The Crux of the Matter

Cross on BibleThe Latin word for Cross is “crux”. And, of course, the English-speaking world uses “crux” as the heart of the matter.

The Cross is the crux of the matter—the heart of the Christian message.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:1,2). Did Paul know, say and teach nothing else but the crucifixion of Jesus? No, he knew, said and taught many other things. He was exaggerating to make a point: “This is the very heart of my message. This is the most important thing for you to know.”

Look how he put it later in that same book: “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6).
That’s the Cross! It is “of first importance”.

When Paul said he knew “nothing…except Jesus Christ and him crucified,” he meant there was nothing more important than the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. “He died for our sins according to the Scriptures and he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” This is the gospel! This is the good news! This is the Cross—the very heart of our message and it is the most important thing we have to say to the world.

The crux of the matter for Christians is not a political agenda or even a moral standard for living. It is what God did for us in Jesus Christ. The crux of the matter is what Jesus did for us, not what we do for Him. The crux of the matter is not what we give to God, it is what He gave to us. The crux of the matter is not our humility or our obedience, but that Jesus “humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8).