A. Deman, whoever he or she is, is simply barking up the wrong tree. He/she obviously has no idea of what the Gospels say in describing the Crucifixion, nor has any clue about the liturgical tradition of the Orthodox Church. All the elements of a Crucifixion icon can be found in the words of scripture and the liturgical texts for Great Friday. Methinks A. Deman is promoting a syncretist or even atheist viewpoint.
Wow. The point is that Christians did not reinvent the wheel with their iconographic practices. Many, many of the "pagan" (pre-Christian) customs were taken on by the Church. So what? There are striking similarities in the iconography, such as the two attendants to the sacrifice, the sun and the moon flanking overhead, et cetera. The Christians took what the knew from the world around them and the context that they were in, and they applied that to their faith. How can anything else be the case? And why would that be scary, threatening, or problematic for Christians today? Do we have to believe that everything Christian fell out of the sky and was totally "original"?
Pointing out similarities with and influences on Christianity is not sycretism.
But to say that the "pagans" before the Christians were without hope and totally lost does not seem accurate to me. Because our faith is universal, it acknowledges all attempts to worship gods as being ultimately intended to reach the One True God. That does not mean that they were correct or acceptable in every way, but the simple fact for the early Christians is that there is only One God. So as the people converted from all over, many aspects of what they had directed towards their gods in the past were absorbed into Christianity, assuming that they did not grossly violate the Christian faith or alter it in any substantial way. The ankh in Egypt, the cross of the Gauls, and the Celtic triquetra were all eagerly absorbed. The image of Isis holding Horus was utilized as well.
These images complimented the universal reality of Christ, who in many ways had already been present in their culture and worship, as God has written His law on the heart of every person.
Just as their were many god-men of legend and living before Christ in places across the globe, they all prefigured the arrival of the incarnation of the One True God of all peoples of all nations. Christ has come and fulfilled the worship of all the gods of old into their ultimate realization!