Jesus could accomplish man's redemption in no other way than by crucifixion—He must die, and die the death of the cross. What light and glory beam around the cross! Of what prodigies of grace is it the instrument, of what glorious truths is it the symbol, of what mighty, magic power is it the source! Around it gathers all the light of the Old Testament economy. It explains every symbol—it substantiates every shadow—it solves every mystery—it fulfills every type—it confirms every prophecy of that dispensation which had eternally remained unmeaning and inexplicable except for the death of the Son of God upon the cross.
Not the past only, but all future splendor gathers around the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. It assures us of the ultimate reign of the Savior and tells of the reward which shall spring from His sufferings—and while its one arm points to the divine counsels of eternity past, with the other it points to the future triumph and glory of Christ's kingdom in the eternity to come. Such is the lowly yet sublime—the weak yet mighty instrument by which the sinner is saved and God eternally glorified.
The cross of Christ was in Paul's view the grand consummation of all preceding dispensations of God to men. The cross of Christ was the meritorious procuring cause of all spiritual blessings to our fallen race. The cross of Christ was the scene of Christ's splendid victories over all His enemies and ours. The cross of Christ was the most powerful incentive to all evangelical holiness. The cross of Christ was the instrument which was to subjugate the world to the supremacy of Jesus. The cross of Christ was the source of all true peace, joy, and hope. The cross of Christ is the tree beneath whose shadow all sin expired, all grace lived.
The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ! What a holy thrill these words produce in the heart of those who love the Savior! How significant their meaning—how precious their influence! Marvelous and irresistible is the power of the cross! The cross of Christ has subdued many a rebellious will. The cross of Christ has broken many a marble heart. The cross of Christ has laid low many a vaunting foe. The cross of Christ has overcome and triumphed when all other instruments have failed. The cross of Christ has transformed the lion-like heart of man, into the lamb-like heart of Christ. And when lifted up in its own naked simplicity and inimitable grandeur, the cross of Christ has won and attracted millions to its faith, admiration, and love!
What a marvelous power does this cross of Jesus possess! It changes the Christian's entire judgment of the world. Looking at the world through the cross, his opinion is totally revolutionized. He sees it as it really is—a sinful, empty, vain thing. He learns its iniquity, in that it crucified the Lord of life and glory. His expectations from the world, his love to the world, are changed. He has found another object of love—the Savior whom the world cast out and slew. And his love to the world is destroyed by that power which alone could destroy it—the crucifying power of the cross.
It is the cross which eclipses, in the view of the true believer, the glory and attraction of every other object. What is the weapon by which faith combats with and overcomes the world? What but the cross of Jesus! Just as the natural eye, gazing for a while upon the sun, is blinded for the moment, by its overpowering effulgence, to all other objects—so to the believer, concentrating his mind upon the glory of the crucified Savior, studying closely the wonders of grace and love and truth meeting in the cross—the world with all its attraction fades into the full darkness of an eclipse. Are not Christ and His cross infinitely better than the world and its love? "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." --Octavius Winslow