How to I explain to a Lutheran the Catholic focus on the Passion of Christ, exemplified by the crucifix?


Full Question

My son is dating a Lutheran girl who finds it hard to understand why we have a crucifix in every church. I explained that because of Christ's love for us, he suffered and died on the cross for our sins and our salvation. She says Jesus' Resurrection is what they focus on. Could you please explain further?

Answer

Jesus did not redeem us on Easter Sunday. He redeemed us on the cross on Good Friday. He also said that to be his disciple we must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him (Matt.16:24-27). Nowhere in Scripture do we find him replacing such attention with Easter Sunday! To behold the image of Jesus hanging on the cross is to recognize the greatest event in history. It is to remember how incapable we are of fully appreciating what his infinite love is—and how infinitely fortunate we are to know such love (even though imperfectly) through the gift of faith.


Fr. Vincent Serpa O.P.