[quote="hilltop, post:1, topic:312736"]
Hi, This is Hilltop,
First time post,
I am a non Catholic but have family members who are Catholic. I am a sinner saved by Jesus Christ since 1948.
I have three questions about the Catholic church. Every cross I have seen in the Catholic church leaves Christ on the cross. Christ was not left on the cross but he died,and rose again. So why do you leave Christ there?
Welcome to CAF Hilltop.
I don't know whether you find Old Testament "types" or "prefigurements" helpful and interesting, but I do. So, in addition to the responses already given regarding Catholic crucifixes, I would mention an OT incident regarding the bronze serpent.* Numbers 21:5-9 And the people spoke against God and against Moses, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food." Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. And the people came to Moses, and said, "We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us." So Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and every one who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live." So** Moses made a bronze serpent**, and set it on a pole; and if a serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live. *Something I find interesting is that the serpent Moses was commanded to display on the pole was not an actual destructive serpent, but rather a manufactured replica.
Next, ponder the above incident with Our Lord's words in St. John's gospel. (Eg. What was the purpose of having the Israelites look at the image of the dead serpent; why connect that particular situation - looking at an image - to the NT reception of eternal life; ...) * John 3:14-15 "And as **Moses lifted up the serpent **in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life." * Applying this to Catholic crucifixes, when we look at an image of our crucified Lord, it causes us to have so many basic Christian truths and affections come to mind (seriousness of our sins, what our redemption cost Our Lord, depth of God’s love for us, appreciation for what He suffered, …) that an empty cross would not arouse. At the same time we also remember and are grateful for the redemption that is ours if we “look” at His sacrifice – that is, learn & know about it, believe it, obey His instructions on how to receive the new nature He merited for us. (cf. Eph. 3:22-24; Col. 3:9-10; 2 Peter 1:4).
There are just so many Scripture passages – both Old and New Testament – that can come to mind when looking at a crucifix and prayerfully meditating on what it depicts; what it accomplished; what led up to it and what followed it. It is central.