The Cross was the Apostle Paul's great subject, and it denotes--not the material wood of the cross, but--first, the Man of the Cross; second, the Wonders of the Cross; third, the Teaching of the Cross; and, fourth, the Power of the Cross.
1. The Man of the Cross. It was the Lord Jesus Christ, the second Person in the Trinity, who, having taken our nature into union with His Divine nature that he might be capable of suffering, died there to atone for our sins.
2. The Wonders of the Cross. It was a wonderful Death. Christ died as a malefactor. By His Death, the penalty was paid, and the sinless life given up as an offering for sin. The death of the Testator made a way for the bestowment of the blessings bequeathed by Him, through the Holy Ghost, who is the Executor of God's Testament. It was wonderful Blood which flowed so freely on the Cross, where the Fountain was opened, which cleanesth us from all sin. (1 John 1:7) Christ's Prayers on the Cross were wonderful. He prayed for the forgiveness of His enemies; for the passing away of the cup (if possible), and for His Father's will to be done. The Sufferings of Christ on the Cross were wonderful in their degree, as well as in their nature. They were sufferings of Soul and Body, such only as Manhood in union with Godhead could have endured. They were caused by Sin imputed to Him, and consisted in the outpouring of the vials of wrath due to His people upon Him, as their substitute. But the term "The Cross" also signifies.
3. The Teaching of the Cross. Here we learn the exceeding sinfulness and malignity of Sin. On the Cross our everlasting Righteousness was brought in and the Work of Redemption finished. The Cross displays the infinite Justice and Holiness of God in the Punishment of Sin, not withholding His own Son. Here we see also the Love of Jesus in so freely and willingly dying for sinners; as well as the extreme wickedness of men in slaying Him. The professing Jews mocked Him, the profane Romans crucified Him, and His own Disciples forsook Him.
4. The Power of the Cross. It is displayed in the Salvation of sinners, in the Forgiveness of Sins, in the Redemption of the Church, in the Destruction of Death, and in the Conquest of Satan.