The Symbolism of the Cross


I am a foreign student here, but I do not come from a Christian country. I am curious about your religion. Why do churches have a cross on top of them, and why do some people wear a cross? What does it mean?


In ancient times a cross was an instrument of torture and death; condemned criminals would be nailed to a cross and forced to hang from it (usually in public view) until they died an excruciating death.

And it was on a cross that Jesus Christ was put to death, apparently bringing an end to His life and ministry. But His death was different from every other death in the history of the human race—because by His death, He made it possible for us to be forgiven of our sins and go to Heaven when we die. The Bible puts it this way: Jesus died “so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death” (Hebrews 2:14-15).

How is this possible? It is possible first of all because of who Jesus was—God Himself in human form. Jesus was not just another great religious teacher; he was God in human flesh! And because of that, death could not hold Him.

But it is possible also because it was God’s plan. God loves us—and because He loves us, He came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ, and on the cross He became the final sacrifice for our sins. Discover Jesus for yourself as He is found in the pages of the New Testament. Then you’ll understand why the cross is at the center of our faith.