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Trees As Crosses—Jesus Crucified on a Tree

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Crosses at the time of Jesus were probably not the milled lumber we associate with church art but natural trees rooted along the side of the road, and the criminal carried only the cross beam to the place of judgement.

Pontius Pilate probably liked using trees because it was a tradition in Judaism that "cursed be the one hanging on a tree." If a cross looked more like a tree, that would mean that kind of death would make someone particularly cursed in Jewish tradition.