St. John Chrysostom sums up the importance of the Cross by calling it “our armor against sin, the sword by which Christ defeated the serpent. The Cross is the will of the Father, the glory of the Eternal God, the joy of the Holy Spirit, the fortification of the Church, the praise of St. Paul, the citadel of the Saints, and the light of heaven.”
“How splendid the Cross of Christ! It brings life, not death; light, not darkness; Paradise, not its loss. It is the wood on which the Lord, like a great warrior, was wounded in hands and feet and side, but healed thereby our wounds. A tree has destroyed us, now a tree brought us life.” (Theodore of Studios)
The symbolism of the “complete” three-bar Cross:
The top bar of the Cross is the title-board which Pilate ordered to be hung in mockery over Christ’s head. On this board was inscribed: “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” in Hebrew, Greek and Latin.
The middle bar is that on which the Lord’s hands were nailed.
The slanted bottom bar is the foot-brace.