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JAYSON - Jesus' death, is it on the cross or hanged on a tree?

JOEL - Yes. The scriptures are quite clear that Jesus was hanged on a cross made from a tree:

"And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus." (Luke 23:26 See also John 19:17).

The fact that Jesus was forced to carry His own cross, helped later by Simon, suggests that it was not a tree rooted in the ground, but rather a hewn tree whose branches had been trimmed off to make the cross that Jesus was hung on.

The Apostle Paul refers to a tree when he said:

"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" (Galatians 3:13).

Paul was quoting Deuteronomy 21:23, which may be viewed as a prophetic reference made by Moses to the future crucifixion of the Savior.

"And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day." (Deuteronomy 21:22–23)

This passage was used by later Jews to emphasize the abhorrent nature of crucifixion as a way to die—"cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." Thus, Paul was saying that Jesus redeemed us from the impossibility of being perfected through the Mosaic law by being crucified on a tree, an abhorrent form of death.
The apostle Peter also refers to the tree as the method of Jesus' crucifixion. He speaks of our Savior as the One"who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed" (1 Peter 2:24).

And in Acts 13:29:
"And when they had fulfilled all that was written of [Jesus Christ], they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre."

The word "tree" is used simply because that is what the cross was made from and also perhaps to relate the crucifiction to the prophetic passage in Deuteronomy that refers to it as a tree. What may be in question was what the cross actually looked like. Traditional depictions show the cross as two pieces of timber placed across one another at right angles. However the Greek word stauros, used to refer to the cross in the New Testament, denotes a single upright pale or stake.

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