Pre-Christian Gods on Crosses or in Cruciform
Although Christianity claims the cross only took significance with Jesus's placement on it, the fact is that the god-on-the-cross or in cross-shape is a pre-Christian sacred motif. Numerous ancient figures in many parts of the world were depicted on a cross or in cross-shape/cruciform, with arms outstretched. Moreover, crosses as
divine beings or gods continue to be prevalent in Mayan areas
, a custom that predates Christianity by centuries to millennia.
The cruciform or cross-shape motif is frequently a solar symbol, used in many places globally for thousands of years. Divine crosses conveying protection have been placed, logically enough, in cross-roads, while Egyptian goddesses in cruciform at the corners of coffins likewise conveyed protection and salvation.
The Maya perceived their crosses as the World Tree
, as well as the Milky Way. Cross symbols have also been used to denote Venus, as in Mesoamerica.
The most common concept is the sun as the ruler of the four directions. At times it also represents the sun and the solstices and equinoxes. Overall, it's a solar symbol for the most part. Hence, sun gods were placed on it or in cross-shape/cruciform.
Hence, when we say that a god has been "placed on a cross," we are referring not to a person being thrown to the ground and nailed onto a wooden cross but to one of these cruciform artifacts with multiple meanings.
Here's a neat image from Babylon from The Venus of Milo
by Paul Carus:
There are many such images on my "Was Horus Crucified?
Human in cruciform with cross around neck from Cyprus, Chalcolithic period (3900-2500 BCE)
Andromeda crucified using chains in a wall painting from Pompeii, c. 79 AD/CE
Winged goddess (Isis) in cruciform on King Tut's sarcophagus.
Horus with arms outstretched in vault of heaven, from Samuel Sharpe's Egyptian Antiquities in the British Museum (143). This image was originally on a papyrus and is here and in Christ in Egypt depicted upside down for purposes of more readily illustrating the point.
Osiris as personified djed pillar holding the sun, surrounded by the two sisters Isis and Nephthys - called the Merti - found in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Ani Papyrus, plate 1, c. 13th-15th cents. BCE.
Christ on the cross, surrounded by the three Marys, per John 19:25
Why suffer from Egyptoparallelophobia, when you can read Christ in Egypt
? Try it - you'll like it: