It is difficult to find a common symbol than the cross in the world culture. For the Christian religion is the main relic of the cross, associated with the life and death of Jesus Christ.
However, the different branches of Christianity from the beginning of the emergence and still are debates about the form and substance of the cross as the main object of worship.
Meanwhile, the cross symbol used in variouspagan beliefs long before the advent of Christianity. This is confirmed by archaeological finds throughout Europe, Persia, Syria, India and Egypt. In ancient Egypt, a cross with a ring at the top, the ankh, the symbol of life and rebirth after death. Cross the ancient Celts, where equal rays beyond the border of the circle, represented the union of heaven and earth, male and female. In ancient India, the cross depicted on the hands of Lord Krishna, and in North America the Indians tribe muiskov thought he casts out evil spirits.
The execution on Calvary
Despite the fact that the Christian cross, toois a symbol of rebirth and eternal life after death, his first appearance in religion was associated with the execution of Jesus Christ. Crucifixion on the pillory was widely used as a punishment in ancient Rome. Cross was used to punish the most dangerous criminals: traitors, rebels, bandits.
By order of the Roman procurator Pontius PilateJesus was crucified along with two thieves, one of whom has repented before he died, and the other went to the last breath cursing their executioners. Immediately after Christ's death, his cross became the main shrine of the new religion, and received the name of the Holy Cross.
A branch of the Tree of Knowledge
There are many theories about the origin of wood,from which was made the True Cross. One legend tells that the dry branch of the Tree of Knowledge Adam sprouted through the body and has become a huge tree.
A few thousands of years the tree orderedcut down King Solomon to use in the construction of the temple in Jerusalem. However, the log does not fit in size and made of it a bridge. When known for his wisdom queen of Sheba visited Solomon, she refused to go over the bridge, predicting that the savior of the world will be hung on the tree. Solomon ordered to bury the timber as a bathing arisen with healing water can be deeper, and after some time on this site.
Prior to the execution of Jesus emerged from the waters of the logbaths, and from it decided to make the main vertical column to cross. The remaining part of the cross were made of other trees, also have symbolic significance - cedar, olive, cypress.
Crucifixion in Christianity
The form of the crucifixion is still the subject oftheological and philosophical disputes. Traditional cross consisting of two perpendicular beams, called the Latin cross and is used in the Catholic branch of Christianity with a sculpture of the crucified Christ on it.
In the Orthodox tradition, except for the barhand, there is a lower oblique crossbeam, which were nailed the feet of Christ, and the top in the form of tablets, on which is written ІNTSІ ( "Іisus Nazaryanin, Іudeysky King"). Bias crossbar symbolizes the two thieves, who accepted death with Jesus, finish that looks up - that repented and ascended into the sky, dropped down - that persisted in sin and go to hell.
In addition, there is a version, that execution bythe crucifix is not carried out on the cross, and on a normal column. As a result, many religious groups deny the existence of the cross or deny worship him as a relic: the Cathars, the Mormons, the Jehovah's Witnesses.
cross symbol of religious traditions firmlyI entered into everyday life with a lot of established expressions. For example, "bear the cross" means "endure hardship", and say that the person is no cross - it means to call it shameless.