.
Finally, the soldiers would gamble on the condemned cloths and then eventually sell them to supplement their income. All of this is recounted in the New Testament accounts. One cannot adequately describe how terrible crucifixion was. The closest I have seen is in the depiction in the “Passion of the Christ.” It is not for the faint of heart.
Whether we read of it in the Old or New Testament, what Jesus went through for us was unbelievable. Only God’s love would make that kind of sacrifice.