I went home teaching last night and we shared April’s First Presidency Message. It is by President Hinckley and he discusses what is the symbol of our faith. He states that rather than using the cross, the symbol of our faith is the way we live our lives.
I think this is a good point. Jesus contributed more to humankind than simply dying on the cross. He taught religious/moral principles radical for His time. He performed many miracles, and showed unconditional love. He suffered for our sins (not just died for them). He was resurrected.
If we are keeping the commandments, then we are trying to live as Jesus did. We are trying to emulate is live and live His teachings. A much more appropriate symbol of what He contributed to humankind.
It left me wondering though why the cross was chosen as a symbol of Christianity. Certainly his death is significant, but the whole suffering process should not be overlooked because of the cross. As well, for the atonement to have effect in our lives, we need to have a change of heart and repent for our previous ways. The resurrection, on the other hand, is a free gift to all. That seems then to be even more significant.
So, why the cross? Why not something else?