cross taken down

Well, last post was the foreshadowing of the real Cross,  and then we know what happened on the real Cross, but when I asked my class last Friday “Then what happened to the Cross after the crucifixion?”  I was met with silence — and hopeful glances at me.   Maybe there is an answer?

What happened to the Cross after Jesus was taken down?  
Well, we can fill in the blanks with reasonable stories of what happened immediately after the Crucifixion, but what we know for sure is that it was found around three centuries later, deeply buried under layers of rubble of what used to be a pagan temple built deliberately over the hill of Calvary.  It was a construction site now, because now that it was no longer a criminal offense to be a Christian,  Christians could build shrines and churches to mark sacred sites.

finding of the cross
Constantine was the emperor who had decriminalized Christianity, and although he wasn’t a Christian at the time,  his mother Helena  was, and it was through her perseverance that the True Cross was found under that rubble in Jerusalem.    Shortly after, historic writings dating to 338 A.D.  show that the Finding of the True Cross was a day honored yearly by joyous Christians.

Very small portions of the True Cross were distributed occasionally around the Empire.  And as the city of Rome fell and the eastern portion of the Empire centered itself around Byzantium, Christianity grew.

battle medival
And then. . .    War came.    The Persians struck the Byzantine Empire and won battles at Jerusalem. They pillaged and burned and stole anything that seemed to be of value — including the True Cross.

For  fourteen years the war between Rome and Persia continued until at last, 627 A.D. under King Heraclius, the Christian empire defeated Persia, bringing the True Cross, among other things, back to Jerusalem.


And then . .  .  War came.   Within a decade, Islam began its warrior-conquest of the Middle East, and the True Cross was brought to the great city of Byzantium for safe-keeping.

And then . . .   War came to Byzantium  again, and Islamic forces under Saladin, the great Muslim warrior,  conquered the city in 1187, destroying  beautiful Christian symbols,  art work, churches, and sacred objects.

The True Cross is lost to us once again.

We have left only the few fragments of the True Cross that had been distributed around Christendom earlier,  and we have the great feast days  commemorating the Finding of the Cross and the Exaltation of the Cross.

And, of course,  we have the Truth of the Cross, independent of any physical remnants,  in the end, conquering all the conquerors, healing the nations because it will always be the altar of the Lamb of God.      This is the inspired use of wood in the days of Moses to bring healing and life and hope to the people of Israel.

Sign In Hoc Signo Vinces

And now  we make the sign of the cross frequently – as St Paul says:  “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.”     (Galatians 6:14)        The Truth of the Cross,  the reality of the True Cross,  is Christ on the Cross.

Explore posts in the same categories: Christendom, Holy Days, Lessons from History

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  1. […] few days ago I experienced something surprisingly real.   I had just written some posts about the Finding of the True Cross.   It was interesting to do some research into it, and it was satisfying to realize that the Cross […]

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