Images of the Crucifixion

The first thing I noticed when I walked into St. Thomas Apostle Church in Lenior City, Tennessee (where I am visiting family) yesterday morning was the crucifix.

Two thing struck me. First the absence of nails holding the body of Christ to the cross. I had an immediate positive reaction to that (as I have had when I’ve seen other crosses lacking nails), since it brings together death and resurrection. Jesus died, but he also rose, and each is a central aspect of our story.

I had a less positive reaction to the second feature of the crucifix I noticed: the absence of wound marks on Christ. To me there is significance to the fact that the resurrected Christ still bears the marks of the crucifixion; the resurrection does not erase what came before it. So it was jarring to not see those wounds.

After Mass – a celebration of the feast of St. Ignatius, during which the pastor gave a nice sermon on Ignatius’ conversion which included brief instruction on Ignatian contemplation – I took this picture of the crucifix. I’m not sure my picture conveys it well, but here it is: