September 14 Marks the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. On this day, the faithful honor the Holy Cross on which Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, shed His blood out of love for the sinners, as by His death on the Cross He brought salvation to the entire world.
It is important in this regard to recall that the public veneration of the Cross of Lord Jesus Christ originated in the 4th century, which began with the miraculous discovery of the Cross on September 14, 326 by St. Helen while she was on pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
The Cross represents the sacrifice by which Lord Jesus accomplished our salvation. The Cross is the best religious symbol of Christianity as it reminds Christians of Lord Jesus’ sacrifice where He gave His life for us, namely the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world.
As Christians celebrate the Feast of the Resurrection (commonly known as Easter) which marks the life, death, and the resurrection of Lord Jesus, it is to be admitted that there is no feast without Good Friday and there is Resurrection without the Lord’s death on the Cross.
Press reports have recently posted a photo that has gone viral across social media platforms of an unidentified man in Ukraine hugging a life-size Cross, then praying at the foot of the Cross at a time when the Russian-Ukrainian conflict erupted. This photo captures an unidentified darkly-clothed man embracing the crucifix by wrapping his arms around the foot of the Cross. The photographer who snapped the shot said at the time, “I was feeling my heart quiver with unbelief and shock. Also, I felt faith rising in my heart.”
The Holy Cross is venerated as a manifestation of the heartfelt love and appreciation for the One Who died on the Cross to give salvation to humanity. In old days, the Cross used to be a sign of shame, has turned to be the instrument of love through which the Almighty Lord saved us. It had been a sign of humiliation or rather a sign of degradation and shame of those crucified. It was a sign of profound shame and a public declaration to viewers and passersby who used to look down upon the crucified. Yet, after Lord Jesus' crucifixion and conquering death, the Cross became a symbol of salvation, while the One Who died on the Cross became a sublime model of sacrifice, dedication or rather salvation to the entire humanity. Thus, the Cross serves as a sign of honor, nobility, sacrifice, and dedication to a new life marked by blessings, hope, and assurances that a noble and scared life is in the offing. It is a beacon of hope.
With Lord Jesus conquering death on the Cross, the authority of Satan and the demons has already ended. The Holy Bible says in this regard, “For the word of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (Corinthians 1:18)
Though it is important to stick all the time to the Cross in its capacity as the symbol of salivation, yet what is most important is stay close to our loving and noble Lord, namely Lord Jesus Christ--the One Who died on the Cross to give us eternal life to those who believe in Him and to seek His care all the time.