Friday, September 15, 2006

The Cross

I was listening to what is presently my favorite CD, Valley of Vision by Sovereign Grace Music, and was struck by the line in the song “How Deep”that reads; “Crushed by Your Father to call me Your own.”

The depth of that line is so great, to think the Father did not simply sacrifice His son but crushed Him (Is 53:5) so that those that would believe could be reconciled to God. That line hit me as all too often we see the horror in the cross but not to the extent that we should. I was at the Ligonier conference this last weekend and with regards to the Cross, which was the theme of the conference, the comment was made that we so often focus on the physical torture of the cross but in reality many people had much the same torture on the cross. What we need to realize is that the weight and depth of sin Christ took on was infinitely worse and no one has taken on that kind of punishment. This in the end should give us hope that the God who would do such a thing for His people would not abandon us. So when things seem out of sorts we can be confident and comforted in God not having abandoned us, when we reflect on the cross in a correct manner.

Since the songs on the CD are based on the Puritan Devotional: Valley of Vision I went and read the devotion it was based on, “Love Lustres at Calvary”. The devotion itself is great as it is so clear from what is said that we really do take the cross too lightly. I have put the words to both the song and the devotion below.

How Deep
You were broken that I might be healed
You were cast off that I might draw near
You were thirsty that I might come drink
Cried out in anguish that I might sing

How deep is Your love
How high and how wide is Your mercy
How deep is Your grace
Our hearts overflow with praise
To You

You knew darkness that I might know light
Wept great tears that mine might be dried
Stripped of glory that I might be clothed
Crushed by Your Father to call me Your own

Love Lustres at Calvary
Enlarge my heart, warm my affections,
open my lips,
supply words that proclaim ‘Love lustres
at Calvary.’
There grace removes my burdens and heaps them
on thy Son,
made a transgressor, a curse, and sin for me;
There the sword of thy justice smote the man,
thy fellow;
There thy infinite attributes were magnified,
and infinite atonement was made;
There infinite punishment was due,
and infinite punishment was made.
Christ was all anguish that I might be all joy,
cast off that I might be brought in,
trodden down as an enemy
that I might be welcomed as a friend,
surrendered to hell’s worst
that I might attain heaven’s best,
stripped that I might be clothed,
wounded that I might be healed,
athirst that I might drink,
tormented that I might be comforted,
made a shame that I might inherit glory,
entered darkness that I might have eternal light.
My Savior wept that all tears might be wiped
from my eyes,
groaned that I might have endless song,
endured all pain that I might have unfading health,
bore a thorny crown that I might have
a glory-diadem,
bowed his head that I might uplift mine,
experienced reproach that I might receive
closed his eyes in death that I might gaze
on unclouded brightness,
expired that I might ever live.
O Father, who spared not thine only Son that thou
mightest spare me,
All this transfer thy love designed and
Help me to adore thee by lips and life.
O that my every breath might be ecstatic praise,
my every step buoyant with delight, as I see my
enemies crushed,
Satan baffled, defeated, destroyed,
sin buried in the ocean of reconciling blood,
hell’s gates closed, heaven’s portal open.
Go forth, O conquering God, and show me
the cross, mighty to subdue, comfort and save.


RevyRev said...

I have been profoundly affected by the Cross Centered expression of C.J. Mahaney and Soveriegn Grace Ministries.

One of the best talks I've heard was C.J. Mahaney's Meditation on the Atonement where he looks at Isaiah 53 and drives home the picture of the Father who crushed his Son to make an offering for sin.

Those lyrics you put down are powerful. I do not know of any other picture in Scripture that humbles me more than the Father crushing his infinitly valuable Son so that I might receive forgiveness and rescue from the rather of God.

Tony said...

Amen. This topic has been on my mind, even before the conference, so when I listened to the song and then read the devotion it seemed to put all of the scripture together. It always makes we wonder how people, me included, can often take cross as lightly as we do.

See you when we get back from Yosemite. Have a great Lord's Day.