The cross is the most widely-recognized Christian symbol in the world, adorning millions of churches and chapels. While it’s nice to see this symbol so accepted, it’s easy to lose sight of what the cross was originally used to represent. Reexamining its origins puts the cross in an entirely new light.
The cross is more than the near-universal symbol of Christianity. This simple design carries the message of love, finality, fulfilled promises, and more to people around the world.
For anyone familiar with the Old Testament, the cross represents the culmination of prophecy dating back to the Garden of Eden. God had always promised to send Jesus to suffer and die, taking the punishment that we deserve for our sins. The Bible made everything clear, even down to the exact method of death–for instance, Psalm 22 famously describes the method of crucifixion centuries before it was invented. The cross ends this line of prophecy and shows a fulfillment of promises.
Love and Humility
Crucifixion was a despised method of execution reserved only for the worst criminals. Jesus, the holy Son of God, absolutely did not deserve to die this way. But His choice to do so in fulfillment of prophecies shows His humility in both life and death and His love for us as humans. He gave up everything for us in the ultimate sacrifice.
Pro Tip: Remember that regardless of your actions, Jesus still loves you. Nothing you can do is bad enough to change that.
Right before dying, Jesus famously declared, “It is finished,” (John 19:30). The meaning of this statement, and by extension the cross, is twofold. First, the immediate earthly life of Jesus was over. He would show Himself briefly after the resurrection, but the cross marked a turning point in His relationship to other people.
Second, the ultimate punishment for sin was and is complete. No amount of prayers or good deeds could ever make us more fit for Heaven than what Jesus did and completed on His own. The cross represents that our punishment has been taken, and Jesus stands ready to accept and forgive us if we only ask.
To individuals, the cross may mean different things. But to most Christians, the cross represents the greatest sacrifice ever made and the assurance of salvation. It’s an incredible gift to ponder.
What does the cross mean to you? Join the conversation to see what the cross means to others near you.