At the beginning of the first century recycling was probably only the concern of the majority poor. However, I cannot imagine the Roman military in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus’ execution designing individual crosses for their victims nor ordering a new one for each crucifixion. I read that the uprights – stipes – were often left in place, possibly as permanent warnings, leaving the crossbeam – patibulum – to be carried by the victim, as was the case with Jesus. No doubt even these crossbeams could be returned to stores for reuse or re-cycling. This consideration led me to think of Jesus dying on a second-hand cross …. and the following story …..
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