The Cross of Christ

I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified – 1 Corinthians 2:2

When we read this remarkable statement by the apostle Paul, two questions immediately come to mind. First—is it true? Second—is it right?

Was Paul giving an accurate description of his ministry when he said that he had spoken of nothing, while among the Corinthians, except “Jesus Christ, and him crucified”? Didn’t he mention morality, didn’t he teach other points of theology, didn’t he bring to their minds biblical (Old Testament) history? The answer, of course, is “Yes!”

And, yet, it is also true that he spoke of nothing but Christ and his cross. Because the basis and inspiration for morality is the cross of Christ. Every point of theology centers around a correct understanding of the cross. And all history, including the entire Old Testament, is only properly understood in relation to the cross.

And so we also have the answer to the second question: was it right for Paul to center all his attention, all his teaching, on the cross of Christ? Absolutely! Grace, joy, grief, sacrifice, purpose, hope, love—all of these subjects can only be properly understood, properly prioritized, and properly practiced through a correct understanding of the substitutionary death of the perfect Jesus on an eternally planned cross.

The cross was not an accident; it was not a practice run; it was not just a good example. Jesus Christ carried our sins, in his own body, on the tree so that we, being freed from sin, would live a life that exalts his name. The cross is the pivot-point of history. It is the impetus and standard for morality. And it is the center stage of theology.

Not only is it therefore right to focus all our attention on the cross of Christ, it is wrong not to. May the cross, today, be the focus of your vision and the fullness of your heart. May you know nothing among your friends, your co-workers, your family, save Jesus Christ and him crucified.