What is the significance of the Crucifixion?


Are you talking about the theological, social or historical significance? Or all of the above?

Any or all!

something about the hired hand running from the wolves…

From a treatise on John by Saint Augustine, bishop
The perfection of love

Dear brethren, the Lord has marked out for us the fullness of love that we ought to have for each other. He tells us: No one has greater love than the man who lays down his life for his friends. In these words, the Lord tells us what the perfect love we should have for one another involves. John, the evangelist who recorded them, draws the conclusion in one of his letters: As Christ laid down his life for us, so we too ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. We should indeed love one another as he loved us, he who laid down his life for us.

This is surely what we read in the Proverbs of Solomon: If you sit down to eat at the table of a ruler, observe carefully what is set before you; then stretch out your hand, knowing that you must provide the same kind of meal yourself. What is this ruler’s table if not the one at which we receive the body and blood of him who laid down his life for us? What does it mean to sit at this table if not to approach it with humility? What does it mean to observe carefully what is set before you if not to meditate devoutly on so great a gift? What does it mean to stretch out one’s hand, knowing that one must provide the same kind of meal oneself, if not what I have just said: as Christ laid down his life for us, so we in our turn ought to lay down our lives for our brothers? This is what the apostle Paul said: Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we might follow in his footsteps.

This is what is meant by providing “the same kind of meal.” This is what the blessed martyrs did with such burning love. If we are to give true meaning to our celebration of their memorials, to our approaching the Lord’s table in the very banquet at which they were fed, we must, like them, provide “the same kind of meal.”

At this table of the Lord we do not commemorate the martyrs in the same way as we commemorate others who rest in peace. We do not pray for the martyrs as we pray for those others, rather, they pray for us, that we may follow in his footsteps. They practiced the perfect love of which the Lord said there could be none greater. They provided “the same kind of meal” as they had themselves received at the Lord’s table. This must not be understood as saying that we can be the Lord’s equals by bearing witness to him to the extent of shedding our blood. He had the power of laying down his life; we by contrast cannot choose the length of our lives, and we die even if it is against our will. He, by dying, destroyed death in himself; we are freed from death only in his death. His body did not see corruption; our body will see corruption and only then be clothed through him in incorruption at the end of the world. He needed no help from us in saving us; without him we can do nothing. He gave himself to us as the vine to the branches; apart from him we cannot have life.

Finally, even if brothers die for brothers, yet no martyr by shedding his blood brings forgiveness for the sins of his brothers, as Christ brought forgiveness to us. In this he gave us, not an example to imitate but a reason for rejoicing. Inasmuch, then, as they shed their blood for their brothers, the martyrs provided “the same kind of meal” as they had received at the Lord’s table. Let us then love one another as Christ also loved us and gave himself up for us.

RESPONSORY 1 John 4:9, 11, 10

God showed his love for us by sending his only Son into the world to give us life through him.
– Since God has loved us so much, we too should love one another.

God loved us first, and sent his own Son to be the sacrifice that takes away our sin.
– Since God has loved us so much, we too should love one another.


O God,
who willed your Son to submit
for our sake to the yoke of the Cross,
so that you might drive from us the power of the enemy,
grant us, your servants,
to attain the grace of the resurrection.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
– Amen.



Sublime! The Son also chose to submit to the yoke of the Cross because He knew it would liberate us from evil - provided that we follow in His footsteps and submit willingly to inevitable suffering and death. Then we demonstrate our love and are united to Him forever.

God could have forgiven mankind in an instant through some sort of action that we might have understood, and that would have been that.

But, God’s plan was layed out over a long time, and involved God making this particular demonstration of his love, to send Jesus to die for our sins. This brutal, tangibly unnecessary torture and death has meaning beyond the immediate circumstances of its occurrence.

It is still visibly manifested in the memorial of the Mass.

Jews recite the Shema as a thrice-daily expression of their allegiance to the Sinai covenant established by God.

The Mass is a participation in the new covenant that was established in Jesus’ death. Our full participation in the Mass should remind us not only of the covenant itself, but of our obligations to the covenant.

As Scott Hahn explains in his books, this is not only a covenant between equals, but a covenant (giving of selves to each other) where the parties engaged are in an unequal standing. The crucifixion stands as the expression of God’s commitment and the example of our commitment to God.

I think that the primary significance of the cross is that it was through the cross that Jesus carried out God’s plan of salvation for all mankind. And it’s only through the atonement of Jesus on the cross that made it possible for God to forgive the world of sin and to give human beings eternal life for all those who choose to accept His Word. To bend a knee to the Passion of Jesus on the Cross is to realize God’s unconditional and everlasting love.

:thumbsup: The tragedy of our secular society is that commitment to others is no longer a priority judging from the prevalence of poverty, injustice, abortion and family disintegration.

:thumbsup: “love” is the key word. Without love life is worthless.

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