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Christian cross facts for kids

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Church of Merciful Jesus in Gdynia (6)
A wooden cross

The Christian cross is a symbol of Christianity. Jesus was crucified (nailed to a large wooden cross). This was a commonly used method for killing people in Roman times. Because Jesus came back to life three days after He was crucified, the empty cross is a symbol of Jesus' sacrifice and suffering, but also a symbol of hope, the forgiveness of sins, and victory over death. These crosses are usually found on Christian churches.

History of use of the symbol

Early Christian use

During the first two centuries of Christianity, most people did not display the cross as a symbol of Christianity since it was used as a way to gruesomely kill someone in public. The Ichthys, or fish symbol, was used by early Christians because it was a reminder that Jesus made his disciples "fishers of men."

In modern Christianity

In Christianity, the cross reminds Christians of God's act of love in Christ's sacrifice at Calvary — "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." The cross also reminds Christians of Jesus' victory over sin and death, since it is believed that through His death and resurrection, He conquered death itself.

Forms of the cross

17 03 208 chapel
Altar and cross in the chapel at Callaway Gardens apologetics organization

The cross is often shown in different shapes and sizes and many different styles. It may be used in personal jewelry or used on top of church buildings.

Crosses are a popular in Christian cemeteries, either carved on gravestones or as sculpted stelas. Because of this, planting small crosses is sometimes used in countries of Christian culture to mark the site of fatal accidents, or to protest deaths.

In Catholic countries, crosses are often built on the peaks of prominent mountains, such as the Zugspitze or Mount Royal, so they can be seen by the entire surrounding area.

Meister des Reliquienkreuzes von Cosenza 002
A reliquary in the form of an ornate Christian Cross

The empty cross is usually preferred by Protestants, and the symbol reminds them of the Resurrection of Jesus. The crucifix is preferred by Catholic churches and is a reminder of Christ's sacrifice.

Christians remember the death of Jesus on the cross on Good Friday every year. More importantly, they celebrate His resurrection on the following Sunday, which is Easter, or Resurrection Day.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Cruz cristiana para niños

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