Saturday, January 04, 2014

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Oh the audacity of my pride which rears its repulsive head in the midst of such a love! Oh the gaudy filthiness of my self righteousness! The Eternal Prince of Glory suffers in immeasurable pain and dies the cruelest of all deaths in my place and should I not offer up to Him everything? I live because He died. And whatever this world calls rich is filthy rags and abject poverty when compared with His crimson robe.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

Away with any hint of boasting! To that blood soaked cross I cling. The world mocks its simplicity and barbaric nature. The world seeks its own intellect and finds it not at Golgotha. The world seeks life but only sees death at the place of the skull. The world sings and calls to me and desires to show me things that charm my soul but away with them all. Let me leave them in their place and embrace His blood alone.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Only the Spirit can open worldly eyes and allow them to see such a masterpiece of love! Drenched in His own blood and writhing in pain fallen eyes must look away, but eyes that have been illuminated by the Divine Spirit cannot help but look, and more accurately gaze, at such a One. What is macabre to this fallen world is a sacrificial overture of immense and unfathomable love. Here He reigns from high atop a redemptive throne of crimson love.

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

Bloody beyond all reason His visage is hidden under layers of torture. Plucked from a cursed earth with cursed hands He wears the cursed thorns upon His head and dies upon a cursed tree. He endures that curse for those who so richly deserve its price. But like a gutted animal he is mocked and jeered and yet there He dies for a fallen race who never asked for or wanted Him. And most never will. Yet He is faithful to His death while we are faithful to our sin.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Oh what can my heart surrender which would be more than a token mockery? What could we offer Him which would be requisite in light of this unbearable sacrifice? Do we dare offer him the scraps of our time? The fringes of our lives? The convenience of our schedules? The distracted compromise of our worship? The faint praise of a twenty minute song fest? Look again at that bloody and gruesome scene and see our sin. Can we stoop to offer Him what we do not need or want anyway instead of our own Isaac? Can we be such spiritual criminals? Watts speaks of the entirety of nature being a mere pittance when compared with His brutal devotion to His own enemies.

So while we argue over tithes and building programs and nursery workers we might take another look at Calvary and rush to hide our embarrassment. It is Christ, it is Jesus, who must receive and demand our everything. Away with these ten minute devotions designed solely to fit into our self absorbed lifestyles. Let us throw off this world and all its trappings and bow before Him from whose face the worlds will flee. Half hearted and partial will never do. Walk over to that altar and lay your being across it. Let the knife of the Spirit slay that which has so often offended Golgotha’s King and in its place let he who lives in His image arise from your heart and soul.

And when you have died and when His image now lives, then walk once again to the feet of that terrible tree and bow down and worship.
You see, that is what He desired all along.


Anonymous said...

Dear readers, when you survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died, do you count your richest gain but loss, and pour contempt on all your pride?

Dear readers, do you love faithful Jesus who died for a fallen, sinful race who never asked for or wanted Him?

Will you stop offering Him the scraps of your time and look again at that bloody and gruesome scene and see that Jesus willingly died to offer you the opportunity to be forgiven and cleansed?

Do you realize that man can live because He died?

Forbid it, Lord God, that we should boast, save in the death of Christ, our God!
Is it in faith and in gratitude and love to that blood soaked cross that you are clinging?

What do you see at the place of the skull? What do you see at Golgotha? Does the sacrifice of the King of Kings bring forth thankfulness, praise and worship in spirit and truth from your heart?

Come Jesus, come blessed Lord of Lords!

Josef Sefton

Brosi said...

Amazing!!! That song just came to me last night. The line "love so amazing so divine, demands my soul my life my all". I come on here and you're expounding on it.