Two aspects of the cross of Christ

Miniature in Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry depicting the Baptism of Jesus, when God the Father proclaimed that Jesus is his Son.

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.

He has made peace through the blood of his cross.

Galatians 6:14; Colossians 1:20.

The cross is the foundation of our peace with God. At the cross Jesus gave His life for us; He bore the punishment that our sins deserved. Thus the cross is the foundation of our peace with God. There we see God as the One who “so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16). At the cross God revealed Himself as the One who loves us and who is just. He condemns sin, yet justifies the sinner who repents (cf. Romans 3:26). At the cross God’s grace reaches us, uplifts us and saves us. It reconciles us with Himself, makes us His children, and brings us into His presence. It fills us with gratitude and praise.

The cross is the foundation of our daily testimony. If the cross connects us with God, it also separates us morally from the world. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). So, like Him, we are rejected by the world.

The two things go together: if the cross comes between us and our sins, it also comes between us and the world. In the first case, it establishes for us peace with God; in the second, it puts us in opposition the world where we are to live and do good, imitating Christ. Let us ever observe these two aspects of the cross. Are we to accept the first and refuse the second? At the cross God invites us to enter “the kingdom of the Son of his love” (Colossians 1:13), but also to abandon morally the world of which Satan is the prince.

Image: By Jean Colombe, Public Domain,