I Am

Chapter 13: “the Cross”






John 19, I think, gives a very good and vivid account of Jesus’s crucifixion.

My handout today gives a much more detailed descrip-tion of a crucifixion during Jesus’s time.


And with that in mind, I thought I would focus my lesson briefly on just

the Cross, and what this means to me, and also share some personal experiences with you.


For a long time, I thought only Catholics could wear a cross as part of

their religion. But as years went by, I begin to realize and

look at the cross symbol with new meaning.


Crosses come in many different designs and styles.

Each design having its own history and special meaning.

Today, I will focus on just a couple, due to the time



The “Latin Cross”, also called the “Christian Cross”, is seen as a

representation of the instrument of the crucifixion of

Jesus. Today, it is the best known symbol of Christ-

ianity. The two basic types of crosses today

are: “The Cross” and “The Crucifix”.


To Distinguish between the two:

(A) A cross without a “corpus” on it is a

(B) A cross with a “corpus” on it is a

The crucifix is a combination of a cross and the corpus.

The inscription at the top, is the Latin abbreviation

for “Jesus of Nazarenus Rex Judae Orem”, which means,

“Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.”


The word “Crucifix” means “body on a cross”.

And the word “crucifixion” means to hang a body from the



Many crosses depict the cross as crucifixes, in order to emphasize that it is

Jesus that is important, rather than the cross itself. However,

some crosses depict the cross without the corpus, interpreting

this form as an indication of belief in the resurrection.


The Cross was central in the thinking of New Testament writers, because

the cross was the means chosen by God to bring redemption

to lost mankind. Man cannot be saved by his own efforts,

but needs Jesus.


Today, the Cross is a venerated (regard with feelings of respect and

reverence) object in many parts of the world.


During the early Roman rule, Christians were being persecuted and

crucified by the Romans ever since Christ was crucified, and

it was very dangerous to be discovered. The Emperor

Constantine stopped religious persecution throughout the

Roman Empire in 313 A.D. Then, the cross or crucifix was

encouraged to be worn openly as a sign of the individual’s



I wear a cross around my neck because, to me, it has several meanings.


In we find, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the

glory of God”. This cross reminds me that God can see the

depths of all my sins. That I have fallen short… . that I haven’t

lived up to God’s expectations. It’s important that we have a

living relationship with Jesus Christ. And in order to have this

relationship, we must realize our total dependence upon what

Christ accomplished for us on the Cross of Calvary.


By the same token, this cross reminds me of God’s love for me; His total

and unconditional love for me.


In it says: God so loved the world, that he gave His

only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life”.


The Cross is a symbol that reminds me of God’s love. Love in sacrificing

His own Son for How awesome is that??

It represents Jesus’s victory over sin and death.


Jesus died on the cross for all my sins, all my sins of the past, present,

and future. To me, that’s amazing. Jesus paid the

ultimate price for me and all mankind. He died on the

cross for a sinner like me, and gave me a chance for

eternal salvation.


In Jesus says to take thy cross and follow Me. What

better way than wearing a cross to remind us that we

can be forgiven if we repent, confess our sins, and

follow Him.


Next, when I look at this cross, it reminds me of some fun times

with my daughter as she was growing up. Many times,

we would play a little game, where I would ask her,

“How much do you love daddy?”, and she would reply,

“This much”, and she would hold out her hands real wide.

Of course, I would have to tickle her. Today, my daughter

still does the same game with my grandchildren.


The reason this comes to mind is because, several years ago, I came

across this little piece in some article I was reading and it

really caught my eye.

I wrote it down and have carried it in my wallet for years.

I wore it out the first time and had to re-copy it, and as

you can see this copy is quite well-worn and seen a few

days in my billfold.

It read:                    “I ask Jesus”,

                    “How much do you love me?”

                    “This much,” He answered,

                    “And He stretched out His arms… . and died.”


And last for whatever reason, when someone asks the question,

                    “Does God love me?”

                    If they are like me, I can look at this

                    cross and know, He has already

                    answered that question when He held

                    out His arms… . and died.