“In the cross of Christ I glory, towering over the wrecks of time.” So wrote a believer who had been shipwrecked and stranded at sea without hope of rescue, without knowledge of the direction of land. As he waited in the waves and wind, being blown either towards land or deeper out to sea… he didn’t know… he caught sight of what he at first though was a dream or hallucination.
It was neither. It was a cross.
It was a cross atop a steeple which jutted above the shoreline and buildings around it. The author, Sir John Bowring, was an Englishman, poet, author and politician. Reflecting upon his miraculous rescue at sea, upon seeing the cross on land and swimming toward it, he wrote the words which have become a famous hymn, “In the Cross of Christ I Glory.”
The words are based on the verse spoken by Paul in Galatians which states, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of Jesus Christ my Lord.” It is only in the cross of Christ that our rescue is assured. We are tossed about… lost… awash in a sea of condemnation and guilt… and suddenly the cross appears. We can accept or reject our rescue through the cross, but it divides… believer from unbeliever, saved from lost, belief from skepticism, eternally blessed or eternally rejected.
So when we see the cross, wherever it is displayed, we must know that it is our rescue and be grateful to God for it… or our condemnation if we fail to flee to it by grace through faith.
Do you glory in the cross?
FOR MEDITATION: But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of Jesus Christ my Lord, but whom the world is crucified to me and I to the world.
FOR REFLECTION: What does the cross of Jesus Christ mean to you?