Christians and the Cross- Why that Symbol???

This is probably going to be one of those posts that get me in trouble, but I am truly, no sarcasm, perplexed by this.
My boys and I went with our good friend to Lenten services, during this past Lent. And it was the first time for them. Anyway, it was a lovely service and pretty typical of a Lent service, which of course, was pretty spectacular for the boys, having never seen anything like it. So, we sat up front and of course the cross is the first thing they notice and my youngest asked a few questions about it, but then nothing else. It wasn’t until Passover and my oldest was reading some stories about Moses, that this question popped up. He had handed his little brother the bible and he flipped to the Crucifixion story.  Peering over his little brother’s head, he got a very puzzled look and said, ” Why did they use a cross?” so I explained that it was a pretty common method of punishment at time.

All the Romans were doing it. I talked about it being used for torture and probably gave them way more information than they actually wanted or needed, but I have a tendency to do that. Then he asked about the cross necklaces that he sees people wear. What does that mean? I explained that it was a symbol of faith, like the Star of David.
He said that it just doesn’t make sense. Jesus wanted people to get along and love each other, not hurt each other. So why would the his people wear something that shows something so ugly.  If Jesus was the lamb of God, why not wear a cute little lamb instead of something used to kill people. Hmm kids.
Okay, Wow. So, How do I answer that one? Carefully of course.

My Answer? I don’t know why a cross and not a lamb.  As a symbol of faith, it isn’t the symbol itself that holds any power, it is the faith behind the symbol, isn’t it? I do know who I am going to ask though.
But the conversation has stuck in my head.  But, then I am a little bit obsessed with symbols, religion and the way of it all.  But, he does have a point and the more I think  about the more creepy it seems.

I would bet, if you ran around, today with a picture of a mutilated body in your pocket & you showed it to everyone, you would probably get locked up somewhere.  But, yet seeing someone wearing a piece of jewelry that has a man who is being tortured and nailed to a cross, doesn’t even raise an eyebrow.  I like the idea of a cute little lamb.   That makes a whole different statement.  That says, I am innocent and new, open to possibility, gentle…

So, what do you think?  and I do not want to hear, the crucifix is a symbol of what he did for us…. I understand that part of the symbolism.  I just wonder is that appropriate anymore?  Would Jesus, rather have people focused on his death or his life and what he taught???  That is I think where my little man was going with his question.



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