Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Cross: Symbol of Christianity

     The cross and the Crucifix, Christ on the Cross, is a symbol for Christianity. Many Protestants attack Catholics because we have crucifixes and Crosses. One of the Protestant sect says,

"di naman totoo yung cross eh false gospel yan, nacrucify si Messiah sa TREE"
"It's not true that is a  false gospel, the Messiah was crucified on a TREE" 
 "Image of the beast!!!!"

-Irvin Carson 

       I asked him what denomination he belongs he said he was part of this group called The Way and he said it is in Acts.
-Irvin Carson 
In English,
"Please learn.... The ways is in the Book of Acts ...."
"Learn the Book of Revelation..." 
-Irvin Carson

       He completely says that Jesus never died on a cross, but on a tree. He quotes verses that refers to the "Tree of Life" and anything that talks about trees that is connected to Christ. This heresy I never encountered until today. Even this sect I never heard of.
    People like these doesn't know why Catholics, along with other Protestants, use the cross and portray Christ crucified. This portrayal of Christ and using His' cross as a symbol. By the Cross Christ conquered death and sin, thus becoming a symbol of our salvation. Here is what the Bible says.

What History and Church Tradition Says 

In the Golden Legend 

In The Life of Adam Voragine writes that the true cross came from three trees which grew from three seeds from the 
"Tree of Mercy" 
which Seth collected and planted in the mouth of Adam's corpse. In another account contained in Of the invention of the Holy Cross, and first of this word invention, Voragine writes that the True Cross came from a tree that grew from part of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, or 
"the tree that Adam ate of", 
that Seth planted on Adam's grave where it 
"endured there unto the time of Solomon"

In the Eastern Orthodox Tradition:
According to the Sacred Tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church the True Cross was made from three different types of wood: cedarpine and cypress.
This is an allusion to Isaiah 60:13 : "The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box [cypress] together to beautify the place of my sanctuary, and I will make the place of my feet glorious.
 The link between this verse and the Crucifixion lies in the words,
 "the place of my feet" 
which is interpreted as referring to the suppendaneum (foot rest) on which Jesus' feet were nailed. This is where the Eastern Cross appear.

Ecclesiastical History According to Theodoret

When the empress beheld the place where the Saviour suffered, she immediately ordered the idolatrous temple, which had been there erected, to be destroyed, and the very earth on which it stood to be removed. When the tomb, which had been so long concealed, was discovered, three crosses were seen buried near the Lord's sepulchre. All held it as certain that one of these crosses was that of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that the other two were those of the thieves who were crucified with Him. Yet they could not discern to which of the three the Body of the Lord had been brought nigh, and which had received the outpouring of His precious Blood. But the wise and holy Macarius, the president of the city, resolved this question in the following manner. He caused a lady of rank, who had been long suffering from disease, to be touched by each of the crosses, with earnest prayer, and thus discerned the virtue residing in that of the Saviour. For the instant this cross was brought near the lady, it expelled the sore disease, and made her whole.

Itinerario Egeriae

Then a chair is placed for the bishop in Golgotha behind the [liturgical] Cross, which is now standing; the bishop duly takes his seat in the chair, and a table covered with a linen cloth is placed before him; the deacons stand round the table, and a silver-gilt casket is brought in which is the holy wood of the Cross. The casket is opened and [the wood] is taken out, and both the wood of the Cross and the title are placed upon the table. Now, when it has been put upon the table, the bishop, as he sits, holds the extremities of the sacred wood firmly in his hands, while the deacons who stand around guard it. It is guarded thus because the custom is that the people, both faithful and catechumens, come one by one and, bowing down at the table, kiss the sacred wood and pass through. And because, I know not when, some one is said to have bitten off and stolen a portion of the sacred wood, it is thus guarded by the deacons who stand around, lest any one approaching should venture to do so again. And as all the people pass by one by one, all bowing themselves, they touch the Cross and the title, first with their foreheads and then with their eyes; then they kiss the Cross and pass through, but none lays his hand upon it to touch it. When they have kissed the Cross and have passed through, a deacon stands holding the ring of Solomon and the horn from which the kings were anointed; they kiss the horn also and gaze at the ring... 
What the Bible Says

"For the message 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 1:18 

"but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles," -1 Corinthians 1:23

"You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified." -Galatians 3:1

"Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished." -Galatians 5:11

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." -Hebrews 12:2

"And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." -Colossians 2:15

"And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross!" -Philippians 2:8

"and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility." -Ephesians 2:16

"and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross." -Colossians 1:20

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