F.F. Bruce notes:
Crucifixion was not only a prolonged and unspeakably painful method of execution; it was also utterly humiliating. A crucified man was exposed naked to the jeers and abuse of the populace like one who was fastened in the stocks or the pillory; there was, however, eventual release from the stocks or the pillory, but none from the cross. The victim was already racked with pain from the flogging and general rough treatment before he was fastened to the cross; then, with the agony, the cramp, the dehydration, the flies, the stench, he endured a living death for hours or even days. The provision of a projecting support or seat from the upright stake was designed not to give him some relief but to prolong his ordeal. The weight of the body fixed the thoracic cage so that the lungs could not expel the inhaled air, but the leverage afforded by this wooden support made it possible for breathing by diaphragmatic action to continue for a long time (Jesus: Lord & Savior, 110).