This is a meditation I wrote my church and our experiential walk through the Stations of the Cross. Stuart Townend’s song, “How Deep the Father’s Love For Us” echoed through my thoughts at every idle brain moment. I couldn’t get away from his words. Townend’s words are bolded; mine are italicized. May you know the deep, deep love of God during this holy week and beyond.
The soldiers brought Jesus to Golgotha, meaning “Skulll Hill.” They offered him a mild painkiller (wine mixed with myrrh), but he wouldn’t take it. And they nailed him to the cross. They divided up his clothes and threw dice to see who would get them.
Mark 15:22 – 24 (The Message)
How Deep The Father’s Love For Us
by Stuart Townend
How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He would give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
Inconceivable! Who swaps the perfect for the imperfect? Who chooses me—woeful, sinful me—over perfect love and fellowship with Jesus . . . even for a moment? God the Father! It goes beyond all my reason and imagination that God chooses to treasure his fallen, ragged, filthy creation, but he does. It’s a love I can’t fathom. It’s a love to wallow in.
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the Man upon a cross
My guilt upon His shoulders
My guilt . . .my sins . . . Jesus bears the brunt of each part of my selfishness, my pride, my lust, my lies, my judgmental spirit, my disobedience, my gluttony, my lack of stewardship, my envy, my grumbling and complaining, my everything that counters God is piled on Jesus’ shoulders . . . driving the nails deeper into his flesh.
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
Oh! I would love to think I would’ve been one of the disciples who stuck close, but I doubt it. I don’t like to stand out. Crowd-think is too easy and it sucks in each of us. And really? Don’t I mock God each time I choose my way over his? Don’t I scoff when I think I know better than he does? I’m no better than those who mocked that day.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
My sin alone was enough to keep Jesus on the cross. Even as a “good kid,” there was sin enough to keep Jesus nailed there. Stronger than the superset of super glues, each of my sins and Jesus’ obedience and love kept him on the ultimate torture instrument to pay a price nobody else ever could.
His dying breath has bought me life
I know that it is finished
His death in exchange for my life! My sin put to death because of Jesus, the perfect sacrifice. No longer do I have to live forever separated from God. The eternal consequences of my sin are finished because Jesus died for them.
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no powr’s, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
Jesus’ life paid in exchange for me, a dirty rotten sinner? I will never fully understand why God would make such a choice, but I’m thankful he did. I know there was no other way. It pains me to think that each of my sins—and there are too many to count—pounded the nails further into the cross and piled suffocating guilt on him. The thought gives me a somber joy because I know Jesus chose to suffer, to die, to be my ransom, so I’m free to be in relationship with God who created the universe, who spoke the world into being, who chose me.
This is the crucifixion. This is Good Friday. This is Jesus dying in my place—for my sins.
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