Everything about the Cross of Christ says God wants us back, and everything else in the whole world pales in significance when compared to the love and grace displayed there. Surely Paul had this in mind when he penned, “But God forbid that I should boast except in the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal. 6:14). [All Scripture quotations are from the NKJV unless otherwise indicated] There were those in Paul’s day, just as today, who viewed the Cross as “offensive” (Gal. 5:11), as a “stumbling block” (NASB95), and even as “scandalous” (the Greek term is skandalon). The idea of finding love, grace and salvation in an instrument of death normally associated with the most serious and shameful of crimes might sound ludicrous were it not for the One Who died on that Cross and the reason why He did it. Yet it is precisely those two matters that make all the difference in how we ought to view the Cross!
Paul wrote the words of Galatians 6:14 during a time in which conflict engulfed many churches. He strongly affirmed that he trusted in nothing other than Christ and His Cross for the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation of his soul. There were individuals teaching that faith plus baptism plus circumcision and various other parts of the law were necessary to be saved. Although a former Pharisee, Paul saw this for the perversion of the gospel it was (cf. Gal. 1:6-9; 6:12-13). If righteousness could come by such means, “then Christ died for no purpose” (Gal. 2:21 ESV). Paul knew and proclaimed that Jesus “gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Gal. 1:4). He would write through the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 1:23-24, “But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” It is in the Cross of Christ that the saving power and wisdom of God are seen.
It was in the Cross of Christ that Paul gloried, and so should everyone. What’s more – seeing the saving power and wisdom of God in the Cross of Jesus will keep us from glorying or boasting in anyone or anything else! It is at the foot of the Cross that we see ourselves as we really are; there is no room for inflated views of ourselves and for self-righteousness at the foot of the Cross. Likely this is why even now so many oppose, ridicule and reject the Cross. It strikes at the heart of our pride and sense of self-sufficiency. The truth is that we cannot boast in the Cross and in ourselves at the same time. A choice must be made. But when we see the incomparable love and character of the One Who died on the Cross and why He voluntarily went there on our behalf, such a choice ought to be humbly, lovingly and obediently made to respond to Him. The Cross of Christ shows how much God wants to make of and share with us!