My parents recently returned from a 10 day tour of Israel!! Though I am super jealous of their trip, I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing their stories, learning the history and of course receiving the special souvenirs they brought back. One item in particular is my Jerusalem Cross necklace, also known as the Crusaders Cross. They actually purchased two different Jerusalem Cross necklaces for me. My mom shared a short version of what the cross signified when she gave it to me. However, I decided to do my own research and learned so much more.
There are 3 theories to what the five crosses signify:
- The Four Corners of the Earth:
“And you, O son of man, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel: An end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land.” (ESV) The Hebrew word for “corners” is “kanaph” which translates to the word “extremity”. The idea is that the four crosses symbolize the news of Jesus needing to be proclaimed to the entire ‘extremities’ of the world.
- The Gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke & John:
“And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospels to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15 (ESV) I know that these 4 books are considered the “gospels”, however I never knew why or took the time to understand the importance of the label, “gospels”. “Euaggelion” is the Greek word for “gospel” which literally means “good news”. The first four books of the New Testament provide the account of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection and were written specifically to spread the good news of Jesus’ promise of everlasting life through Him. Therefore, some say the four crosses represent, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, with Jesus as the center cross.
- Christ’s Wounds:
“He was wounded and crushed because of our sins; by taking our punishment, he made us completely well.” Isaiah 53:5 (CEV) When Jesus suffered and died on the cross to redeem us and remove our sins, He was pierced in five places. Two hands, two feet, and one sword to His side. The last theory is that the five crosses signify Christ’s five wounds.
I’m not sure which theory I like the best. What about you? I think I will ponder all three each time I wear them. I am so glad my parents bought me the necklaces because it caused me to learn more about Christ. And we can never learn too much about our Savior.