What does it mean when you wear a cross around your neck? Is it just jewelry? Is it a sign of your identity to other people? Is it a reminder to you of Christ’s command to pick up your cross and follow him? Jeff shares about what it means to him when he wears his crucifix, and challenges us to wear ours with meaning, too.
Sacrament vs. Sacramental
- A sacrament directly confers grace- in the Sacraments, we directly encounter Christ
- A sacramental is a sign of something holy that helps us enter into the mystery
- New testament: Paul had a piece of cloth that had healing virtue (Acts 19:11-12)
- Old Testament- tzitziot– tassels worn by the Jewish people on the four corners of their garments. Israel would be reminded of God’s laws in the Torah
What Should a Crucifix Remind Us Of?
- Galatians 2:20- “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.
- Luke 9:23- “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
- The cross reminds us to join the sufferings in our life to the sufferings of Christ
- The material of your Cross can help remind you of things, too.
- A wooden cross might remind us to live simply
- A golden cross might remind us of the priceless value of Christ’s sacrifice for us
Let’s Not Forget About The Sign of the Cross…
- The cross on our foreheads or around our neck marks us as part of Christ’s fold. We need to remember that identity and live up to it.
- Ezekiel 9:4- In one of Ezekiel’s visions, God tells a man “Pass through the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and mark … the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the abominations practiced within it.”
- Revelation 7:3 references back to this- “Then I saw another angel come up from the East, holding the seal of the living God. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who were given power to damage the land and the sea, “Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal, one hundred and forty-four thousand marked from every tribe of the Israelites”
Come Up With Your Elevator Pitch!
- If someone asks you what your cross means, or comments on how much they like it, what will you say? Can you give a short explanation as to why you have faith in Christ?
Pope Francis Reminds Us:
- “For some people it is a membership badge: ‘Yes, I carry the cross to show that I am a Christian.’ That is good, but it isn’t just a badge as if you were part of a team — a team logo — but a reminder of the one who made himself sin”
- “Salvation comes only from the cross, from this cross where God was made flesh. There is no salvation in ideas; there is no salvation in good will, in wanting to be good. No! The only salvation is in Christ crucified because only he — like the bronze serpent — was able to take upon himself the poison of our sin and heal us.”
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