The Christian Cross is the most known symbol of Christianity.
Its religious relevance originates from the instrument of torture that the Romans used to execute Jesus, who was condemned to crucifixion based on the canonical Gospels. For a Christian, the Cross represents the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ assuming the dual symbol of hope (resurrection) and acceptance (suffering).
The Scriptures from the Fathers of the Church testify that the Cross has been used as a symbol by Christians since the very first centuries of Christianity.
The Death on a Cross and Resurrection of Jesus Christ is considered a mystery. It represents a core belief on which Christianity is based.
The Church adopted the symbol of the cross to remind its followers the importance of the sacrifice and the love for others, following the life of Jesus Christ.
The symbol of the cross changed over centuries and it has been represented in several ways: for example, Christian crosses either with or without a representation of the body of Jesus Christ can be distinguished. Protestants use a cross without the body of Jesus hanging from it to emphasizes the importance of the resurrection over the sacrifice.
For most Christians, the symbol of the Cross represents the immense love of God who sacrificed his own son to save the souls of all humanity.
There are several stories about the origin of the wood used for Jesus’ s cross. According to one story, the tree grew from one of the three seeds (cypress, cedar and pine) put on Abraham’ s mouth at his burial. Another version says that in the mouth of Abraham a Tree of Life twig was put, which was donated to Set, Abraham’s son, from the Archangel Michael. That twig grew to the tree from which was obtained the wood for Jesus’s cross.
The object most symbolic for Christian is the Cross, and every Christian has at least one. There a several variants of the Cross, such as:
The Tau:. it is a Cross adopted from the very first Christians for two main reasons: its shape reminds the real cross of Jesus Christ. The second is related to the prophesy of the End of Times since the Tau is the last letter of the Hebrew Alphabet.
The Egyptian Crux ansata: Shaped like the letter T surmounted by an oval or circle. Originally in the Ancient Egypt it was known as the key of Life o anch and it was the symbol for “life”. This cross is used by the Christian Copts.
The Armenian Cross: it is the Cross used by the Armenian Christians. It is shaped as a Latin cross with trefoil emblems at the ends of each branch, symbolizing the Holy Trinity.
The Latin Cross: it has two perpendicular arms, with the descending arm longer than the transversal one. It is the most common form. It represents the cross of Jesus’ crucifixion.
Papal Cross: It has three transversal bars of unequal length near the top, each one representing one role of the Pope: Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint’ Peter, Patriarch.
The Crucifix: it consists in a Latin cross with a representation of Jesus’ body hanging from it. It is the most used form in the Catholic Church because it emphasizes Christ’s sacrifice for humanity.