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What is the…
cross
and what is its significance to true followers of Jesus Christ?

Jesus Christ being nailed to the Cross. Illustrator: Gustave Doré (circa 1885)
Jesus Christ being nailed to the Cross. Illustrator: Gustave Doré (circa 1885)

As described in the New Testament, the cross is a terrible instrument of execution called crucifixion. A cross was used for the execution of Christ.

Types of crosses

Ancient crosses used for excutions took various forms.

  1. I —the crux simplex —a pole, a “single piece without transom”

  2. or —the crux decussata —the so-called “Saint Andrew’s cross”

    Tradition says the Apostle Andrew, brother of Peter, was martyred on this form of cross.

  3. T —the crux commissa —or “Saint Anthony’s cross”

  4. —the crux immissa —or Latin cross, which was the kind of cross on which our Savior died

Title posted atop Christ’s cross

Above our Lord’s head, on the projecting beam, was placed the “title” INRI. What does that inscription mean? Answer

Emblem of The Cross

After the conversion, so-called, of Constantine the Great (A.D. 313), the cross first came into use as an emblem of Christianity. He pretended at a critical moment that he saw a flaming cross in the heavens bearing the inscription, “In hoc signo vinces,” i.e., By this sign thou shalt conquer, and that on the following night Christ himself appeared and ordered him to take for his standard the sign of this cross.

In this form a new standard, called the Labarum, was accordingly made, and borne by the Roman armies. It remained the standard of the Roman army till the downfall of the Western empire. It bore the embroidered monogram of Christ, i.e., the first two Greek letters of his name, X and P (chi and rho), with the Alpha and Omega.

Metaphorical crosses

The word “cross” in the Bible is sometimes also used to refer to any severe affliction or trial.

And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. —Matthew 10:38 NASB (also see: Matt. 16:24; Mark 8:34; 10:21)

The true importance of The Cross

“The place where God has supremely destroyed all human arrogance and pretension is the cross.” —Donald Arthur Carson, Emeritus Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Streaming video— 
The Power and Message of the Cross!
“The Man on The Middle Cross” by Alistair Begg —“The foolishness of the cross is the wisdom of God and the wisdom of God is powerful in its impact.”
Video by Apologia Bros
Length: 16 minutes

The Apostle Paul wrote,

For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void. For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. —1 Corinthians 1:17-18 NASB

Also see: Ephesians 2:16; Hebrews 12:2; Galatians 5:11; 6:12; Gal. 6:14; Philippians 3:18

Also see

Article Version: July 18, 2021