The Southern Cross is a well known constellation in the Southern hemisphere. As a child, I grew up looking at this wondrous spectacle every night, never appreciating it until I moved to the USA and was no longer able to see it.
During the life of Christ, the four stars of the constellation Southern Cross were an object of reverence in the countries of the Near East. At that time, the stars were just visible on the horizon in Jerusalem which sits at 32 degrees North.
Modern day astronomers have calculated that around April of 33 AD, the constellation began dipping below Jerusalem’s horizon. This coincides with the crucifixion date of Christ. From that point on, due to precession, the Southern Cross constellation was no longer completely visible from Jerusalem.
As a Christian and a South African expatriot, the Southern Cross is a symbol in the heavens of the cross on which Christ died. It therefore has great meaning to us.