April 20, 2007

Boasting only in the Cross

Galatians 6:14 Paul says that we are to boast only in the cross. Boast meaning, rejoice, exult, or glory in the cross of Christ. Think about how strange that is. We are called to rejoice in and exult in, the horrific murder of the completely innocent Son of God. Boast only in the cross?

Paul actually boasts in other things in the New Testament. He boasts in the glory of God, he boasts in his suffering, he boasts in his weaknesses, he boasts in the people he led to Christ. So then how can he say boast ONLY in the cross?

Here's why I think he can say that.

Because every good thing, and every bad thing that God turns to good is experienced because of what Jesus did on the cross 2,000 years ago. People, you and me, deserve nothing but God's judgment for our sin. He is the creator, we are the creation, we have no rights before Him, we are entitled to nothing, he owes us nothing, but on the cross Jesus took the punishment we deserved and now those who trust in him receive all of God's love and goodness.

So, a boasting in the glory of God is a boasting in the cross, a boasting in suffering, is a boasting in the cross, a boasting in weakness is a boasting in the cross, and a boasting in new believers is a boasting in the cross, a boasting in friendships is a boasting in the cross, a boasting in sports is a boasting in the cross, a boasting in life is a boasting in the cross.

I wanted to say this because I fear there is a different view of the cross creeping into Christianity. A cross that's simply symbolic, or a cross that merely points to an example of great love, or a cross that shows how weakness and submission can defeat evil.

Boast only in the cross, because in the cross the wrath of God against His sinful, rebellious creation was satisfied for once and for all. Through the cross the bridge over the great expanse has been built with the blood and body of Christ. Now, because of the cross, we can experience the relentless grace, the endless forgiveness, the perfect love, of our Creator.

Rejoice in that, exult in that, boast in that.

Yeah, that was pretty heavy for my first one. Sorry.