Crucifixes – only half of the gospel
The apostle Paul attached great importance to the crucifixion of Jesus. Here are two things he said about it:
I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:2)
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
The crucifixion is important. When he died on the cross Jesus atoned for our sins and made it possible for us to have our sins forgiven and to become children of God. Many people use crucifixes, models of Jesus on the cross, as reminders of this event.
As important as the crucifixion is, it is not the entire story of salvation.
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
We are saved by the death and the resurrection of Jesus.
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
When Paul preached the gospel he always spoke of the resurrection.
So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there.Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. (Acts 17:17,18)
I am certain that those who use crucifixes believe in the resurrection but they don’t seem to understand its importance. And what do those who know nothing of the Bible think when they see crucifixes? They only see half of the gospel. If you want to use the cross as a symbol, it is better to use an empty cross to show that Jesus is no longer on the cross but has risen from the dead.
We do not serve a Jesus who is nailed to a cross. The Jesus we serve was resurrected and is now seated on a throne in Heaven. One day, perhaps soon, he will return to earth and sit on a throne here where everyone will see him and acknowledge that he is king.