This book is best described as a simple survey of the death of Jesus. In 20 short chapters, Timothy Cross writes about aspects of the cross of Christ, in relation to the gospel and the Christian life.
The writing is clear and the subject matter is considered through a narrow focus, using the Bible as the primary source. Each chapter is thematic rather than expositional and the chapter headings amount to a list of statements about the cross.
It could be argued that the first five chapters are the best in the book. They present the Old Testament background to the cross of Christ in simple terms that any interested reader should be able to digest. The next six chapters can be taken as a summary of the cross in relation to God himself. For example, chapter 7 covers how the cross reveals the wrath of God. The next chapter is in relation to the love of God.
Chapters 12-16 cover the cross in relation to the life and experience of the Christian believer. This includes how the cross reveals our need of Christ before our conversion to new life in him.
The final chapters show how the cross defines the life and mission of the church. These chapters include thoughts on the offence of the cross. It is, however, surprising that there is little said about the relation between the cross of Christ and suffering in the Christian life.
Overall, there is little reference to other writers, although a handful of chapters contain block quotes from writers like J. C. Ryle. Almost every chapter includes at least one hymn, invariably from the eighteenth or nineteenth century. The editorial form is slightly inconsistent; some chapters include subheadings, others do not.
The book is written in an easy style, aiming at the general reader. It is written from an evangelical and Presbyterian position. There are no alarms and no surprises for readers wanting a Reformed, evangelical devotional summary of the cross of Christ.
It would be suitable for daily or devotional reading for the average Christian. It could also be an introduction to the theme of the cross of Christ for a new believer, perhaps even useful for reading with young or new Christians.