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What does the Cross represent ?

What does the Cross represent ?

Posted by Linda Presley on 27th Mar 2024

To this day the history of the Cross of Jesus is most important to the Christian and for the world to know. For the Christian the Cross of Jesus is the cornerstone of Truth and salvation. Christ’s followers need to know not only the majesty celebrated in the cross. But they also need to know the suffering connected to it, and the salvation blessings of the cross

Essential to the Bible is the Cross of Jesus. Studying His Word means not allowing the veil of evil to cover the central Truths regarding the Cross. See it as it truly was and is; an atonement of blood. Do not tone down the objectionable features of Christ’s sacrifice to make it palatable.

What is Atonement?

Atonement refers to the needed reconciliation between sinful humankind and the holy God.This reconciliation is possible through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Christ was the only One Who could take away the sins of this world. The only one Who is blameless, sinless, perfect in all manners and ways. Christ, Who is just, suffered for the unjust.

The Old Testament set the stage for the need of atonement. Separating oneself from the present era and looking back into history is difficult to do. Time continues, and people marry themselves to a moment in time.

The struggle of looking back from modern Western civilization to times long ago demands attention. Read the Word with trust, patience and a commitment to its Truth. Prayerfully set aside preconceptions. Ask the LORD to guide the way. King David continually sought out God. He pleaded for deliverance and forgiveness.

Psalm 27:1 - A Psalm of David

The LORD is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear?

The LORD is the defense of my life: Whom shall I dread? NAS

David’s song is one of confidence in the LORD during difficult times. David prayed in faith to the LORD Who he had not seen. His was an affirming faith and testimony that speaks to the soul of Jesus’ followers.

Christ’s salvation message is at the heart of the Old Testament. David’s melodies include an overtone of undeserved mercy and grace from God.

Additionally, David would go on to claim the LORD’s mighty power, setting his soul free to worship in full reliance upon Him. Many of the Old Testament Psalms were prophetic and fulfilled in the New Testament writings regarding the Cross of Jesus.

I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

David’s melody sounds a string of continuing Truth into the New Testament. It heralds deliverance, preservation from danger, and an ongoing grace, love and mercy for those who are children of the LORD.

The Word is a continuing calling for the unsaved to look closely at the Cross of Jesus. From death comes eternal life! From scattered hearts and minds comes wholeness. From chaos to peace, joy, praise and faith all woven together with Christ’s healing mercies. You are saved! He has saved you!

Prior to the crucifixion Jesus traveled in the shadow of the cross performing miraculous healing. Jesus the “physician” was demonstrating the healing quality of what would take place upon the cross (Mark 2:17).

Jesus came for a divine spiritual ministry to die upon the cross for salvation (Mark 2:41). He came to deliver and preserve His own from spiritual dangers, and the alternative of destruction.

God sent His One and only Son as the eternal alternative of destruction, from death through divine wrath (Phil. 1:28; 1 Thess. 5:9). Christ alone saves.

Why a cross?

The Roman leaders had various methods of execution. Through the Romans, crucifixion had been perfected. They were not the only nations that utilized this torturous method.

Archaeological findings and historical writings revealed evidence noting the when, where and how of various forms of crucifixion. The analysis of these findings brought about disagreement among some scholars.

However, Roman crucifixion is a well-documented form of execution. Crucifixion was often utilized for slaves, but also political rebels, and the lowest criminals.

Crucifixion always resulted in death of the crucified person. The Romans view the crucifixion cross as a symbol of shame. The Roman writer Cicero wrote:

Even the word ‘cross’ must remain far, not only from the lips

of the citizens of Rome, but also from their thoughts, their eyes, their ears.

What was the basic method of crucifixion?

The method of crucifixion was first preceded by scourging the individual, many died in the process, not making it to the cross. The victim’s hands and feet were either tied or nailed to wooden cross beams. The beams were placed on the ground and once the victim was secured both were set upright suspending the cross from a high place.

The victim would often be left to hang on the cross until they died of exposure or dehydration. Crucifixion was a slow and painful death, and it was one of the most humiliating and degrading forms of punishment.

What were the details of Christ’s crucifixion upon the Cross?

Jesus went through several physical beatings prior to being turned over to Pontius Pilate, a Roman governor at the time (John 18:19-28). Jesus faced several mock trials, including His time with Pilate. Pilate himself could find no fault in Him at all (Psalm 35:19; Psalm 69:4; John 18:29-38). Pilate, not desiring upheaval in Judea, ordered the will of the citizens to be upheld. The judgement of the people ... Jesus of Nazareth would be crucified and left upon the cross until dead (John 18).

Before crucifixion Jesus was first scourged by the Roman soldiers. They were experienced professionals, proficient executioners.

The Roman flagrum was used to scourge Jesus. This brutal instrument came in differing designs. In general, the flagrum was a short, wooden smoothed handle with strips of leather attached to the handle. Each leather strip had sharp nail-type metal, sometimes cylindrical shaped metal and/or bones. This device was used to strike the victim's bare flesh. No part of the body was left untouched. The Roman guards were precise executioners. The direction, duration, intensity, all had been perfected from years of practice. So vicious was the scourging that internal organs were often exposed.


After scourging Jesus, and before the Roman soldiers returned Jesus to Pilate they did a mock Coronation. They placed upon His head a makeshift crown of thorns. Over His naked body they placed a purple robe-like piece of material. He appeared as a king of the poor. One by one the soldiers slapped His face and spat upon Him.They took a reed to strike the crown of thorns upon His head, dressed Him and returned Him to Pilate (Mark 15:19; John 19:1-3).

Due to the political unrest in Judea a Roman Cohort of soldiers, about 600 men, were called to guard over the crucifixion.

The Roman guards had mistakenly thought that they had made a mockery of Jesus with their charade. However, Jesus had just days prior prophesied to His apostles of what would happen to Him. Written in Mark 10:33, 34 ...

Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes and they will condemn HIm to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they will mock Him and scourge Him and spit on Him and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.

Where was Jesus crucified?

Much time had passed. Christ’s shredded flesh oozed blood into His clothes. As the guards grabbed and pushed Jesus, it would tear the cloth from His wounds causing even more pain. He would be marched through the streets to the place Golgotha, which is translate, Place of a Skull (Mark 15:22). He would be flanked by a quaternion (4) Roman soldiers.

Upon Christ’s shredded body, a wooden cross beam would be carried. The Roman guards, knowing that Jesus could barely carry the 80 lb. single beam, had a spectator in the crowd of thousands to carry the vertical beam (Mark 15:21).

How was Jesus secured to the Cross?

The crucifixion nails are also an important symbol in Christianity. They represent the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as predetermined and prophesied by God, and fulfilled by His Son (Acts 2:23). Jesus of Nazareth would be crucified and left upon the cross until dead (John 18).

The Roman crucifixion was motivated by political power, money, cruelty, and time efficiency. The executioners most likely used three nails to crucify their victims, which was the most efficient process.

Nails varied in size (4.5 inches up to 9 inches) inches were fashioned from heavy iron. The nails were not round or smooth surfaced, but instead squared and rough the entire length of the shaft. The repeated hammering upon the red-hot metals caused dents and dips.

As the guards hammered the nails in Christ’s hands and feet, His divine blood seeped and dripped through the nail holes. The mighty blows of the hammer upon the nails pounded into His flesh separating the sinew from bone and ripping blood vessels to shreds. God in flesh upon a crude cross (Psalm 22:16; Zech.12:10).

His final words were: “It is finished!” And bowing His head. He gave up His spirit (John 19:30).

How are Christ’s faithful followers, in light of His crucifixion,

to view the Cross of Jesus?

Christ’s faithful followers are aware that what kept Christ Jesus upon the cross were not the cruel, destructive nails. What kept Jesus upon the cross was, and is, His love, obedience to the Father, love for His own, and the need for a final sin sacrifice. His image depicted upon a cross, nails deep within his hands and feet is proof that He will forgive.

To the unsaved world the crucifixion nails are a symbol of destruction. For the redeemed they are symbols of sin's destruction and an eternal abundant life with Jesus Christ the Son (John 10:10).

Christ Jesus fulfilled the many prophecies of the Old Testament starting in Genesis chapter 3. The New Testament records the answers. What started as a grim and gruesome day, became salvation to many.

This Easter (a.k.a. Resurrection Sunday), all Born Again will gather all over the world and celebrate that Christ Jesus has Risen. Will you be among the reborn?

The team at Shields of Strength pray that you will be.

Shields of Strength has taken the timeless, faith-based symbols of salvation and created a host of strength inspiring Christian crosses. You will discover delicate and intricate works of design to bold images of faith. They are meaningful gifts to provide for your loved ones, friends or yourself, beautiful reminders of faith and love of Jesus.

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