Cross of JesusQUESTION: What was the cross of Jesus like?ANSWER:
Just as Jesus was at the center of the cross when He was crucified, so the cross has become the center of Christianity. The symbol is seen not only in churches and cathedrals, but on necklaces, key chains, rings, and pendants.
Strange, isn't it, that an implement of execution should find such common expression. We would surely be appalled to see someone with a small guillotine dangling from an ear lobe, or a gold-plated electric chair on a charm bracelet.
Yet the cross of Jesus has overcome all the negative associations to symbolize instead the meeting of God and man; the fusion of deity and humanity and the blood sacrifice that redeemed us all.
There is no definitive description of what that original cross looked like. Based on archeological evidence, crosses used in crucifixions were rough-hewn planks nailed together where they met. Criminals were often called to drag the crosses, weighing 110 pounds or more, to their execution places.
To make the executions take longer, the Romans nailed a small platform to the foot of the cross where the criminal's feet were nailed
. This allowed the victim to push upwards enough to get a breath of air and stave off suffocation.
If we could see the cross of Jesus as it was when He died, its bloodstains would testify to the blood sacrifice made in our behalf. We would still see the holes in the wood where His hands and feet were nailed.
And we could imagine, once again, the power of God descending from heaven into that upright beam and meeting - and redeeming - our sinful nature there: At the cross of Jesus.