St. Paul said the cross will be a stumbling block. It is confusing, isn’t it?
The crucifix depicts THE MOMENT that God gave everything to save humanity. It is the image of self sacrifice, and of the ultimate act of love.
And it’s a paradox. How can the ultimate act of evil (killing an innocent man, or worse, killing God) be the ultimate redemptive act and catalyst for saving the human race – for reconciling mankind to God? We could go in to a in-depth discussion on why this is so – but suffice for now, know that only by God can this be so.
It’s the central moment of the Christian faith, and therefore the central symbol of Christianity.
Isn’t it odd though? If the sniper crosshairs were the symbol of JFK, they wouldn’t cease to be snipers crosshairs for mundane practical purposes. If a lead bullet were a symbol of MLK Jr…we’d still use bullets and pictures of bullets for anything else. But the Cross – tens of thousands of people were crucified by the Roman Empire (and before the Empire, and after the Empire) – yet ONE man in particular was crucifed, and all of a sudden the cross as a symbol is recognized all over the world, by christians and non-christians alike. The symbol of treason, torture, and the most brutal death has become the symbol for love, redemption, and selflessness.
Death transformed to life, torture transformed to love…these are the acts and character of God Himself. This is why the Crucifix is so important, and central to the faith. It is literally the cause of the faith, and one of the most holy events in history.