The cross of Jesus Christ is more than a symbol, although it became an international symbol in time. It was an instrument of torture and death in the Roman Empire because it was a horrible way to die. A person could hang on a cross for up to two or three days before they would die, suffering from fluid build-up around their heart and all of the pain that it caused being hung by their arms for many hours. If their feet were nailed to the cross, they had to push up on that nail just to take a breath. It was cruel punishment but also a deterrent to other criminals because it was the punishment they would get if they did the same crime.
Dying on a cross was a spectacle because it took time for those punished in this way to die. It wasn’t quick like hanging or the guillotine although they were used later as execution became a way to deter crime. So, why did Jesus have to die in this way? Because it was foretold that He would. That is what Psalm 22 describes in detail yet crucifixion wasn’t being used at the time that David wrote it. God uses many things and people in their way and in His time to accomplish His purposes.
Jesus paid the price for our sins, all of humanity’s sins, even though many will not believe in Him for their salvation. The debt has been paid but unless you acknowledge it and believe in the One who paid for it for your salvation…you will not be saved from an eternity in hell. What a terrible thing to refuse the offer of your sin debt being paid for entirely and then spend eternity in hell because of that refusal. It is your choice that sends you to hell not God or Jesus. Even if you’ve been “basically good” all of your life but you never got around to accepting Jesus as your Savior, it is up to you to refuse to accept Him which will send you to hell.
Hitler is in hell, not because of his war against the Jewish people, but because he refused to accept God or Jesus as his Savior. Although I would think that his treatment of the Jewish people is making his punishment much worse than it would’ve been. God loves all of humanity and He calls many who may accept Jesus as their Savior. Even some of those who have been called may not answer that call to become a disciple of Jesus. Some will put the decision off until later and some will refuse it entirely. God knows who will accept His offer and who will not.
John 3:16,17 says: 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.