The Cross ~ Sincerity
Did you know that Easter celebrates the story of The Cross?
It is a symbol that is known all over the world. Some exalt it, some despise it, but everyone recognizes it. For many its just something pretty to hang on a chain of silver or gold. Something decorative on top of a church steeple.
But for centuries kingdoms and nations have fought and died because of this symbol. Tryants abused it and movies used it to ward of evil spirits or vampires. But what is the truth about the cross? How did it come into being? What does it stand for? And why has it become so widely recognized, even more than Mickey Mouse ears or Coca-Cola?
Some people think that the cross represents everything good in mankind and our world. But history tells a different story. The cross was actually a form of ancient torture, refined and implimented by the Roman Empire. The cross was used to hang dying criminals. Its purpose was two-fold:
1. cause as much suffering and pain as possible and
2. humiliate the guilty for their despicable acts
It did a good job of dispaying what could happen to others should they consider disobeying the Roman laws. So the cross was also a means for them to retain dominion over their subjects, albiet in a cruel and fearful manner.
The cross represented one of the most inhuman forms of justice and suffering in history and was always related to individuals who "diserved" it.
That all changed one fateful day as is recorded in ancient history, specifically in the time of Ceasar. A man with no criminal history was brought before Pontias Pilot, tried and convicted in a mock trial, and sentenced to death on the cross. He was charged with claiming to be the " Messiah," or " Son of God."
But even as the man, called Jesus, was being tortured Pilot was uncomfortable with the proceedings. When given a chance to defend himself, Jesus didn't speak a word. The only time he spoke at all was when asked if he truly was the son of God. Jesus stated simply, " I am."
Whether Jesus truly was the son of God Pilot couldn't tell. But history states that his wife warned him not to convict Jesus stating that she had a dream about that day. Whatever she dreamt unsettled Pilot to the point that he washed his hands in water and said to those convicting Jesus that he saw nothing evil in him and that if they wanted the man dead, to take care of it themselves.
And that was exactly what they did. Jesus was crucified. He died on a cross and was buried in a tomb that was sealed. But the story doesn't end there. Three days later followers of Jesus and witnesses of his death claimed to have seen him alive, walking and talking. Some thought it was his ghost but those closest to Jesus said that they could physically touch him!
It was during one of these unexplained visits that Jesus told his closest loved ones that he would return one day to make the world as it was meant to be. He told them that God had sent him to live as a man and die so that everyone might have a chance to enter Heaven by simply believing that what he said and did was true.
The followers eagerly took this message all over the world to bring hope. But though they brought teachings of peace and love they suffered terrible torture and death.
They became known as Christians because they were followers of Jesus Christ. The cross became their symbol because it represented everything they lived and often died for. The cross, once standing for cruel justice and death, now stood for redemption and hope. So the next time you see a cross, remember what it symbolizes... victory over death.