Sunday Devotions- Struck by “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us”

July 26, 2009

I’ll admit it, there are many times that I simply sing along during worship without focusing very much on the words of substance of what I’m belting out.  This is wrong.  I know.  And I’d even be the first to speak against it, but I confess, I struggle with it to.

That said, this past Sunday I was paying attention to the words of a very familiar hymn that we were singing on Sunday morning and for the first time the words really struck me deep.  The song was “How Deep the Father’s Love For Us” by Stuart Townsend and the lyrics are as follows:

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

The entire song is solid, drawing from numerous passages of Scripture and painting deep, harrowing pictures of Christ that carry much more emotion than the flamboyent, fuzzy Savior of The Jesus Film.  I especially am drawn by that final stanza however.

Why should I gain from his reward?  I cannot give an answer

How true is this?  Knowing what I do of my own depravity, both from the revelation of Scripture and the Spirit within me, the possibility that I would receive anything more from God than hell is unthinkable.  God had already given me life and look how I had screwed that up.  Yet by his grace– what a pathetically weak word that is– he gave me what I do not and could not deserve.

But this I know with all my heart, his wounds have paid my ransom

With all my heart.  God did not simply forgive me.  A sacrifice was required.  My sins could not just be overlooked.  They have not been merely forgotten.  My sins killed Jesus.  How many of us really dwell on this?  Is the glory of the modern gospel nothing but that God loves me and so turns a blind eye to my transgressions?  In America we often say, “Freedom isn’t free,” but nowhere is this more apparent than in the death of Christ.  Our sins carry a cost, but for those of us who have been freed by the grace of God, that freedom was made possible because the cost of our sins was paid by one who came before us, living the life we couldn’t live, dying the death we should have died, so that we could gain the reward we could never have gained.