The Sign Of The Cross
Fundamentalist often speculate about the Mark of the Beast, Revelation 13:16-17, and they usually speculate that it refers to an actual physical mark, not just something symbolic. Yet, they do not like to think about its anti-type, the mark of Christ.
The Sign of the Cross is associated in idea with certain references in Scripture.
The "X" in the above quote is the Hebrew letter "taw"
which in its present form looks like an upside-down "U."
However, the primitive form of that letter is the "North Semitic
taw" which is the common ancestor of both that Hebrew letter and our own
letter "T," and it looked like a plus sign. (See This Rock,
September 1990, page 4, article by Don Schenk.)
When the Israelites fought in a battle in the Seventeenth chapter of Exodus Moses prayed for God’s help. However, Moses prayers were only heard when he prayed with his hands extended making a cross or a "T" shape similar to the form of Christ when He was crucified. Exodus 17, 9-14. Moses who was a Old Testament prefigurement, or type of Christ demonstrated, probably unknowingly, the symbol by which we would be saved.
When a Catholic is Baptized, the priest makes the sign of the cross on the person's forehead three times. One for each Person of the Blessed Trinity.
A persons name represents the very essence of who that person is. The name "Jesus" in Hebrew means God saves. Since Jesus Redeemed us by suffering for our sins on the Cross, it is appropriate that we bless ourselves by that sign.
Catholics are encouraged to renew their Baptismal commitment to accept and to follow Jesus with the sign of the cross. They do this each time they enter a church by blessing themselves with holy water in the sign of the cross. When they do this they remind themselves of how much Jesus Christ loves them that He even died on the Cross for them. They also renew their personal and family relationship with Him and God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. (Cf. Matthew 28:19)
The Catholic Church does not claim that making the sign of the cross
is an explicit teaching of the Bible, however we can see how this practice
did develop out of a reading of the Bible.
"This sign [of the cross] is prescribed in our rituals to be frequently used … to signify, that all grace is derived from the Passion of Christ… On the altar is raised a cross with the figure of our crucified Savior placed upon it, to bring to our minds that it was He who died for the sins of the world, and that there is no other name under heaven whereby we must be saved." From The Faith of Catholics
QUOTATIONS FROM EARLY CHURCH WRITERS
Tertullian (160- 225 AD): (De cor. Mil., iii),
Origen (185- 284 AD):
St. Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 315-86 AD):
St. Cyril of Jerusalem:
St. Augustine (354-430 AD):
St. Macarius of Egypt ( 300- 390 AD):
How can a person tell that Jesus died on a cross and not on a straight up and down torture stake without a crossbeam ?
If Jesus's hands had been nailed together on top there would have been
only one nail, but notice that "nails" is plural because His
hands were spread apart at either side.