“Every time we look at the cross Christ seems to say to us, ‘I am here because of you. It is your sin I am bearing, your curse I am suffering, your debt I am paying, your death I am dying.’ Nothing in history or in the universe cuts us down to size like the cross. All of us have inflated views of ourselves, especially in self-righteousness, until we have visited a place called Calvary. It is there, at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size.”
[John R. W. Stott, The Message of Galatians (London, 1968), 179.]
As a pastor, I tailor my instruction to the audience.
Sometimes, I’m talking to people who are broken and desperate. They need to be built up, as Jesus did for the woman caught in adultery.
Other times, I’m talking to people who are full of themselves. What little sin they see in themselves, they fail to own. For them, salvation is just another calculated investment in a portfolio that hopefully pays off in the end. Jesus shredded these guys. (Matt 23:13, ff… Woe to you! he said.).
No one stands high and mighty at the foot of the Cross who will not be brought down to size. The Cross is the glory of Christianity, the constant refrain of Scripture, the centerpiece of cosmic history, and the linchpin of life for the people of God. The Cross is nothing less than the saving work of Christ, shedding his blood, and rising again, to reconcile alienated people to God.
There is nothing of worth in our lives but what revolves around this monumental, once for all, finished, all-glorious work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- In salvation, we look to the Cross.
- In assurance, we rest in the Cross.
- In discipleship, we study the Cross.
- In communion, we remember in the Cross.
- In worship, we admire the Cross.
- In life, we spend the riches of the Cross.
- In prayer, we appeal to the Cross.
- In sanctification, we bear the Cross.
- In battle, we wield the Cross.
- In evangelism, we proclaim the Cross.
- In death, we cling to the Cross.
- In eternity, we celebrate the Cross.
Do you know this Cross that owns the center of our faith? Is the Savior’s blood precious to you? Can you articulate even a fraction of its heroic worth?
This weekend, I begin what I believe is the most important sermon series I have ever preached: The Cross, at Neighborhood Church. Every child of God should sink deep and life-sustaining roots into the glorious truths of the Cross of Christ. I feel inadequate to preach it. But the power is not in me; it is in the Word and this omnipotent gospel. Pray for me and for us all as we step into this most-glorious theme.
Would you like to share a favorite verse or quote about the work of Christ on the Cross?