Think about this based on the history we know of Paul and his Jewish background. This would be a very horrific point to highlight. If you were embedded in the Jewish faith, born and raised and acculturated in a Jewish mindset, how could you then bring forth these crucifixion passages with such ease? And not even have the slightest bit of fear that what you’re saying actually is a gross contradiction of where you’ve been. Are you following what I’m saying? So I took a look at Paul’s use and specifically because I feel there is a lack being highlighted towards the cross and its power. Pastor Melissa Scott shows us that now we have to go a little bit through the history of the cross to find out that the cross was not the emblem we always now see everywhere.

In fact, as you know, most of you know early Christians would not associate with the cross. To even have a scratching somewhere of a cross if you are identified with it, you would your; you would seal your fate with that. So much of the catacombs and much of the inscriptions in the early Christian era; the symbol of the dove representing in the Holy Spirit, a symbol of a lamb, the symbol of the Lamb of God, obviously; there were so many different symbols used. The symbol of the peacock, which had its own representation; it was a combination of pagan and Christian beliefs meshed into one.

Travels down the history and you begin to see of course those acronym; the letters for Jesus Christ of God, Iasou Kristou Theos Uios Sotar, which became the acronym for the fish. And as I’m quite grateful that it didn’t stay because we don’t; there are too many people that get confused and when they see that sign of the fish, they immediately start going to the ameba cell, single-cell theory of creation and crazy things. So I’m glad we got away from that. Plus there are too many heathen gods using the concept of the fish and the fish eggs and fertility. So we don’t need that. I’d rather look to Jesus and the name of Jesus Christ than look at fish.  But following the history of the cross, of course, the event that solely is the demarcation of when the cross begins to become acceptable is of course with the Emperor Constantine at the battle of the Milvian bridge in 312, 313 AD.

When he says, he saw the words, “Conquer in this sign,” he saw the words in the sky, “Conquer in this sign,” and it was a cross.

That sign became emblazoned on their shields and from that time forward a Christian empire began to spread and it was no longer something terrible to be associated with the cross. In fact, I’ve told you on Festival how Constantine’s aged mother, Helena made the trek in her 80′s mind you, to the Holy Land to find, she was on the quest for the true cross of Christ, which became the subject of Carston Thiede’s wonderful book. Which, of course, she believes that she found the titulus, the head board of Christ amongst other relics, which she brought back to the Emperor Constantine and hence the veneration of relics began.