Glorifying in the Cross
The apostle Paul writes, ‘But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Galatians 6:14). Stuart Townend captures the power of Paul’s words in his classic worship song, “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us”.
On his website, Townend states that he had been considering the cross, “in particular what it cost the Father to give up his beloved Son to a torturous death on a cross.” Then he thought about his own part in that event; thus the line, “It was my sin that [nailed] Him there.”
Written in 1995, “How Deep the Father’s Love” is comprised of three simple verses, but they teach the basics of our faith. They discuss not only the death and resurrection of Jesus, but also the love of God and sin of man. The last lines of the hymn are especially beautiful: “But this I know with all my heart: His wounds have paid my ransom.” Those words bring the worshiper’s mind back to the fact of his/her own sin, but also to the glorious salvation brought about by Jesus Christ crucified.
In terms of modern hymns, there may not be a song that better expresses the basics of the Christian faith, while at the same time being highly introspective, perhaps intending to draw from us the theme of Galatians 6:11-18.
How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
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 sin upon His shoulders;
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life –
I know that it is finished.
I will not boast in anything,
No gifts, no power, 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.
What do you boast in? I look forward to being with you this Sunday as we talk about ‘Glorying in the Cross’ from Galatians 6:11-18. Remember to pray for our services and the blessing of God’s Spirit. While you are praying, don’t forget those whom you are inviting to come along with you.
In Christ Alone,