The Centrality of the Cross

For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
(2 Corinthians 2:2 NASB)                                                                                                                                                   

In Christianity, the Cross is the beginning and end of all things

Poetic Justice
Until recently, Gordon Conwell College and Seminary sat on the outskirts of Boston, Massachusetts. On the top of one of their buildings shone a huge lighted cross. On one occasion, due to financial concerns, they decided to turn off the lights on the Cross. They received a call from the Boston airport asking if they would please turn the lights on again. The lighted Cross had become a navigational point for planes landing at night. Aircraft were having difficulty finding the correct runway without the light of this Cross.

The Bible teaches us that without Christ, the light of the world, we are walking in darkness (John 11:10 NASB). The Cross is the direction to that light. Christianity without the Cross is like a river without water. A Church without the Cross is powerless. For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV).

How could Paul say that he only knew and preached one thing, Jesus Christ and crucified? Didn’t his epistles address all sorts of things such as marriage, submission and authority, the Christian and governmental authorities? Yes, he did, but his presupposition for all his instruction was the Gospel story. A case in point was the Book of Romans. This book’s back story was that the Jewish believers who had been exiled returned to Rome and were very different from the gentile believers. When you have differences, you always have conflict. He skillfully explained the Gospel message to address all society’s problems, including the conflict between Jewish and gentile believers.

How has the Church strayed from our message; by preaching a man-centered Gospel and starting with man’s problems instead of God’s solution, the Cross of Christ. If we lose the centrality of the Cross, like the planes flying into the Boston airport at night, we will lose our way.

The image is used with permission by Microsoft.

Ken Barnes is the author of “Broken Vessels” published in February 2021 and “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”, published by YWAM Publishing in 2011.

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