Do you know what bragging is? What do you tend to brag about?
In Jesus’ day only the worst of the worst of criminals would be put on a cross to die. A cross was a symbol of shame and embarrassment. Nobody would ever talk about crosses back then. They were gross and terrible. And you would never brag about somebody who died on a cross.
So when Paul says these words to the Galatian Christians it must have been pretty shocking:
Galatians 6:14-15. But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.
Paul says his only brag, his only boast, will be in the cross of Jesus Christ.
We all boast and brag don’t we? We show off our trophies and awards. Or we talk about how our team won. Or we say “watch me do this.” Or we brag about what other people have done like our favorite sports team, or a favorite singer. Life is full of boasting.
But the truth is that the Christian should only boast about one thing – the cross of Jesus. Why the cross? Because the cross is how we are saved from sin and death. When we boast about anything other than the cross we are trying to show that we are better than everyone else. But the cross teaches us that we are all the same. Jesus had to die the same death, on the same cross, for every single person. So every person needs Jesus exactly the same amount. So there should be no boasting except in the cross.
So does this mean that we can’t enjoy our sports team, or our favorite singer, or our accomplishments? No, not at all. In fact, look again at what Paul says next – by the cross the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Paul says that the things of the world are crucified to us. This means that the things of the world are not the most important things to us. They are not our boast. They’re just things. Soccer is just soccer. Football is just football. Music is just music. Good grades are just good grades. Money is just money. A great haircut is just a great haircut. Your talents are just your talents.
None of these things is most important. And when they aren’t most important then you can actually just enjoy them instead of worshiping them.
And then the cross can remain your only boast.
Because of Jesus we don’t have to prove how great we are.
With Jesus we can boast in the cross alone, and enjoy everything else as a gift from God.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Here’s a good song to sing together:
You’re the best. You did it all. Help me boast only in your cross today while I enjoy everything else you’ve given me.
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