posted on Jan, 29 2008 @ 01:49 PM
The cross is a very simply a symbol of Jesus' sacrifice.
The extra piece on top (because yes, the Romans did crucify on T shaped crosses) is supposedly meant to signify the resurrection. At least, this is
how it was explained to me by Christians I know.
That said, the cross emphasizes suffering. This is not something uncommon in Christianity, or other religions. Contained in the symbol of the cross
are intense suffering and yet also redemption.
Yes the cross was used before, but rarely in its current form. There was, of course, the "world cross" of the Gnostics, and of course it was used as
a symbol long before even then. But Christians charge it with a different meaning. Think about the swastika. It has been used for thousands and
thousands of years in myriad religious traditions. Yet when the Nazis took hold of it, it came to represent a regime, and a changing future, and later
on hatred and evil.
Symbols are powerful but only insofar as people attach meanings to them. Institutions can suggest meanings to you, of course, and symbols can come to
be charged with heavy meanings as in the swastika, the bald eagle, etc. But they're vague. It's doubtful that the Illuminati or a Satanist group is
trying to use a symbol like the cross to control people - since there's no real control implied in the symbol. It's an object that keeps people
mindful of the redemption of their sins, and perhaps, a symbol of their church (and perhaps, for some people, they have talismanic uses: good luck
charms, warding off evil, etc).
If anything, you could maybe say that the church uses the cross as a symbol of solidarity.