There are a series of internet memes that do the rounds from time to time along the following lines,
“I don't mean to boast but ...”. Some of my favourite examples include:
- ‘I don’t mean to boast but: I just finished my three week fast in less than 3 hours 14 minutes’
- ‘I don’t mean to boast but: This in now the 5th end of the world I have now survived’
- 'I don’t mean to boast but: I just ate my lunch without taking a picture of myself first’
- ‘I don't mean to boast but: if it weren’t for my incredible will power I would be exercising right now’
If we’re honest most of us don't mind a little boasting from time to time. In Galatians, Paul lays down an incredible challenge to never boast except in the Cross of Jesus Christ. Question is, why the Cross? Why not Christ’s majesty, Christ’s love or Christ’s divinity to mention just a few alternatives? Why specifically should the Cross be the boast of our lives?
Here are three foundational reasons why the Cross is, and always should be, the boast of our lives.
Firstly, the Cross reveals the depths of our sin. We desperately want to make the boast of life ourselves, who we are and what we can do. The problem is that at the very best our righteousness is as filthy rags. There is a foolishness to boasting in self and a futility of boasting in works. The gospel confronts our inability to save ourselves. The Cross tears away the false foundations of human effort and merit, stripping away their false hopes and plowing up the hardened ground calling for true repentance. Leaving us then building on the only foundation that will stand, the Cross of Jesus Christ.
Secondly, the Cross proclaims the power of God unto salvation. Paul tells the Corinthian church that 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. How is the Cross, an instrument of death, the power of God? The Cross is the power of God because on it the greatest battle for the eternal destiny of all humanity was fought. On the Cross death was defeated, the power of sin was broken and the price for humanity was paid. Only the Cross can save, only the Cross can reconcile, only the Cross can raise us from the dead. The Cross is our victory.
Thirdly, the Cross forever focuses us on what Christ has done. Every other religion, philosophy and worldview points us to what we need to do. The Cross centres us on Christ declaring that the centre of our story is Him. It’s not about what you could ever do, it’s all about what He has already done. The Cross brings us back to that place where we realise we are so hopelessly and completely lost without Christ. So fully reliant and dependent upon His grace. And the only thing we can boast in is the incomparable love of a Saviour demonstrated on the Cross.
The reality is:
I could boast of my righteousness, but I fall short daily OR I could boast in His perfect righteousness.
I could boast in my good works, but they fail continually OR I could boast of His continual goodness.
I could boast of my devotion, but it can waver OR I could boast of His devotion to me that is un-shakeable.
I could boast of my love for God, but it’s fickle OR I can boast of His love for me that is stronger than death.
Will you make the boast of your life the Cross of Jesus Christ?