Recently, my brother was in a hospital for heart valve replacement surgery. The hospital was Catholic so it was not surprising that in every room a crucifix was mounted on the wall. My question is: Why is the crucifix a symbol of Christianity? The reason is because Christianity emphasizes Christ’s death for our sins. However, the crucifix is rather negative because it represents suffering and death. Also, it looks backwards. In 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 the death and burial of Jesus is in the past tense. Jesus death is in the past and there is nothing more that can or needs to be done about our sins (Hebrews 10:17-18).
A much more appropriate and positive emphasis and symbol for Christianity would be the empty tomb or the resurrected Christ because each represents a new life and victory over death. In 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Jesus’ resurrection is in the perfect tense which is a past event with present consequences. Jesus’ resurrection, a historical event, has a present consequence which is the new life God wants us to live.
We need a new symbol for our faith that is positive, forward looking, and points toward the new life God has planned for us.