The “Crux” of the Matter
This past Sunday Pastor Andrew spoke on the topic, “The Cross of Christ.” He pointed out the absolute centrality of the cross and it’s sweeping significance for all humanity. Even the most ardent atheist is forced to acknowledge the cross as he jots down or notices the day’s date. The internationally recognized Gregorian calendar counts every year from the estimated birth date of Christ. 33 AD marks 33 years after His birth; 400 BC marks 400 years prior to His birth, and so on. 2021 marks the 2,021st year following His birth.
What to do about Jesus? Truly this is the conundrum, the “crux” of the matter across all human history. According to Merriam Webster the word “crux” has a trinity of definitions:
1: a puzzling or difficult problem : an unsolved question.
2: an essential point requiring resolution or resolving an outcome.
3: a main or central feature (as of an argument).
The Cross of Christ relates to all three definitions:
1. the atonement it provides requires faith to be appropriated, an intellectual approach results only in more unsolved questions. “a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles” (1 Cor. 1:23b)
2. The claims of the cross of Christ cannot be ignored. One must either accept or reject His divinity, His resurrection, His lordship. As Billy Graham often pointed out, not to decide is to decide already — against Him. “Whoever is not with me is against me,” said Jesus. (Matt. 12:30; Luke 11:23).
3. “We preach Christ crucified,” Paul affirmed (1 Cor. 1:23a), and “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Gal. 6:14). Concerning the gospel, “the crux of the matter” is the cross!
In English we might alternately use the phrase “the heart of the matter” but it means definition #3 only; “the crux of the matter” includes definitions #1 and #2. The Cross is personal.
Merriam Webster also adds: “In Latin, crux referred literally to an instrument of torture, often a cross or stake, and figuratively to the torture and misery inflicted by means of such an instrument. Crux eventually developed the sense of ‘a puzzling or difficult problem’” The Cross cost our Saviour great suffering, suffering into which He willfully entered, to save you and I.
What is your response to the call of the Cross?