I grew up in a “non-denominational” church, Church of Christ. Our building had no decorations or windows. We did have a very large baptismal pool and vaulted ceilings. It was never decorated for any season or purpose ( maybe weddings had some decorations). The outside was just as boring. All brick and no signs that it is even a church, other that the road sign that says “Church of Christ”.
So why do some churches profile a plain cross and the catholic church show a full crucifix? Well I grew up with neither. So here is my observation, years and decades later. The plain cross is a “nice” reminder. It reminds us of Jesus’ death, that it He suffered on the cross for our sake. It helps us to remember His sacrifice. The cross was once a symbol of suffering and ultimately death by cruel methods. But Gods use of it has turned that symbol upside down for us to be able to see past the suffering and death. The cross is now a symbol of hope, love and the life to come.
So why is it so important to remember this? What can the cross do for me?
When I read the bible and it details the not so pleasant events of the process of torture, hatred, humiliation and the hammering Jesus’ hands and feet to the cross. When we reflect upon Jesus hanging there on the cross one does wonder why did God do this? Why would God put His Son through this human suffering? In Luke 23:35 “The rulers sneered at Jesus and said, “He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.”” So the question is why do we need reminded of this? Well, I, us, we tend to forget. We want to look past the suffering and only be reminded of the positive. Well that is what I usually want to do, I want to look past my past. I only want to look at the positive, never the negative. I do not like to look in the past and the mistakes I have made in life. Now God did not make a mistake, but we need to be reminded of His sacrifice and His love for us. Remember that He came down to us, to show us how to live, love, laugh and to follow Him.
So now we begin to understand the crucifix, not just a cross, but we see Jesus’ agony on the cross. We are reminded that He was 100% human and 100% divine, we need this reminder. We need to see the suffering, we need to see that our agonies and sufferings are miniscule compared to His! So we need this not-so-nice reminder.
God may we begin to understand your love and mercy for us through your Son who died on the cross for us!