In Dream of the Rood, the cross is obviously the central figure. But what surprised me is just how active a role the cross seems to play in the crucifixion and in the salvation of man. The cross says “they mocked us both together” and “They pierced me through with darksome nails”, both suggesting that the cross is just as actively involved with the salvation of man as Jesus is. The cross even tells how it refused to bow or break at any point during Christ’s Passion. And for its role, the cross is adorned in gold and jewels. To read a text, religious or otherwise, that would give glory to anyone/thing besides Jesus for the salvation of man is just odd. It seems to suggest that Jesus is not solely responsible for salvation and that he never could have been. There needed to be a strong, willing, and able supporter, which would contradict the idea that the Son of God is all powerful.
I was hoping that writing this post would help clear up my own confusion on what the role of the cross says about the Passion and salvation, but I am honestly more unsure now than I ever was.