THE FIRST THING every aspiring writer learns is “show, don’t tell. In other words, don’t lecture your readers. “Show” your points and premises with stories, anecdotes, quotes, and dialogue. The cross is God’s “show don’t tell.” Systematic theologies catalog and systematize the Bible’s doctrines. Their work is important—but they “tell” us the truth.
The cross “shows” us the truth. The vital truths illustrated by Jesus’ crucifixion forever transform those with “eyes to see and ears to hear” its lessons. Augustine said that it was God's pulpit.
The cross has two dimensions. It is something God has done for us, but it is also a revelation of vital truths communicated to us.
When we think of the cross we usually think of the former, what God has done for us. He has reconciled us to himself. He has purchased forgiveness for all who believe and repent. He has absorbed the wrath of God on our behalf. He has loved us with an everlasting love.
But, I want us to think today about what the cross speaks to us. As John Stott noted, “Through what God did there for the world he was also speaking to the world. Just as human beings disclose their character in their actions, so God has shown himself to us in the death of His Son.”
The cross speaks to us about our purpose for existence. It speaks to us about human nature. It unveils the nature of God. It unravels the problem of pain and suffering. It demonstrates God’s wisdom. It shows us what true worship looks like, as well as a host of other issues.
We can become increasingly confused about these subjects if we look anywhere but the cross. But about each of these subjects and more the cross instructs us radically and conclusively.
The basic truths of life become simple and clear when we focus on Christ’s cross.