The cross had been the symbol of shame and punishment in the Roam Empire and among the countries under her rule. It was a symbol of embarrassment, warning and terror. Today, the cross is the sign of hope and victory.
The Roman Catholic Church observes 14 September as the day the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. It commemorates the victory of Jesus over sin and Satan. It is his victory over death.
During the days of Jesus, the cross was a symbol of shame which the Roman empire used as a means of execution. It was the Roman gallows, reserved for punishing slaves, robbers, assassins and rebels. Death on the cross was considered as the most shameful death of an accused.
Crucifixion was considered by the Jews as the most dreadful and ignominious punishment. It meant for them the greatest curse of God.
The early Christians revered the cross as it was the means of Jesus' redemption process. It was a forbidden sign during the days of the Roman Empire, until the Roman Emperor Constantine took over. For him the cross was a symbol of embarrassment and good-luck charm in the beginning. He placed the cross symbol on the shields and armors of his soldiers.
Today, the cross has become a common religious sign throughout the world. The cross can be seen on buildings, things and jewelries. You can see athletes making the sign of the cross before they begin their events.
The cross is the symbol of victory
What does the cross stand for? It is the symbol of Jesus' victory. It is the symbol of his humble life. It is the lesson that Jesus has taught the world to overcome all the problems of life on this earth. It is a sign of joy.
Jesus was aware of his sufferings and death on the cross. He humbled himself so much that he accepted the death on a cross. It is this humility that enabled his resurrection. He rose victorious and freed us from the power of sin and Satan. All heaven rejoiced at his triumph of his cross. St. Paul says, “God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name" (Philippians 2:9).
The Exaltation of the Holy Cross is also a joy for us all. Let us also celebrate this victory with cheering and praises. Let us thank and glorify God the Father for His Redemption plan.