The Forgotten Cross

March 11, 2016

Review – Intrigued by its title, I picked up this little book at a recent Conference. As I read and mulled over its content I found myself both enthralled and thoroughly encouraged! This book may be little in size but it is big on content. Gatiss had done a sterling job in producing a short and accessible little book which both directs his readers gaze to the vast richness of what Jesus Christ won for his people at the cross and unpacks the implications of that victory for the life of the believer.

So often we’re tempted as evangelicals to focus our understanding of the cross in terms of its atoning work. As Gatiss reminds us, yes indeed this is a glorious truth always to be celebrated, but we would do well not to stop our focus and affections there. The cross truly is a multifaceted jewel the beams of which shine into every nook and cranny of the believers life. To demonstrate this Gatiss splits in his work into 6 short chapters;

1. The Cross and Success
2. The Cross and Service
3. The Cross and Suffering
4. The Cross and Separation
5. The Cross and Sanctification
6. The Cross and Supremacy

Each chapter teases out a different implication of the cross for the believer and shows how it speaks into and transforms each of these specific areas. Gatiss pens this beautiful little paragraph in his conclusion which summarises his content well;

‘In Christ’s very weakness we find strength. In his alienation we are reconciled to God. In his rejection, we have our acceptance. In his death, there is victory and life. That’s the poetry of the gospel and the multifaceted beauty of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (p.108)

Due to its length, this book would make a great little devotional read for someone desiring to spend some focussed time meditating on the cross. Perhaps the run up to easter is the perfect time to do so!

A big thank you to the guys at ‘10 of those’ who are doing a great service in making this book available for a £1!

Length – 108 pages

Takeaway Challenge(s) – Am I making every effort to study the cross and let it define how I live my life as a follower of Christ?

Favourite Quote(s)

‘Right at the heart of what it means to know Christ is the cross.’ (p.7)

‘Christ left us the sketch for life as a Christian in a hostile environment. In case we’ve forgotten, that stencil is cross shaped.’ – (p.50)

‘A great leader doesn’t ask someone to do something that he wouldn’t be prepared to do himself. It’s leadership lesson number one. And Jesus is a great leader. He’s done it all, even unto death.’ (p.54)

‘Church is not a drop in centre where we come to hear entertaining preaching, or a concert hall to enjoy excellent music. It’s a construction site where blood, sweat and tears go into fixing people and sticking them together.’ – (p.75)

Rating – Five stars; Short, extremely readable with a wonderfully enriching focus.