The Meaning of the Cross

“For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2)

“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” (Galatians 6:14)

“Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” (Romans 6:4)

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.” (1 Peter 3:18)

If we are believing and preaching the same gospel that the apostle Paul believed in and preached, it stands to reason that we should have today a similar emphasis on the message of the cross of Christ. The message of the cross is so foundational and so important that Paul said he resolved to know nothing among the Corinthians except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

There is a danger in charismatic and full gospel circles of coming to regard the message of the cross as being rather “old-hat”. There has been a tendency to look for teaching that is more novel, more tantalising, more intriguing. Many churches seem to major now on preaching lifestyle principles, and various kinds of motivational messages to inspire to achieve greater levels of “success” that the world can understand and admire. Indeed we can teach all kinds of stuff – spiritual gifts, spiritual warfare, financial prosperity and so many other things – but if these things are somehow divorced from the cross of Christ, they will inevitable contain seeds of self-destruction, whatever value they offer in the meantime. Which preachers today can say with Paul, “I resolved to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him Crucified”? The truth is, unless you know Jesus Crucified, you’ll never TRULY know Him in the power of His resurrection either. And if you don’t preach (communicate) the cross, people will not get the true message of salvation through your lips.

The message of the cross is at the heart of all true gospel preaching. One part of the message has to do with the sacrifice of an innocent