“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”
You can tell the stature of a thing by the length of the shadow it casts. I think that in all of history, nothing casts so great a shadow as the cross of Christ. Its significance and influence stretches to the very borders of the created order. Paul reminds us that through Adam’s sin death entered the word (Romans 5:12). The word he uses for “world” is the Greek “kosmos.” In other words, Adam’s transgression led to cosmic disaster; the entire created order fell when God’s unique image-bearer fell(Romans 8:20-22). Even the heavens themselves are not untouched by sin’s deadly effects (Job 15:15). They too are growing old, wearing out and will need to be replaced (Hebrews 1:12). The mystery of it all is how God could look at such a sin-wracked world and still see something worth redeeming. This mystery leads straight to the wonder of the cross. Redeeming the world, reconciling it to Himself, meant giving that which was supremely precious and infinitely valuable. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). This “golden text of Scripture” contains several magnificent superlatives. It speaks of the greatest Being (God) doing the greatest thing (loving) the greatest number (the world). It speaks of the greatest expression of love (giving), and the giving of that which is of greatest value (God’s own Son). It reveals the greatest offer to the greatest number of people (whosoever believes receives eternal life). Sin touched the word at Adam’s fall and it estranged us all from God. Christ’s cross touched the world also, and provided the necessary means of reconciliation. “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself,” said the great apostle, “not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19). In all the world we are the custodians of this message that humbles us but does humiliate us. It is a message that elevates us but does not flatter us. The cross reveals not only our former loathsome condition, but the value God placed on us His image-bearers. At the cross we see man at his worst, and God at His best. May we never lose sight of the cross in our worship, in our prayers, and especially in our witness. May we be faithful ambassadors of Christ today, holding the cross of Christ central in our witness.
God bless you,