Did Jesus die on a cross.
PROOF JESUS DIED ON A CROSS
The cross is used as the sign of being a Christian. Many Messianic Jews, and their partners in crime, the so called “Jehovah’s Witnesses” attack the cross, as neither cult wants to be Christian, having separated themselves with many and diverse heresies. They want to separate themselves and so many of them avoid the cross like Dracula. So let us look at the evidence. What did Jesus say about signs? And what is the evidence Jesus died on a cross? (not on a pole, as these two cults so often falsely claim). You will hear how an empty cross is a symbol of the resurrection, and why that is important, and how a Roman Catholic crucifix (which is different) is on the contrary idolatrous. If you don’t accept the cross as a sign, it will nevertheless be shown Jesus died on one, not a stake.
1) THE GREEK WORD “STAUROS”
There is a contradiction involved with attacking the word “stauros” being interpreted as “cross”. The contradiction is that if it was supposed to mean “torture stake” because it had become associated with the cruel practice of crucifixion upon a pole, as classical Greek transposed and also became Koine Greek, then even those saying that would have to admit it is generally accepted people were also crucified on T shaped crosses and Christian style crosses. So why would it not generally become accepted to be associated with crucifixion upon a cross? It seems very logical to argue that as being the case. This is not my observation, but I read it in an article by an unknown author or authors in a wikipedia article. Also every single time I spoke to Greek people themselves, they always asserted that the word means “a cross”. You may say that is by tradition, but are all traditions as to the etymology of words wrong, even if that was the case? And if the meaning was really a “torture stake” not a “cross”, how did Constantine pull off his big coup de grace to lead people into murder and war, with his false vision of a cross? When everyone would be expecting a pole as the symbol? It does not make any proper sense if the cross was not long accepted already as the method of crucifixion. I have read that Alexander the Great crucified people before the Romans.
2) THE EVIDENCE OF THE PASSOVER BLOOD
3) THE PLURAL “HANDS” AND THE PLURAL “NAILS”.
“The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” John 20:25
Doubting Thomas proves Jesus was crucified on a cross, not a pole, by pointing out the PLURAL nails in his hands PLURAL - crucifixion on a cross. The usual pictures of crucifixion from Roman times had a man on a cross, with a nail in each hand, or one nail through both hands on a stake. Cults that want to deny the cross, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, then changed their pictures, so a man crucified on a pole had a nail in each hand - but the logic does not fit. This scripture about Doubting Thomas, then, is a wonderful extra proof that Jesus died on a cross, not a pole.
4) THE SIGN OF THE PROPHET JONAH
“Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12: 38-40
One possible way of looking at this is that Jesus is saying that his resurrection from the dead would be the only sign ever given to that generation. Some might try to argue not necessarily other generations after that. But it is also possible to say that the Roman Catholic view of the cross - an idolatrous crucifix with a similitude of Jesus on it, representing the repeat sacrifice of the mass - instead of him dying once for all, is repudiated by a sign of an empty cross, indicating that Jesus has been risen from the dead, and that this therefore is a sign of the resurrection, perhaps fulfilling this scripture.
note: to be accurate the word Christian is in the bible several times, but not the word Christianity. It would be therefore more accurate to say that the empty cross is therefore the sign of the resurrection, or maybe the Christian Faith, more than that of Christianity.
5) ON THESE TWO HANG ALL THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS
“Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22: 35-40
There might be a lot of discussion about what the word translated as “hang” means in ancient Greek. The idea behind this as a representation of the cross is found in this scripture, plus the famous scripture of Luke 24:44-48, where Jesus preaches the gospel by which we are saved, saying:
“that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:”
This then is Jesus giving a different centre to the new covenant law, than the old covenant law. The 10 Commandments were at the centre of the old covenant law, but the two commandments are at the centre of the Law of Jesus, new covenant law. And this is represented by the cross beams of the crucifixion, the cross being empty also signifying his resurrection. He died to save us from our sins, to bring a new and better covenant, sealed with blood, and to give new law, based on the two commandments at its core not ten.
6) NEW JERUSALEM (CROSS IN A CUBE) & SALT
A more obscure reference to the cross might be seen in the fact that a cube has a cross inside it. Jesus said “Ye are the salt of the earth.” Matthew 5:13. A salt crystal is a cube. Also New Jerusalem is shaped like a cube in the Book of Revelation, as its length breadth and height are all equal. (Revelation 21:16) This indicates everyone in the city is saved by God’s grace. Amazing!
7) THE SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
“But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and you shall go forth, and grow up like calves of the stall.” Malachi 4:2
Here in Malachi God himself links Jesus with the sun as a metaphor, for as the sun rises in the morning Jesus would arise from the dead in his resurrection, with healing in his wings, having secured our salvation through the Gospel.
When looking at the sun it is an entirely natural phenomena to see a cross shape, and this is famous for appearing in photography and film (example above). This is perhaps too vague for some people (perhaps rightly), and if Constantine’s phoney vision from God was in reality based on this natural light play of nature, it would be a sad thing, because God certainly was not the one who said to him “in this sign conquer” - the devil maybe, a demon, Constantine’s twisted inner thoughts, but not God.
note: In his famous Christian comic “Sabotage” page 19, Jack Chick says that the actual cross Constantine described was the Ankh, and verified this by quoting the work “Constantine” by Ramsey Mac Mullen, published by the Dial Press, Crosscurrents in World History Series, New York, 1969, page 72. I do not know if historical archeological evidence (such as shield logos etc) supports this statement, but if it does it would be clear evidence Constantine’s vision was most likely a fabrication or of demonic origin, from a Christian perspective.
However in “Hislop’s Two Babylons” (chapter V, Section VI, The Sign of the cross”) Hslop refers to a rendering of the Story of Constantine seeing “, quote: “the trophy of the cross” in the sky as described through Milner’s research, where Constantine sees a cross brighter than the sun, not alone, but also his soldiers are said to have seen it.
However Hislop also says, quote: The testimony of Lactantius is most decisive: "Constantine was warned in a dream to make the celestial sign of God upon his solders' shields, and so to join battle. He did as he was bid, and with the transverse letter X circumflecting the head of it, he marks Christ on their shields. Equipped with this sign, his army takes the sword." Now, the letter X was just the initial of the name of Christ, being equivalent in Greek to CH. If, therefore, Constantine did as he was bid, when he made "the celestial sign of God" in the form of "the letter X," it was that "letter X," as the symbol of "Christ" and not the sign of the cross, which he saw in the heavens.”.
For further study here is a link to Hislop’s famous tome, in which he shows himself almost as ignorant as Constantine of the passive teachings of Jesus, and therefore I consider Hislop heretical.
But even if it “was” really true that Constantine brought bad out of the cross shape seen in the sun naturally, by adding war to the teachings of Jesus (when Jesus taught no such thing) must bad be the only thing that ever comes out of this natural light effect? It is at very least a very interesting coincidence that this light effect happens in nature.
Notice it says in Malachi 4:2 “in his wings”. This might be a secondary reference to the cross beam of the cross, protruding on each side like wings.
8) AN EMBRACE OFFERED TO THE WHOLE WORLD
The arms of Jesus were nailed open on the cross, in an embrace offered to the entire world. By dying on a cross Jesus offers a loving a forgiving embrace to even the chief of sinners.
9) MOSES PRAYING: A TYPE OF THE CROSS?
In Exodus 17:11-12 it says: “And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. When Moses' hands became heavy, they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other, and so his hands were steady until the sun went down.” Is it possible that this reference to Moses is a pointing finger to Christ gaining the grace of God for us in the crucifixion, his arms in a similar way to Jesus on the cross held up to the right and the left?
When Samson pushed apart the stone pillars of the temple of idols, his arms were outstretched, like Jesus on the cross, pushing away from believers Sin and Death on either side, that the way might be open, through him centrally, to enter into a saved eternity.
The classic “in the Spirit” pose of a worshiper of God is (quite without realising it) like the outstretched hands of Jesus on the cross.
12) “THE TREE”.
Jesus is also described as being crucified on “the tree” viz. “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24. Well I do not know about you, but to me a tree pretty clearly branches out at the top, and this is more like a cross than a pole is. I believe I am being perfectly logical, not biased to say this.
13) THE CROSSED ARMS OF JACOB
When the Prophet Jacob blessed the two sons of Joseph he formed the CROSS with his two arms, as Ephraim (Great Britain) and Manasseh (The USA) would become the two greatest gospel preaching nations on earth, taking the message of the CROSS of Jesus to the world together: (see Genesis 48: 13-22)
13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near unto him.
14 And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn.
And so the arms of the prophet Jacob (Israel) formed the cross representing the cross of Jesus.
I find it interesting that the only references I can remember to a beam is in Matthew 7:3 and Luke 6:41.
14) THE CONSPIRACY THEORY
To supplement the first point (regarding the word "stauros", in order to argue that the "cross" in the KJV bible was orginally "pole" means you are hypothesising a "Greek conspiracy". as follows
"The Greeks used the word stauros for "torture stake" never crucifixion on a cross, then at some point in history, Greek religious people, and their whole nation, decided on a conspiracy to manipulate the word in their country to mean "cross", perhaps to please the Pope, (whom they resisted following anyway). This conspiracy was gladly joined in by the entire populous, and thus the word in Greek today is generally understood as "cross" not "torture stake" as we say it should be."
Hmm. such a conspiracy theory sounds exceptionally unlikely, and the traditional Greek understanding of the word as cross should stand.
When I put the words “The cross of Christ” into google translate, and asked it for a Greek rendering, it replied “ο σταυρός του Χριστού”. STAUROS!
15) IS THE CROSS SHAPE IN JESUS NAME SIGNIFICANT?
Notice also the X at the start of the word Chris in Greek This is the origin of the famous P crossed with X symbol used by Greeks to represent Jesus, not that he died on a St Andrew's shaped Cross. Is it possible God uses this as a veiled reference to his crucificion??
*) “TAV” IN HEBREW
The Hebrew “Tav” is shaped like a cross some say. I do not want to fall for a trap here, as the way Hebrew letters are given certain meanings from their shapes is a tradition of men, and it is no use being syphoned into that error by enthusiasm to defend the cross. It is nevertheless an interesting claim. There is a counter claim that nullifies it’s “interest” however and that is it is positively unbiblical to ascribe names or attributes to Hebrew letter unless the bible does (it doesn’t) and therefore this is included (as stated already) purely out of connection to the topic, not as a proof.
A FINAL NOTE:
Those who oppose Christian beliefs often try to put Christians in a Catch 22 situation, and you should try to realise the significance of this. If a man spent 20 years researching the word "cross" or stauros in Greek, and eventually showed (imagine) that there was an "Earth Water Wind and Fire" symbol in ancient pre Christian Greece, shaped like a cross, and called "stauros" they would turn around with an arguement verging on a sophism and say "See! that proves it is pagan!". It is simply a no win situation for Christians in some ways, when you look into a language that was "non Jewish". The fact remains that today the Greek word for CROSS is STAUROS.