Cross / Crucifixion
If we were limited to one word that could be used to tell who God is, that word would be Cross. Every attribute of God is on full display in the cross. We see His holiness and justice; God hates sin and must punish it! We see His wisdom in finding a way to be both Just and Justifier of the ungodly. We see His omnipresence in being in heaven and pouring His wrath upon His Son, while being on earth enduring His own wrath in theperson of His Son. We see His sovereignty in saving the one thief and passing the other by. We see His power in being able to put away sin. We see His eternal purpose unfold in "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." And how the attributes of love, grace, and mercy shine forth from the cross! Is it any wonder Paul said, "I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ and Him crucified," and "God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." There really is nothing else to preach or glory in! If we think there is, it is evident that we have never seen the real meaning of the cross.
The cross work of Christ is central to the Christian faith and its proclamation, because of who it was who died on the cross and what it was he did there. With the apostles the church affirms that it was the eternal Son of God, the Word who became flesh, the Lord of glory, who died on Calvary (Rom. 9:5; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:8; 2 Pet. 1:1; John 1:1, 14; 20:28; 1 Cor. 2:8). Accordingly, in its best moments, the church has “gloried in nothing but the cross” (Gal. 6:14) and has “resolved to know nothing among [the nations] except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). It has done so even though it knows that the preaching of the cross is “a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles” (1 Cor. 1:23). It has done so, not only because it knows that “God was pleased through the foolishness of preaching [the message of the cross] to save those who believe” (1 Cor. 1:18, 21), but also because it recognizes that the cross of Christ is “the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:24). For Paul to characterize the cross of Christ the way he did in 1 Corinthians 1:24—”the power of God and the wisdom of God”—implies that God accomplished a truly great salvation through the cross work of the Lord of Glory. One can sketch the momentous outlines of that “so great salvation” simply by surveying what the New Testament epistles affirm about the “body,” “blood,” “cross,” and “death” of Christ, words which taken in their contexts represent that great work in terms of a sacrifice (see also 1 Cor. 5:7; Heb. 7:27; 9:26, 28; 10:10, 12, 14).
Robert R. Reymond A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith