Monday, June 12, 2006

Holding up the cross

Now I am not a compulsive blogger, but when I am so inclined I really try to make it count. Hence this post regarding a song that has encouraged and inspired me this past week. The song is by a guy named Jeremy Camp (never heard of him, don't be surprised, but he's good) called "This Man". The song calls us to look at the cross and recognize our own insufficiency to deal with our sins. For me however it caused me to examine the cross from a new perspective. It may seem a little trite or even cliche, but the following words from the chorus caught me:

"Would you take the place of this man,
Would you take the nails from his hands"

Would I? Naturally a mature Christian response is NO! Not only do I have no business even considering the good I could have done with the cross, an affirmative response mocks the fundamentals of Christianity. Would I? Who could even propose such a bold question... I think it's important to point out at this juncture that the question is indeed rhetorical and should be treated as such. With that being said there's a very important piece of the illustration that deserves a second look.

Here goes.

Have you ever wondered why you weren't on the cross paying for your own sins. You certainly deserve it as a sinner; there's no reason God couldn't have put all of us on crosses for what we've done to grieve him. There is no question that God would have been just in doing so. Therein lies the answer though. God is just. We could spend days speaking on the just-ness of God and his perfect righteousness, but the point here is that God's perfect justice knows no limits. In today's vernacular "no limits" inspires thoughts of extreme sports or untethered climbs up Everest. Let me push that further by saying that with God "no limits" actually means without boundary. God CHOSE to come to earth and deal with sin in a manner no human death could accomplish. He crossed the boundary of human-God without ever losing his holiness. Furthermore, God doesn't want you to die for your sins, he already did that for you. Here again God crosses the boundary of death without ever losing his omniscience, and in doing so defeats the power of Satan and sin, which is simply death. The sarcastic in me wants to press that and note that death is simply a created mechanism to get you out of this earth to glory or to fire. It's laughable to think that God couldn't pass through his own creation. More importantly God doesn't need you to die for your sins. Once again, his very god-head is such that he doesn't need that.

Now for the glorious part. Would you have taken [Christ's] place? No. Could you have even if you really wanted to. No. Why? Because you would be coming between God and his perfect will to save you from your sin through his own blood for his own glory (and he probably wouldn't have let you anyway). Those nails were just metal and that cross was just wood, but the burden they bore was the very reason we live and should be the very reason we glory in our God.

God took your place on the cross. God took my nails in his hand. And God did it in the full knowledge that his justice would prevail (and already had) over sin and that death could not hold him.

Who is like our God?