The crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ are a central point of Christian theology. Christians don't worship the Cross itself, but rather the one who died there and sacrificed Himself for the sins of all humanity. "Substitutionary atonement" is the formal theological term. I do agree that the Jesus represented in much medieval art is a very emaciated, effeminate figure. The real Jesus of Nazareth was a carpenter and probably had broad shoulders and a bone-crushing handshake!
As regards the artwork that started this thread, the more I look at it, the more phallic the image seems. If it was deliberately done, it's a slap in the face to the church. If it was unintentional, the guy REALLY needs some classes in anatomical drawing.
Ya I remember that from bible school, still doesn't make the image of a bleeding, starving man any more soul inspiring. Its like that figure of Jesus in Carrie, it's just a creepy image.
Um, I'm not a religious person at all, but that image has inspired billions of people for over 2000 years. I think you're in the minority there.