A Crucifix: a cross with the figure of Jesus crucified upon it.
A Cross: a figure of the Cross as a Christian emblem, badge or the Cross as the symbol of Christianity.
In all the years that I have known about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, after 9 years in a Christian school, through my confirmation in my faith, and the all the years in and out of my faith; I am embarrassed to say that I was unaware of the distinction between a cross and a crucifix. But I am also excited by the new knowledge that was revealed to me in our Pastor’s sermon last Sunday.
For those of you who have seen Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of the Christ”, I know that you recall the heart wrenching scene of the scourging of Christ. It is one of the most gruesome visions I have ever seen. I cried and I wanted it to stop, but they went on and on. I cried for two reasons; first because it was so cruel and unwarranted because He was innocent. But more importantly, and even more distressing is knowing that as a sinner, I am just as responsible for Jesus’ suffering and death as those who were there and carried out the terrible deed.
I know now that is the reason I wear a cross instead of a crucifix. Partially out of guilt, and partly out of hope. The guilt is obvious, but the hope maybe not so obvious to some. You see, the crucifix represents the forgiveness of my sins, but the empty cross represents the resurrection. And the resurrection represents our hope in the day we all get together again in heaven. The empty cross lets me know that Jesus has forgiven me for yelling “Crucify Him, Crucify Him”.
I hope for those of you who have been carrying around the guilt of Christ’s crucifixion, peace in the glory of the Empty Cross. For one empty cross upon a hill proves Jesus loves us…still.
Lord Jesus, I am sorry for what I did to you.