More Emphasis On Which?


#1

Should we, as christians, put more emphasis on the crusafix or the empty cross image? One makes you focus on the death and one puts focus on the resurrection. What do you think?


#2

Hello:
I would have to say on the Crucifix because it is a reminder of the great sacrifice Christ made for us.
Joeysmom


#3

The crucifix.

The empty cross is just the instrument used in Jesus’ death. A better symbol of the resurrection would be an empty tomb.

It is Jesus, Himself, on the crucifix, throughout His entire passion and death, that freed us from sin and death. The empty cross is just that – empty.


#4

[quote=Singinbeauty]Should we, as christians, put more emphasis on the crusafix or the empty cross image? One makes you focus on the death and one puts focus on the resurrection. What do you think?
[/quote]

Doesn’t matter in the least, except at a Catholic altar where the crucifix draws attention to the eternal Sacrifice of Calvary. Otherwise, the plain cross and the crucifix each expresses a different, indispensable aspect of our faith. Catholic churches use both in profusion; the crucifix is more limited to places where devotion is focused, while crosses may be incorporated more widely into decorative motifs.


#5

[quote=mercygate]Doesn’t matter in the least, except at a Catholic altar where the crucifix draws attention to the eternal Sacrifice of Calvary. Otherwise, the plain cross and the crucifix each expresses a different, indispensable aspect of our faith. Catholic churches use both in profusion; the crucifix is more limited to places where devotion is focused, while crosses may be incorporated more widely into decorative motifs.
[/quote]

I believe only Catholics display crucifixes. I exchanged wearing a lovely jade cross my husband gave me for the crucifix my mom gave me a long time ago because it identifies me as a Catholic.
Joeysmom


#6

[quote=joeysmom]I believe only Catholics display crucifixes. I exchanged wearing a lovely jade cross my husband gave me for the crucifix my mom gave me a long time ago because it identifies me as a Catholic.
Joeysmom
[/quote]

I was an Episcopalian for 40 years. Crucifixes were used prominently in every Episcopal church I ever belonged to. – Not to say that in some Episcopal churches they are not seen . . . Many Lutherans use them. Even Presbyterian or Methodist churches may have the image of the Crucified in their stained glass windows (though not likely anywhere else).


#7

CRUCIFIX!!!

Thank you for that… I was spelling it Crusafix and I just knew that wasn’t right… LOL It was driving me nuts! :smiley:

To me, the empty cross could mean one of two things. Yes Jesus died on the cross for my sins BUT He did stay there. He isn’t forever in torment for me. It was a moment and it passed in comparrison to time. Also it reminds me that I need to pick up my cross and follow Him. I lost my cross that had a rose in the center of it. It was so beautiful! :frowning:


#8

[quote=mercygate]I was an Episcopalian for 40 years. Crucifixes were used prominently in every Episcopal church I ever belonged to. – Not to say that in some Episcopal churches they are not seen . . . Many Lutherans use them. Even Presbyterian or Methodist churches may have the image of the Crucified in their stained glass windows (though not likely anywhere else).
[/quote]

Oh, thank you for telling us that. I didn’t know that. I learn something new every day.
Joeysmom :slight_smile:


#9

[quote=Singinbeauty]Should we, as christians, put more emphasis on the crusafix or the empty cross image? One makes you focus on the death and one puts focus on the resurrection. What do you think?
[/quote]

Jesus fish. ΙΧΘΥΣ


#10

As Saint Paul said, “I preach Christ crucified,”


#11

[quote=bogeyjlg]As Saint Paul said, “I preach Christ crucified,”
[/quote]

You beat me to it!!


#12

Many Lutherans use them.

I spent the first 30 years of my life as a lutheran and never once saw one crucifix on anyone or in any lutheran church. It was considered a “Catholic thing”.
Perhaps, they changed…


#13

[quote=bogeyjlg]As Saint Paul said, “I preach Christ crucified,”
[/quote]

Amen brother!


#14

I wouldn’t see why a christless cross would be of any use to us. A christless cross I would think would still be a sign of tyrrany and opression with christs cross is the sign of salvation. Just me though, I’m weird like that.


#15

Christ consecrated His sacrifice of His Body and Blood at the Passover, His crucifixion, and all Catholic altars must have a crucifix present as liturgical discipline. Luther was dismayed at the Iconoclast movement that smashed images in Catholic churches yet Lutherans can display this tendency towards imagery. Other non-Catholics mock Catholics with their re-crucifixion of Christ, as they see it, and refuse to show the Corpus on the cross as Christ’s sacrifice was “once and for all” though, more properly, eternal.

One of the marks of Antichrist (besides the RFID chip…) is denial of the crucifixion. Modern gnostics led by France’s Jean Cocteau show the empty cross saying Christ wasn’t crucified. This denial of the crucifixion, shared by Islam, is the basis for Salvador Dali’s modern crucifixion scene showing himself as the short-haired, non-crucified corpus floating in space as viewed from above, mockery of St. John of the Cross’s visionary sketch of Christ crucified.

Christ is the Lamb of God slain before time began so wisely and well do Catholics witness to “Christ crucified.” Christ is also the Second Adam. The skull and cross bones below old crucifixes represent the bones of Adam that, as extrabiblical Jewish literature states, were temporarily buried in a cave under Golgotha by Noah’s son, Shem, though later translated to the twin caves of Machpelah where the matriarch Sarah was buried. This twin cave was, by the way, viewed and sealed during the Six Days War and never reopened as possibly offending Muslims, who also claim lineage from Abraham but through Hagar, Sarah’s handmaid.


#16

[quote=catsrus]I spent the first 30 years of my life as a lutheran and never once saw one crucifix on anyone or in any lutheran church. It was considered a “Catholic thing”.
Perhaps, they changed…
[/quote]

Ditto that, catsrus; the last time I was in a Lutheran church (about 9 years ago) there was no crucifix, as that was “too Catholic” and that the focus should be on the empty cross.


#17

As we have not yet experienced the resurrection of the dead, it’s hard for us to relate to an empty cross. On the other hand, we can relate to Christ crucified because of our sufferings in this life. It also reminds us that we are the ones that put Him there and because of that it is a reminder of our need to repent. Finally, Catholics are accused of “keeping Jesus on the cross,” but we also keep Him in the manger (as do many Protestants)…does anyone ever complain about that?


#18

I think the premise of the question is flawed. There are many ways of symbolizing the resurrection other than the empty Cross.

If you ask “should we emphasize the Cross or the Resurrection more?” I’d answer “you can’t have one without the other, but the Cross exists for the sake of the Resurrection and not vice versa, so if you have to choose then the Resurrection is more important.” But there are many ways of conveying the Resurrection that are far more powerful than the empty Cross. The Orthodox, for instance, often criticize us Western Christians for overemphasizing the Crucifixion (though according to some things I’ve heard, late medieval Western Cross-focused piety actually came from the Byzantine tradition originally!). But they don’t express their faith in the Resurrection through an empty Cross. They express it through vivid icons of the Resurrection, through festive chanting of “Christ is Risen!” and in general through an exuberant proclamation of Christ’s victory over death. I’d like to see Catholics and Protestants show more of that focus on the victory of the Resurrection (the liturgical movement has made great strides in that direction, I think). But the empty cross is a non-issue. I don’t believe that the Protestant rejection of the crucifix arose from a stress on the Resurrection at all. I think this explanation was made up after the fact as a polemical weapon.

I think the original reason for the abolition of the crucifix was the Reformed belief that such representations were idolatrous. Lutherans have never rejected the crucifix entirely, I believe, but it’s true that they have tended to be influenced by the general Protestant attitude on this point.

There’s another possible reason, that does affect Lutherans as well as other Protestants, and that comes closer to the “cross/resurrection” argument. Protestants in my experience (particularly of Lutheran/Reformed/Baptist traditions) do not emphasize the Resurrection more than Catholics. Indeed, they are if anything more fixated on the Cross than Catholics. But they do tend to emphasize the doctrine of the Atonement rather than the concrete sufferings of Christ (this I think is most true for the Reformed, but this attitude does go back to Luther; fortunately in my opinion much later Lutheran piety remained very medieval in this regard, as in many ways did Luther’s own piety for all his critiques). The argument is that Christ’s work atoning for our sins, rather than His sufferings, is what really matters. Just how empty that argument is can be seen from the powerful effect of Mel Gibson’s *The Passion *on most evangelical Protestants. But I think that the empty Cross does serve as a better symbol of the abstract doctrine of the Atonement than the crucifix does. When you look at the crucifix you remember that this was a real human being suffering. The Cross without the corpus is (literally) bloodless. But the Cross of Christ was not bloodless. Its value to us comes from the fact that a real, bloodstained body hung on it. We forget that fact at our peril.

I think there are good reasons to use the empty cross. I don’t actually have strong feelings either way–until Protestants try to make the difference a key point of theology and claim a spurious superiority on the basis of their alleged greater faith in the Resurrection.

I confess some fondness for the “Christus Victor” crucifix popular in some post-Vatican-II Catholic circles, in which Christ is portrayed as triumphant on the Cross. This is of course not a realistic portrayal–but if you want to represent the Christian doctrine of the Atonement I think it’s a far better symbol than the empty Cross.

Edwin


#19

[quote=Contarini]I confess some fondness for the “Christus Victor” crucifix popular in some post-Vatican-II Catholic circles, in which Christ is portrayed as triumphant on the Cross.
[/quote]

I don’t like the “Christus Victor,” because it’s not really accurate:

[quote=ILO]Jesus did not resurrect from the cross, He resurrected from the tomb. The cross is only a symbol of His suffering and death. The tomb is a symbol of His resurrection.
[/quote]

I found that on this thread:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=13874#post13874

Also, I think that I saw an article about this somewhere in This Rock or on the Catholic Answers website, but of course I just can’t find it when I need it. :frowning: Either way, here’s a link to the topic of the crucifix in general:

catholic.com/thisrock/2000/0010fea4.asp


#20

If you would like to symoblize the Resurrection, why not an empty tomb? Jesus did not not resurrect from the cross, specifically. His body was removed from the cross and placed in a tomb, right? So, why is the empty cross so important in representing the Resurrection for you? The empty cross could be symbolic of many things - including before He was crucified, like when He was carrying it. Crucifixion was the manner of death for many people at the hands of the Romans. What makes Christ’s cross unique is that He was on it and that *He *died on it for us. That is why using *only *the empty cross is, well, empty.


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