What does the INRI mean at the top of the crucifix?
It is an acronym from the Latin that, translated, means “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” The original Latin phrase is Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum. The original purpose of the placard on the cross with the INRI inscribed on it was to inform passerby as to the nature of the crime for which Jesus was being executed (cf. John 19:18-22). For Christians the acronym has become a symbol of Jesus as the Messiah.