If there had been no cross, Christ would not have been crucified. If there had been no cross, Life would not have been nailed to the tree. If he had not been nailed, the streams of everlasting life would not have welled from his side, blood and water, the cleansing of the world; the record of our sins would not have been cancelled, we would not have gained freedom, we would not have enjoyed the tree of life, paradise would not have been opened. If there had been no cross, death would not have been trodden under foot, the underworld would not have yielded up its spoils.
How great the cross, through which we have received a multitude of blessings, because, against all reckoning, the miracles and sufferings of Christ have been victorious!
From a homily by St Andrew of Crete, Office of Readings for the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.