Text "C of N" on a postal numismatic cover surrounded by coins and tokens. See "About" page for list.

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Inverted anchor cross. A cross with slightly widened ends, with two anchor flukes coming out of the top and curving left and right, also with slightly widened ends.

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Cross in a boat on waves

Christ died for our sins medallion

The meaning of Easter and Christianity in one image


View looking out from the empty tomb, with the burial cloths folded neatly and three empty crosses on the hill in the distance

As a humble numismatist, I don’t think I am qualified to teach on theology. As a Christian, I can hopefully pen a few words on one of the key aspects of our faith without botching it too badly though!

The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) follow the life of Jesus. Skipping forward to the key part today, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, was convinced to hand of Jesus to the authorities. This he did and, on trumped up charges, they crucified him. This was a horrific punishment, meant to act as a deterrent and to a religious person would have been seen as about the most humiliating way to die.

Taken down from the cross and placed in a tomb over Passover (A holy Jewish day), the friends of Jesus came back on the Sunday morning (“the third day”, to find the tomb empty. That is the image we see on the medallion, but the true meaning of what happened requires faith.

Someone didn’t just come and take the body. Jesus defeated death. He rose from the dead and walked out of the tomb. Jesus was seen by many people after his resurrection, Thomas, one of the disciples, would not believe without physical proof. Jesus had him place his finger in the hole in his hand, and in his side where the soldier had pierced him. Jesus died as a “sacrifice” for our sins. We can never be perfect as humans, but the Grace of God and the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus forgives us our humanity and imperfection, and all our sins.


Cross in a boat on waves

The reverse shows a cross in a boat on waves. The disciples of Jesus were mostly fishermen before they followed Jesus. As such, the ship was a well-known early symbol to followers, representing the church as safety on uncertain seas. Still used by many Christian organisations, the National Council of Churches in Australia, Faith and Leadership and Stoneletters are just several I found from a quick search.


Full text around the edge reads: "Christ died for our sins 🐟 and he was buried ☧ And he was raised on the third day Α Ω"

It’s always hard to get all the edge text on a coin. In this case, the image shows part of it. The full text reads: “Smooth with text Christ died for our sins 🐟 and he was buried ☧ And he was raised on the third day Α Ω”

The fish was another common early symbol of Christianity, one which could be idly drawn in the sand with a single line to determine fellowship. Alpha and Omega, Α and Ω are the first and last symbols of the Greek alphabet, as God is the beginning, and the end. The Chi-Rho ☧ is a combination of the first two letters of the Greek word ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ or Christos. It appeared on numerous early coins following the conversion of Constantine the Great to Christianity. I have previously covered a 5 Nummi of Justin I featuring the symbol.

This is one of my favourite religious pieces as it is so symbolic of my faith. Do you have a piece which symbolises your faith? Let us know below!

Cross in a boat on waves





2 responses to “Christ died for our sins medallion”

  1. Viktor Steiner Avatar

    Great summary of the Good News!

    1. Q Avatar

      Thank you! I try not to post too many “religious” posts, but Easter is such an important time, that I really wanted to share this piece, and talk a little about the meaning behind it for anyone interested.

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