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What If That Purple Cloth On The Cross Is A Non-Christian Religious Symbol?

He was part man, part god. He performed miracles, including the healing of the sick and the raising of the dead. He was lifted up into heaven. He died, but he came back to life. His symbol is seen outside many churches today in the form of a cloth draped on a cross, and is worn by those who seek a way to do more good than harm.

Jesus? Well, yes, but someone else too: Asclepius.

Asclepius was the Greek god of healing, and his symbol is still seen in the caduceus, a winged post encircled by two snakes, topped by two wings. The snakes symbolize the power of a being that can be born again, leaving its old skin behind, as a snake does, shedding its skin. In ancient Greece, the skin shed by a snake was left draped upon a post, to symbolize the growth of a powerful self that is then reborn in a higher plane. This worship was in some places later transformed into the nailing of a live snake on a post.

That form is still seen in the alchemical symbol of a snake on a post, on a crucifix, or in a tree. The Encyclopedia of Alchemy, written by Rosemary Guiley, claims that “A snake climbing up a tree represents the process of becoming conscious or going through psychic transformation.”

The vision of Jesus on a crucifix, or of a long purple cloth seen on a crucifix, as we see outside many churches on Easter, is often identified as but a part of the snake on the post tradition. One Christian church, acknowledging this link, tells its follower that the snake is Jesus, writing in Bible study notes, “The Snake nailed to the pole symbolized Jesus – who became sin for us.”

jesus christ through greek mythology and alchemy

This motif is found not just in the gospels, but also elsewhere in the Bible, as in the Book of Numbers, in a passage which reads:

“The Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.”

The references in non-Jewish, non-Christian traditions are much more numerous than what’s in the Bible. That fact has led some Christians to reject the idea of focusing on the crucifixion of Jesus, identifying it as a primarily non-Christian, or “pagan”, form of false idolatry.

One such Christian group decries what it depicts as “pagan” worship of the symbol of the cross, saying, “To argue that this heathen symbol ‘is now OK to use and honor because the meaning now points to Christ,’ is not only to ignore that Jesus Christ and the Apostles and the original New Testament Church never worshipped or revered the cross…”

Another Christian says that he doesn’t care if the crucifix is a pagan symbol, asking rhetorically, “Many pagans pray, does that mean we as Christians should stop praying because it is a pagan practice?”

Christians: How do you react to the idea that Jesus is one form of a sacred snake nailed to a post? If you accepted this idea, would it deepen your faith or weaken it? Why?

Non-Christians: Does the idea of Jesus as one form of a sacred snake nailed to a post change the way you think about Christianity or not? If there is change, is that change positive or negative? Why?

3 thoughts on “What If That Purple Cloth On The Cross Is A Non-Christian Religious Symbol?”

  1. Rasta says:

    There are many pagan relics and customs that today are looked upon as “Christian” and blindly accepted by professing Christians and coming from the bible. I like how you pointed out Christ, the Apostles and the early new testament church never revered the symbol of the pagan cross because they didn’t. Also the early church never celebrated Christmas, Easter or any other holidays thought to be “christian” today. Easter before it took on a cloak of Christianity was an feast dedicated to the pagan queen of heaven called Astarte by ancient Assyria or Ishtar in ancient babylon. In truth when a “christian” celebrates a good friday crusifixion sunday morning resurrection they actually deny Christ as their savior. According to the Bible in Matthew 12:39-40 the only sign Christ gave to prove He was the Messiah was being three days and three nights in the tomb before being resurrected. There is only one day and two nights from friday sunset to sunday morning. A friday crusifixion sunday resurrection does not fulfill the only sign of the savior! Easter and Christmas were not celebrated in the early church until around 300 years after it was founded. When roman Emperor Constantine took control of the established Church system the 7th day sabbath was changed to Sunday (the day the ancient pagans worshiped the sun) and the 7 annual festivals the early church celebrated were replaced with pagan roman holidays cloaked in Christianity. The problem is Christians are not putting in their own study time of the bible the just swallow hook, line and sinker what the deceived preachers tell them and are too lazy to look up the scriptures themselves and see if the preacher in correct. Christian, blow the dust off your bible and wake up!

  2. Janna says:

    Jesus was a very real man. He was God incarnate, lived a sinless life, & willingly died on a cross for atonement for my (and your) sins. But-and this is the CRUX of the matter-He conquered death!!! At this point in history, the main definition of Easter is that it is the remembrance of the day that Jesus AROSE!!! His RESURRECTION is the very reason that I can claim that my Savior LIVES! So YES-I celebrate it!!!

    NO OTHER prophet/man/mythological figure can claim that.

    Yes, the snake on the pole in the story of Moses was a foreshadowing of the ultimate “healing” that Jesus would provide-reuniting us to a relationship with God while we are still alive in this human form, and then spending ETERNITY with God and Jesus. It is just exciting!!!!

    1. Peregrin Wood says:

      Um, actually, plenty of other mythological figures were claimed to be perfect, were claimed to be resurrected, were claimed to have conquered death.

      Hercules, for instance.

      Do you have any evidence that any of the things asserted by your book are any more real than the legends of Hercules?

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