Meskel (The Feast of the Holy Cross) Part 1

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, One God, Amen!

This article is prepared by Mahibere Kidusan USA Center

Meskel መስቀል(The Feast of the Holy Cross)

Prior to the era of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, a cross was used as an instrument of punishment. This method of painful execution was started in Persia (the present day Iran). During that time, the Persians were worshiping an “earth god” called “Ormuzd”. They believed that if an offender is punished while in con-tact with the ground, he would desecrate their “earth god”. As a result, they started crucifying criminals far above the ground on a cross. Execution by crucifix-ion slowly expanded and became a common practice of the Roman Empire. In addition, before the birth of Christ, victims of crucifixion were considered cursed. As God said to Moses, "If a man has committed a sin worthy of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed of God” (Deuteronomy 21:22- 23). We may then ask ourselves, “If a victim of crucifixion is considered cursed, why did our Lord Jesus Christ die on a cross?"

Please proceed to Part 2