But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ… (Galatians 6:14)
It may rightly be said that the cross is the universal symbol of Christianity. To ancient peoples, the image of the cross would have evoked thoughts of torture, blood, agony, and death. To the earliest Christians, it also would have elicited sweet, thankful thoughts of the Savior. This is what Christians today must remember when they see this symbol. It is not merely a pretty piece of jewelry; no, the cross is demonstrative of divine accomplishment, power, and love.
What must truly come to mind for the Christian who ponders the cross? Consider the Apostle Paul’s focus on the cross in his writings:
In Galatians 6:24, Paul said he desired to boast in nothing except “in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
In 1 Corinthians 1:23 he declared, “we preach Christ crucified…”
Just a few verses later, he emphasized, “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
The cross of Christ is central to Christianity. As Puritan Stephen Charnock said, “Christ crucified is the sum of the Gospel, and contains all the riches of it.”
Christian, we can never hear, read, or talk too much about the cross of Christ. The crucifixion was preordained by God (Acts 2:23; Is 53:10). It was an act that Jesus carried out willingly and obediently (John 10:17-18; 19:30).
Without a crucified and risen Savior, there is no hope for eternal life. At the cross were rendered the glorious gifts of redemption, propitiation, justification, reconciliation, sanctification, and eventual glorification for those whom God has saved.
The cross displays the wretched blackness of sin and the magnificence of salvation. It reveals God’s boundless love for His children and motivates those children to holy living.
May we recoil at the thought of boasting in ourselves and instead, with Paul, boast only in the cross of Christ.
1Stephen Charnock, “The Knowledge of Christ Crucified.”