Why is the Cross the Symbol of Christianity?

I love the symbol of the Cross!! But this isn’t how I have always felt. When I was Mormon I was often asked why we didn’t wear crosses or have crosses on our buildings. I always responded with what I had been taught: “We don’t focus on Christ’s death but on His life and the fact that he is still living.” In reality I was repulsed by crosses on churches or whenever I saw someone wearing a cross as jewelry. Now that I understand the true meaning of Christ’s Cross I am continually drawn back to its message—like a moth to a flame!

But what is the meaning of the Cross? Its message is seen as “foolishness” to many Latter-day Saints. Indeed, it is what divides Mormonism from Christianity! Today I share with you why the Cross is the symbol of my faith and pray that you will also make it yours.

My most treasured possession was won at the Cross—the forgiveness of all my sins! My entire debt of sin was canceled and taken away from me, in fact—my IOU’s were actually nailed to Christ’s Cross! (Colossians 2:13-15) When I first heard and understood this message of forgiveness, I gave my life to Jesus. As a Mormon I had been taught that even though Christ paid the debt for my sins, the debt hadn’t been canceled but merely re-financed. In fact, I still owed my debt to Jesus. For years I had tried to wash my own sins away by meeting the LDS requirements of repentance—and had failed miserably. Today, I cherish the meaning of the Cross because it boldly testifies that “where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin” (Hebrews 10:17-18).

Not only were my sins forgiven at the Cross, it was there that I was “perfected forever” through the offering of Christ’s body (Hebrews 10:10-14). This is amazing because I certainly didn’t deserve to be credited with righteousness. But through His death on the Cross, Christ reconciled me to God, presenting me “holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight” (Colossians 1:21-22).

How can these things possibly be true? Only through what my Savior accomplished! Even though Jesus was equal to God, He became a servant; He “humbled himself and became obedient” by dying on the Cross (Philippians 2:5-11). “For the joy that was set before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame.” (Hebrews 12:2) Notice here that He despised the shame. Have you ever felt shame? Shame is a horrible feeling that I know all too well! I have felt much shame over the years for the sins that I committed. But I deserved my shame. The Holy Son of God never once sinned and yet He took upon Himself every sin ever committed. I can’t even begin to imagine the magnitude of shame that our Holy Savior felt when He did this at the Cross!

Taking upon Himself every sin meant that it was like Jesus Himself had actually committed these sins! This was His role as our Substitute, and it had to be done at the cross to save us. Forgiveness can only be granted through the shedding of one’s life-blood. And the Cross was the altar where Christ shed His. This is why Christians use the symbol of Christ’s death–the Cross, as the symbol of their faith.

Without the Cross, I was cursed to spend eternity in Hell with Satan. The Apostle Paul told the Galatians: “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” Because I could not do what was required, Christ came to do it for me. His very purpose for coming to earth was to be my substitute; and yours!! You were cursed because of your sins but Christ took your curse upon Himself. He actually became a curse!! Both for you and for me! As the final sacrifice “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree”. Notice that His substitution happened at the cross! It was at the Cross that every sin ever committed was paid for and forgiven! Now, “where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin”!!!!

The LDS church shuns the Cross, because it claims to focus on Christ’s life instead. In reality, Mormon prophets reject the message of the Cross because it’s foolishness to them!!! “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”

As I mentioned, I am continually drawn back to the message of the cross—like a moth to a flame. Whenever I feel guilt over the sin that so easily entangles me—I run to the Cross! It is at the Cross that I can leave my guilt and be reminded that my sin has already been forgiven. Then immediately, I turn in gratitude and thankfulness to my Savior who died on that Cross—for me!!!

The cross is the center of our lives

The cross is the center of our lives

When I got married a few years ago my last name became “Detro”. One day I realized that the “T” in the center of Detro could be made into the symbol of the Cross. My husband and I love the symbolism that this created. Christ’s Cross is the symbol of our faith—the very center of our lives and our marriage! My husband surprised me one year with this beautiful anniversary gift that sits by our front door.

Click here for additional LDS and Bible references: