The Skull and Crossbones
Recently the skull and crossbones symbol has caught my attention. While visiting one of my relatives, I saw its image displayed on various items around her house. I next noticed it as a pendant beautifully displayed around my pedicurist’s neck as a jeweled object. Then, while holding a puppy I noticed there were multiples of this image printed on his collar and behold the same jeweled image appeared around his owner’s neck. So I decided to do some research as to its symbolic meaning.
According to an online ehow contributor by Jason Chavis:
“The image of the skull and crossbones has a long tradition throughout the world, and has come to be synonymous with death. Originally a warning left at the entrance to graveyards, the image was adopted by many groups over the years to strike fear into their enemies or to symbolize an organization. Famously adopted by pirates, it has been used by military factions, secret societies and to warn people against poisons.”
Some speculate deeper and associate its meaning to occult spiritual power rooted in ancient traditions as sited by journalist Richard Cassaro:
“The Skull & Cross Bones is an ancient symbol with a powerful, hidden meaning. Today the Skull & Cross Bones signifies “poison” and we’re warned to “stay away.” But this is an intentional deception by the elite to hide the symbol’s true meaning. In fact, the Skull & Cross Bones is an ancient instrument used by sorcerers to gain spiritual power.”
I guess the symbol could be displayed on most anything as I’ve seen it online printed even on baby paraphernalia. In my research, the one meaning that is paramount is “death”. So why would we proudly and willfully display the death symbol in our homes, on baby articles, wear it as jewelry, and tattoo our bodies with a symbol that means death?
As a Christian, I was also surprised to discover religious organizations have displayed the symbol beneath the crucifix. What is interesting to note is that Jesus’ crucifixion and death took place in Golgotha which means “the place of the skull”where many men suffered and died. So what is its significance, if any, and why is the symbol popular today?
I believe that for most people it is just “trendy” to wear the symbol. If you ask anyone why they wear it or display it they will usually give you no reason. At the same time, I remember being appalled witnessing the Christian cross worn by the pop vocalist Madonna when her hit record “ Like a Virgin” was popular in the 80’s. The cross displayed between her cleavage was to me a mockery of what I held dear. And then I note many even today continue to wear the cross not in mockery but in ignorance as to its spiritual significance.
I came to the conclusion that to the trendy both symbols have no meaning. But to the believer it displays their life’s faith. Believers who attach spiritual meaning to the Skull & Crossbones may be expressing,“ Seize the Moment”, or “Eat, Drink, and be Merry for tomorrow I may die.”; noted in the film (Dead Poet’s Society). Whereas on the other hand the Cross to the Christian means triumph over death and eternal life through Christ’s sacrifice.
Take notice of the Skull’s foundation. The head rests on the foundational bones that resemble an X. The “X” denotes “wrong or incorrect” or an “unknown value”. So man meets with death because he is either ignorant of the truth or has chosen to journey down the wrong path. Scripture says:
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” Proverbs 16:25.
The Christian cross on the other hand is foundational for “Truth”. Jesus said:
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6.
The Cross is a “positive” (+) symbol denoting first a connection with the eternal “Father” and then with “Mankind”. The cross is the foundation that seals our eternal fate. There is no death head resting on the cross because Jesus’ death and resurrection has made Him “Head” of the “Body”. (Ephesians 1:13, Colossians 1:18 )
Jesus came to separate us from the fate of death by providing payment for our sins through His shed blood. The grave could not hold Him because He never sinned and fulfilled all requirements of God’s Law”. (Matthew 5:17, Philippians 2:8, John 10:17-18)
We can’t ward off evil or conger up its power by wearing a symbol. Neither can we have eternal life by wearing a cross , going to church or praying the rosary and reciting “Hail Marys”.
The only Way to live positively ( John 10:10) is through Faith in believing in God’s only Son, Jesus Christ, who conquered death and sin for us through His own death and resurrection.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV