Thursday, October 6, 2011

Crucifix or Cross?

I was listening to a radio call in show lastnight that asked the question: why did Catholics keep Christ on the cross (crucifix), whereas Protestants typically have only a bare cross? The answer was that Catholics believe the point of redemption was at the cross- that is, on Good Friday, when Jesus died. Remembering Christ on the cross is therefore a remembrance of His loving sacrifice & our redemption. Protestants, on the other hand, claim the bare cross is in remembrance of Christ resurrected. It was noted however, that the bare cross could mean anything to anyone- it could be the symbol for historical crucifixion unrelated to the message of the Gospel. It could mean an unused cross... it could even mean a cross devoid of Christ. This last one hit me between the eyes. I too have wondered why a crucifix instead of a cross. I've always been told Catholics were attempting to keep Christ on the cross b/c they didn't accept the fullness of His saving power. It was believed that the crucifix was even a subtle gesture of mockery. But the truth is, the crucifix does remind us of Christ's sacrifice & suffering, whereas the cross alone really is just an empty cross without Christ... Chew on that one for a bit.

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