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Symbology of Cross Tattoos

Christian cross tattoos symbolize the crucifixion of Jesus, salvation and redemption.

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It is really quite hard to imagine the cross as a device made for execution. That is what it is, or at least a few thousand years ago was. The cross, that of the type that Jesus Christ was hung on to die, was nothing more than a form of torture, punishment, and eventually, death. But, why is it such a common motif for tattoos?

The cross, despite being a killing device, has a meaning. In the early 6th century, and still in many ways today, the cross symbolizes death. Crosses are placed on graves, not only to pinpoint the grave, but also as a mark of respect. Christians believe that the cross symbolizes eternal life, and for those still alive, it represents hope.

The cross makes a powerful statement; Christ was sent to die for the sins of mankind, and whilst Christ would have preferred an easier way to die, God -his Father- chose the most brutal, painful and public form of death possible: crucifixion. On that cross, tortured and humiliated, Christ died so man could live. He knew he had to die and he knew there was no other way but to follow the will of his father in heaven.

In killing the only son of God, in public and in so much pain, the cross stands out of the symbol of hope. Sin was taken away from man the day Christ died, and then rose again three days later. The cross gives hope that we can all be forgiven, and trust that we have a loving father in heaven. For many, wearing a cross is a way to remember the promises that were made when Christ died. The cross is not a symbol of “I am a Christian”; it is a mark that makes a man stop and think.

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The cross is also considered a protector. Provides comfort, and shows that the person wearing it knows that Christ died for them, and that his suffering on that cross was part of what gives them their freedom today and the promise of eternal life, sat with the father in heaven.

The cross, in any format, whether it is a small tattoo or a more elaborated tattoo containing words of meaning, or even a bible verse tattooed on a body, has a wide meaning for everyone, and a very personal meaning for the person with the tattooed cross. In some ways the cross they have tattooed is a sign of the cross they bear in life, it helps them and it reminds them of something of meaning to them. A cross is more than a work of art. Yes, it may look amazing, and perhaps that is wanted, but deep down inside there is a reason they wear that cross, and deeper still they know how Christ Suffered for them, so that they may have the hope and trust that only God can provide through the death of his son on a brutal killing machine.

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For more cross tattoos, visit our cross tattoo gallery.

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