The Ruthwell Cross is a stone Anglo-Saxon cross probably dating from the 8th century. It’s one of the few structures that have survived from that time period. If the top half looks pieced back together, that’s because it was. An angry horde of presbyterians, also known as the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, decided that idolatrous monuments had no place in the country. The top half, containing some Catholic imagery, was destroyed. After 200 years, the pieces were gathered and put back together. Call it an 18th century jigsaw puzzle. The top cross piece was reconstructed.
The close up picture represents Christ as judge and the runic symbols going around him read “Christ was on the cross. Yet / the brave came there from afar / to their lord.” It’s arguable that the words were not part of the original cross design but were added later. What I find interesting in the history of this cross is how it was treated in the same way people treat the Bible. One group of believers found themselves compelled to add to the content of the cross. Another group hated it’s message so much they tried to destroy it. Yet the cross lives on despite these groups. And the Bible will as well..