Symbolism is a powerful thing. It represents things to us that trigger emotions, both good and bad. For example, you can hear a certain song & all the old, hurtful feelings from a past relationship come bubbling to the surface. You can see a certain place & it bring back wonderful childhood memories, because you used to go there when you were little, when times were simpler, happier. A wedding ring symbolizes marriage. If you take it off, you are still married & are still bound by those vows. The cross represents both good & bad symbols. Good being that I don't have to live in hell. Bad being the fact that a man with the ability to feel pain died on that cross for me & you, when He didn't have to, He CHOSE to. In fact, He asked His Father if it could be another way, then please let's do it that way, but whatever Your will, I'll do it. How many 'men' do you know that would do that for you? I have to hope that Russell would die for me, but would he die for a complete stranger? The answer is no. God allowed His only son to leave the comforts of Heaven & become a man & suffer for us. There is only one word to describe it...LOVE. He loves us so much that He wants us to come to Heaven to live with Him, just as the thief on the cross did. Which brings me to another symbol.... baptism. It doesn't make you go to Heaven or hell, it's just a symbol. A very important one, but not a requirement. Some people have tried to convince me that you have to be baptized to go the Heaven. My argument against this is the thief on the cross. He went to Heaven, but was never baptized. The moment Jesus said, 'TODAY YOU WILL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE(Luke 23:43) his price was paid. He trusted in the Son of God & lives in Heaven today, just as you & I both can, if we trust Jesus as our Savior. Simply believing in Him doesn't cut it. Even Satan believes in Him, he lived with Him, he knows He exists. Do you simply 'believe' that God & Jesus just exists? You have to have a personal relationship with Him & strive to better yourself everyday, according to His will. Do I do this ALL of the time? No. Do I fail Him daily? Yes. You are not guaranteed tomorrow, heck, you are not guaranteed the next second. Accept Him today.