I have had discussions about the cross with folks before,,
Here is what many believe.
The cross has to have had pagan origins, the first to use the cross were the Romans, Christ was not the first crucified in such a manner though. It was prophesied about in the Old Testament, long before the Jews were under the Roman foot. That's the great thing about the blend of Scripture, OT and NT. But yes, pagan origins, but quickly became a symbol of Christian belief because the cross represents or reminds us of what Christ endured so that we may all have salvation in Him.
off soap box.....
that was interesting material on toting a cross through a door. they didn't seem to consider that if a camel or horse could actually stoop down and get through the "short door", the door would also need to be rather wide. if the door were four feet wide to accomodate a kneeling camel then the five foot nine inch wide top beam of a cross could be leaned corner to corner and carried through a door four feet and two inches tall.(according to pthygorean theorum and algebra one in eighth grade anyways)
your classification of Jesus as Rabbi only might indicate that you should rename your favorite professional football team. maybe call them the "New Orleans list of historical individuals who spent their lives serving humanity believing mistakenly that they were called to service by a Diety that does not exist".
Many years ago there was a group ( made up of people from a bunch of churches but I have forgotten the name it went by ) who came to Bartlesville Ok to present the idea of exploring that site to Phillips 66 and to Cities Service oil companies ( I think ). Of course they were raising money for the trip etc. That was before there was so much unrest in that area. Anyhow.........they had a short piece of wood encased in plastic resin ( ? ) that we got to hold and look at ( very interesting ). It was supposed to be from the boat. I have watched this sort of thing on the Tulsa PBS more than once. I had never seen anything about the carved crosses that I remember though. I hope I remember all of it correctly.
Very good stuff Gooser. May be those really worn cross looking carvings were really stick men (.