It’s a common practice for Catholics to keep a crucifix in our homes. Many of us also wear one around our neck. Some might find it a little odd that we’re actively displaying an instrument of shameful execution traditionally used for slaves and revolutionaries.
When was the last time you really looked at the Crucifix?
His body scourged for us. A crown of thorns piercing his tender head. Nails driven into his hands and feet. Stripped of dignity. Suffocating, aching, dying.
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?Psalm 22:2
In the Old Testament, Adam and Eve disobeyed God, eating fruit from a tree. Through their sin, they separated all of us from God. Yet Jesus restores that relationship through a different kind of tree, turning it into a symbol of healing and redemption.
Think about that. Every time we knowingly chose wrong over right. Every time we were hateful instead of kind. Every time we told a lie instead of the truth. Jesus took the punishment for all of this.
Christ died for us. He is our salvation from sin and darkness. His sacrifice redeems us to God and opens the doors to heaven, where we can live eternally in community with all the angels and saints.
When all I see is a cross, God, You see the empty tomb.Phil Wickham “Battle Belongs”
So really look at Jesus on the crucifix. Look closely.
It brings life – not death.
It brings light – not darkness.
It offers redemption – not condemnation.
It leads us to Paradise.
In the cross we encounter true sacrificial love, replacing all our sin and shame with hope and comfort.
How much did God suffer for us?
How much more does He love us?
What shall we give Him in return?
And I will live for the Lord; my descendants will serve you.Psalm 22:31