Sunday, 22 August 2010

Did Jesus Really Die on a Cross?

From the website of Jehovah's Witnesses. Notice how two questions are asked;
  • did Jesus really die on a cross?
  • should Christians use the cross as an object of veneration?
Look at that picture. Imagine you're an "honest-hearted one" and you've visited the Watch Tower's website for more information. Your heart is breaking and you're burdened down with guilt about your sin and separation from your Father in heaven. The first thing you see on the website is a picture of the cross. But does the article address Christ's death to atone for your sins and the wonderful freedom he bought for you through his death, how his righteousness is imputed to you, making you right with God and giving you the rights of a child of the King?


The article is all about whether Jesus really died on the cross. Once again, the Watch Tower Society chooses to preach a different gospel and steers people away from Jesus and his crucifixion [1] [2] [3].

Why do the Governing Body object to the cross? They try to claim Jesus did not die on a cross, but rather an upright stake. They make the assertion that the cross is a pagan phallic symbol*, which it probably was at one point**. 

But does the cross being pagan and phallic mean that Jesus wasn't executed by the Romans on one? Let's imagine that history is as ambiguous as the Governing Body claim and that Jesus did not die on a cross. What would that prove?

Well, that leads us into the second question.

Should Christians use the cross as an object of veneration? Absolutely not. Flee from the use of idols, the Bible says. I've been attending churches for almost two years and I've never seen the cross venerated or idolised or used in worship. I've seen people get a bit emotional when they meditate on what happened on the cross, ie. Jesus dying in agony for our sins. But that doesn't equate to veneration.

The point is, the Governing Body loves to create these little straw men arguments; did Jesus really die on a cross? But what does it matter! They pour out gallons of ink to argue that he died on a stake, but completely miss the point; he died for our sins! The method of execution is secondary, why get so hung up on it (no pun intended)? Jesus could have been shot with a rifle. The same end purpose would have been achieved; his punishment for the forgiveness of our sins. I would love to see the Watchtower magazine spend as much time and effort on that topic as they do on trying to debunk the cross as Jesus' means of execution.

But then, Jehovah's Witnesses need reasons to prove to themselves that they are the true religion. 'Judge' Rutherford carefully created a siege mentality among the Witnesses, making them more and more 'different' from Christendom. After all, when Jesus allegedly chose the Watch Tower Society in 1919 they used the cross on the cover of their main Bible-teaching publication. He clearly didn't have problem with it 91 years ago. The cross is one way that JWs believe they are superior from Christians; they reject that Jesus died on a cross and reject veneration of the cross.

Just because, though, Catholics use the cross in worship does not mean that Christians do so. And it also doesn't mean that Christ didn't really die on one.

Jehovah's Witnesses, please start directing attention to Jesus Christ alone, and not your unique beliefs.

* what is an upright stake if not phallic? And as for pagan, research the sacrificial poles that the Ba'al worshippers used. Both pagan and phallic.

** the Watchtower's double-standard kicks in here; the cross was perhaps once viewed as pagan and phallic, but is that the case these days? What about wedding rings, pinatas, etc?


  1. Hit the nail on the head my friend. I'd like to see StandFirm address this, but I sense that there will be silence amongst WT apologists on issues such as these.

  2. The JW's make their case based on what the greek word for "cross" should actually mean, but that's simply appealing to their own biased scholarship. What the JWs don't do is look to internal Biblical evidence, which though implicit is still pretty strong.

    For example, in John 20, Thomas says "unless I see the nail*S* in his hand*S*" with "nailS" in the plural indicates a nail was in each hand. This only fits a "cross" model. Even in JW publication, there is only ONE nail in Jesus' hands, directly against the Biblical proof.

    Another example is that Matthew (25, I think) says the sign put on the cross was placed "above his head." This only makes sense in a "cross" shape, since the sign telling the criminal's crime was placed above their head. In the JW pictures, the sign is placed above Christ's HANDS.

    So the JW position is not following the Biblical evidence. They hate the Cross because it represents the Truth and also because they want to 'distance' themself from Christendom.

    I've written about JWs here:

  3. We don't appreciate Jesus' death hmm?

    When was the last time your church made an effort to invite 20,000-50,000 people to your celebration of Jesus' death?

  4. @ StandFirm;

    "When was the last time your church made an effort to invite 20,000-50,000 people to your celebration of Jesus' death?"

    How does that equate to "appreciating Jesus' death"? Show me a verse in the Bible where Jesus said "proudly publicise your preaching stats to show you appreciate my sacrifice for your sins".

    And let's think about your "celebration of Jesus' death". First of all, what's with the notion of "celebrating" Jesus' death? Wouldn't it make more sense to celebrate his resurrection? Then we have the method by which you "celebrate" it;

    - have the emblems signifying the broken body of the world's saviour and his shed blood, poured out to atone for our sins
    - factor in John 6:53-58*
    - pass said emblems from person to person
    - make sure, via the talk from the platform, that 99.9% of attendees at your "celebration" decline said emblems


    The "Memorial" is nothing more than a Satanic rejection of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. And the "talk" is nothing more than a recruitment tool of the Watch Tower Society. Count up the number of minutes spent talking about the "Organisation" versus the amount of minutes spent talking about why Jesus died.

    * John 6: 53 Accordingly Jesus said to them: “Most truly I say to YOU, Unless YOU eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, YOU have no life in yourselves. 54 He that feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life, and I shall resurrect him at the last day; 55 for my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 He that feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood remains in union with me, and I in union with him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me forth and I live because of the Father, he also that feeds on me, even that one will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. It is not as when YOUR forefathers ate and yet died. He that feeds on this bread will live forever.”

  5. i does matters, how he died. the bible gave precise information of jesus execution. the prophesies from bible that he will die on a torture stake. Jesus himself answers for this question to nicodomus. stating that just as moses hung the copper snake similarly the son of man will be hung on the torture stake.

    Now answer me when the bible says that jesus was ressurected in spirit realm and had sacrificed his body as ransom how can he show that to Thomas......