Glorying in the Cross

by Elder Mike Chon

Do you glory in the cross of Jesus Christ? In churches today, there are so many opinions or thoughts regarding the cross of Christ. Some would say that the cross is the instrument that was used to crucify Jesus, a place where where the greatest tragedy occurred, a place where the greatest sin was displayed, a time when the Romans or Jews murdered an innocent man, a symbol of Christianity, or an ornament or jewelry. For many believers when we remember the suffering and death of Jesus on the cross, especially during communion or Good Friday, we usually grieve over the physical suffering and death of our Lord. It is equivalent to attending a funeral where there is great sadness and sorrow over the death of a loved one. We mourn as though Jesus died a senseless death or that it was a tragedy. Is this the way that Christ desired for us to remember Him when He instituted communion during the last supper?

I believe that many today who would confess Jesus as their Lord and Savior have never considered the true reality of the cross of Christ. Paul writes in Galatians 6:14 “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” The word “boast” can also be translated “glory” as it is in the King James Bible, which means to praise or even to brag about something in a positive sense. Was this just hyperbole by Paul? Did he really mean to boast about the cross? Should we boast about the Son of God crucified on a cross? Many of us consider the sufferings of Christ and grieve over the pain that He had to endure. We only consider the physical sufferings of Jesus that He was mocked, spit upon, beaten multiple times, then scourged, and finally crucified. If we only remember the physical sufferings of Christ, we have a very superficial view of the cross and we miss out on the reason why Paul would write that we should only boast in the cross alone.

With so many things that occur in our lives, there is a spiritual aspect that needs to be considered. Life is not about avoiding hardships or trying to resolve difficult situations in our lives. If we only consider our circumstances and what we see, we may miss on what God is trying to teach us and His blessing for our lives. Such is the cross. It is not just another event in history which we read about in books. Moreover, the physical suffering that Christ endured and the crucifixion itself was not how He saved us. It was only the means to the end. So when we remember the cross, we need to remember what actually occurred on the cross that was hidden from the eyewitnesses that were present. For instance, one aspect of the cross was during the last three hours of the crucifixion, when great darkness came over the land. It was supernatural darkness, not caused by clouds, a storm, or a solar eclipse. It was complete darkness that made it impossible to see. A darkness that was felt such as the darkness during the ten plagues in Exodus. This darkness was God’s presence coming to the cross and during those three hours pouring His wrath upon Jesus for every sin that every believer has ever committed and will ever commit. To think of the wrath of God being poured out upon Jesus for three hours is incomprehensible. And after three hours, Jesus absorbed God’s wrath to the point that He satisfied God’s wrath for each one of our sins. To help us better understand the magnitude of what Christ accomplished, consider someone condemned in hell, after spending one thousand years in hell he would not have satisfied God’s wrath for one of his sins let alone for all of them. But Jesus was able to absorb infinite wrath for three hours to completely satisfy God’s wrath for all our sins. The cross did not just give an opportunity for people in the future to be saved, but it actually saved people two thousand years ago by satisfying God’s wrath.

I don’t know about you, but if this isn’t something to boast about, there is nothing in this world to boast in. Nothing is greater than what Jesus accomplished on the cross. The cross and the message of the cross must be the most important message in your life. It must be more important than even the teachings of Jesus, more important than the Sermon on the Mount, and even more important than living a righteous life. We boast about so many things in our lives, our work, our achievements, our children. How about boasting in the one thing that is really worth boasting about? Jesus satisfied God’s wrath on the cross which we deserved to pay for. If understood correctly, the cross humbles us to know that we did not contribute anything to our salvation, and will not contribute anything in our sanctification, since it is completely by God and His grace alone that saves and preserves us until we are finally with God for all eternity. What else is there to boast about?

If we understand the fullness of the cross, then we would come to communion and Good Friday with a sense of joy and celebration as we glory in the cross of Christ. Put away the gloomy faces, the sorrow and sadness, because Good Friday is truly good. It is the most wonderful, amazing and awesome day of all of history, so why should we come with sorrow as we remember the day of the cross of Christ? Moreover, if we truly understand the cross of Christ, I believe that more of us would be boasting about the cross to others. Our desire for others to know what Christ truly accomplished would be on the tip of our tongues ready to share the most glorious moment of all of history. How easily we forget the magnitude and the greatness of the cross of Christ as we boast about everything else except the only thing that deserves boasting about. Therefore, let us come together and see the cross of Christ as truly good, and that we would consider the cross as the only message that we would boast about in our lives to God’s glory alone.

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The Beacon is the monthly newsletter for Lighthouse Bible Church in San Diego, California. It covers a variety of subjects including LBC events, church history, current events from a Christan perspective, ministry profiles, and messages from our pastors and elders. To join the Beacon ministry, please contact Stephen Rodgers.

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