What does Looking Down the Cross mean?

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Megadeth: Looking Down the Cross Meaning

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Now before they take me
And my blessed life
Now you'll know why Death
Was summoned here tonight
I'll recall my perils
They'll kill me in pride
No, I can't run away
There's no place to hide
Though too much to live for
I owe enough to...

  1.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 6th, 2014 9:00am report


    One of the best songs ever written!
    The complexity and genius is just
    stunning, to say the least. To think
    that Dave was in his late teens when
    he wrote this song, it boggles the
    mind.
    ==================================
    Part I:
    ==================================
    "Now before they take me
    And my blessed life
    Now you'll know why death
    Was summoned here tonight
    I'll recall my perils
    They'll kill me in pride
    No, I can't run away
    There's no place to hide"
    ==================================
    I think this part may refer to the
    Last Supper. The tense is clearly
    pre-crucifixion, but it's hard to
    tell whether he's thinking it or
    saying it out loud. The line "No,
    I can't run away, there's no place
    to hide" at first seems like some-
    thing he might say to Peter after
    he tries to convince Christ to
    avoid the coming danger. But it's
    too weak. Christ would have told
    Peter something more akin to "Get
    behind me Satan!", and Dave would
    have known this. So it's more like
    these are Christ's personal thoughts
    while he's sitting there watching
    everyone eat and be merry. Don't
    forget, Christ was as much man as
    he was God.
    ==================================
    Part II:
    ==================================
    "Though too much to live for
    I owe enough to die
    Ask not for salvation
    My death shall mean their lives
    Hatred and guilt the altar they built
    High priests of sin
    Destiny, fate, the Wicked One's gate
    Beckoning you in"
    ==================================
    Strongly disagree with the idea that
    this means "we're all damned to hell
    for our actions". Dude, you're way
    off - no offense. The first half is
    obvious. Christ is making a choice.
    His "mortal" death will mean their
    "eternal" lives. The second part is
    in direct reference to the Pharisees
    and the Sadducees - the so-called
    "white-washed tombs"; the "high
    priests of sin" who built their
    alters on hatred and guilt. It is
    they who are beckoned by in by the
    Wicked One's gate.
    ==================================
    Part III:
    ==================================
    "Down the walkways
    Through the bloodstained town
    Looking down the cross,
    Bleeding from the crown
    Led to stay, to die beside the thieves
    Kill the King of the world to be "
    ==================================
    The Via Dolorosa is Latin for "Way
    of Grief" or "Way of Suffering". This
    part seems to refer to the path that
    Jesus walked, carrying his cross, en
    route to his own crucifixion. But it
    also speaks "looking down the cross"
    "to die beside the thieves", so at
    this point (and hereafter) Christ is
    on the cross considering his final
    hours.
    ==================================
    Part IV:
    ==================================
    "Now to you, this will come:
    A putrefying pestilence
    More noxious than a serpent's breath
    Malevolently destined
    More corrupt
    than the malice
    of Choronzon
    More diseased
    Than the wind
    in the moonlight sun
    ==================================
    At first glance, it's tempting to
    think that Christ is cursing man
    here for his unmitigated arrogance,
    but I don't think that's correct.
    Remember that Christ, the only begotten
    son of God the Father, "became sin" on
    the cross. I think the verse, "Now to
    you, this will come:" precedes a long
    list of horrors that befalls the one
    person in all of history who didn't deserve
    them. The "malevolently destined" serpent
    appears to be Satan. Choronzon, otherwise
    known as the Demon of Dispersion, has
    also been described as a personification
    of a force of chaos & malevolence acting
    without purpose and serving only to utterly
    destroy that which was created. In other
    words, Choronzon roughly equates to "sin".
    The "moonlight sun", I think, symbolizes
    the full moon, which has been linked to
    mythical diseases like lycanthropy and
    vampirism, but also to crime, suicide,
    mental illness, disasters, accidents,
    birthrates, fertility, and suffering.
    It is, for example, a harbinger of
    all kinds of putrefying pestilences.
    ==================================
    Part V:
    ==================================
    "Putrefaction you have caused
    No need for confession
    Now you'll wish you had a God
    To stop your demolition
    Crushing the bones of a hundred-fold
    Swinging the judgment hammer
    Man, woman, child, no one's safe
    The heads of the dead are the banner"
    ==================================
    Again, at first glance, it's tempting
    to believe that Christ is thinking this
    as he experiences unspeakable suffering.
    But, again, I don't think that's right.
    To me, this is God (the Father) now
    speaking to mankind. Furious that it
    has come to this, there's "no need for
    confession". Sickened by mankind's
    insolence He states, "Now you'll wish
    you had a God". In short, God appears
    to be reconsidering wiping mankind
    off the face of the earth. It wouldn't
    be the first time.
    ==================================
    Part VI:
    ==================================
    "And this was all you got
    So don these broken wings
    Sands of time run out
    The bells of Hades ring
    Is this a nightmare?
    To unhallow thy name
    Smell of brimstone
    Dancing in the flames
    No help now
    As you fulfill His task
    Chief of evil
    Has got you by the ass"
    ==================================
    I think this is where Dave begins
    to question scripture (as we all do).
    To me, this looks like Dave is
    speaking to himself, almost as thought
    he was an eye-witness observing those
    final moments. He asks, "And this
    was all you got?" You were supposed
    to be the King of Kings. But you're
    not putting on robes of royalty, you
    don only "these broken wings" (he's
    of course referring to Christ's
    arms outstretched on the cross).
    It's almost like Dave is saying.
    There's no time left! Do something,
    anything! The "bells of Hades", the
    "smell of brimstone", the "dancing
    in the flames", they do not mean
    that Christ is going to Hell (as was
    suggested in a previous comment) -
    again, way off. It just evidence
    that Satan is there, taunting Christ
    during the whole ordeal.
    ==================================
    Part VII:
    ==================================
    "Set free
    To sit upon the throne
    It's just a dream?
    You're weeping all alone"
    ==================================
    Here, Christ is "set free, to sit
    upon the Great White Throne" - i.e
    his body finally dies. But, again,
    I think this is Dave speaking. He
    doesn't doubt that Christ himself
    believed that he was God's son. He
    doesn't doubt that Christ lived a
    perfect life, that he fulfilled
    two-thousand years of Hebrew
    prophecy, etc.. He doesn't even
    really deny that Christ deserved
    to rule the kingdom he so frequently
    preached about. But Dave appears to
    take a look at the world around him
    and says, "Seriously, this is what
    you died for?". He concludes (at
    least at the time he wrote this)
    that it was all just a figment of
    Christ's imagination. That, in the
    end, Christ was "weeping all alone".
    ==================================
    Part VIII:
    ==================================
    "Looking down the cross
    Speak no evil
    Looking down the cross
    Speak no evil"
    ==================================
    Here we return back to the perspective
    of Jesus during the last moments of his
    life. He's looking down the cross in
    agony; having lived a life of purity,
    holiness and perfection. He only
    has a few hours left. He's almost
    there.
    ==================================
    In this song, Dave conveys his own
    personal struggle with the Gospel.
    He is searching (intensely searching)
    for an answer by imagining the events
    as they unfolded in an attempt to
    understand them. It's actually a
    fantastic example of extraordinary
    mind, under no delusions, willing
    to take an honest look at himself
    and the world he lives in. As I
    understand it Dave Mustaine
    is currently a professed believer so
    it would seem that he has worked
    through any doubts he may have had
    at the time he wrote the song. Man
    do I wish songs like this one were
    still being written. Alas it seems
    that the bubble gum, hip-hop, lollipop,
    talentless, club-hopping majority
    will always dominate the mainstream.



  2.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 20th, 2012 12:06am report


    Well, when you sum up the entire message of Christianity you get this: that humanity was created perfect as was all creation, but because of Adam's sin(Note that anyone else would have done the same in his place.), all humanity was torn away from God,but throughout history He proved his sovreignty and also his incomparable mercy and love for humanity by showing the world how he raised the weak Israelites to a mighty kingdom and when they sinned he disciplined them(Discipline indicates love). He promised them that he would change all the lives of everyone forever by doing something illogical to us finite, blind humans, but which was the thing to do for an infinite being. He sacrificed HIMSELF for us, seeing that we were completely trapped in sin and could not save ourselves (Our 'Righteous Deeds' were like filthy rags). It was'nt easy .He became sin for us, which is like cutting a third of yourself off with a butter knife, and bleeding to death in a state of extreme depression. He took our sins upon himself so that everyone would have a chance at being justified. doing this Requires:
    a)Being ashamed of your sin
    b)Coming to God realizing that you cannot save yourself.
    c)Repenting of your sin
    d)Stating with your heart and mouth(If you can talk) that you believe everything he has revealed to you, that you believe in the fact that He has died for you and thank him from the bottom of your heart.
    e)Professing that he is your Lord and saviour, and accepting him into your heart.
    you WILL be changed, and without a doubt, saved. I Don't see a paralell between your interpretation of the lyrics and this, so the logical explanation to this is that
    this song is about what Dave would have done in God's place, which was to take revenge. This shows us how great God is.



  3.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 6th, 2011 3:55am report


    The first part of the song is about Christ's knowledge that his death is coming:
    "Now before they take me
    And my blessed life
    Now you'll know
    Why death was summoned here tonight
    I'll recall my perils
    They'll kill me in pride
    No, I can't run away
    There's no place to hide "

    The next part speaks of his intentions when he dies. It's implied that rather than go to heaven, we're all damned to hell for our actions and that the Christian faith is a hope of redemption and desperation, brought on by their guilt and fear:
    "Though too much to live for
    I owe enough to die
    Ask not for salvation
    My death shall mean their lives
    Hatred and guilt - the alter they've built
    High priests of sin
    Destiny, fate - the wicked ones' gate
    Beckoning you in "

    Next, it talks about his actual death:
    "Down the walkways
    Through the bloodstained town
    Looking down the cross,
    Bleeding from the crown
    Led to stay, to die beside the thieves
    Kill the King of the world to be "

    Next, he speaks of his revenge:
    "And now to you, this will come:
    A putrefying pestilence
    More noxious than the serpent's breath
    Malevolently destined
    More corrupt than the malice of Choronzon
    More diseased
    Than the wind of the moonlight sun
    Putrefaction you have caused
    No need for confession
    Now you wish you had a god
    To stop your demolition
    Crush the bones of the hundred fold
    Swing the judgment hammer
    Man, woman, child, no one is safe
    The heads of the dead are the banner"

    Finally, toward the end of the song, it explains that we're all damned no matter what we do:
    "And this was all you got
    So don these broken wings
    Sands of time have run out
    Bells of Hades ring

    Is this a nightmare to unhallow thy name?
    Smell of brimstone dancing in the flames
    No help now as you fufill his task
    Chief of evil has got you by the ass

    Set free to sit up on the throne
    Just a dream, you're weeping all alone "


    The line "looking down the cross... Speak no evil" is to imply that he talks of forgiveness, to grant false hope and yet on their death will be tormented in hell for their sins.



  4.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 29th, 2008 6:04pm report


    Dave says on the liner notes to the Remastered version of the KIMB that this song is about what he thinks Jesus's last words and thought might have been while on the cross. I'd quote the notes if I had them in front of me.




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