Friday, January 27, 2012

That Thou My God Shouldst Die for Me

I once stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon - or as close to the edge as I'll come. It's deep. Very, very deep. Unless you've seen it in person, it's difficult to fathom a "hole in the ground" that big. And it's beautiful. The colors are spectacular. Without having seen it firsthand, you can't imagine what it's like. I can't describe it adequately.

But if that's spectacular, what about God's love? Have you ever taken the time to meditate on how amazing is God's love for us? So deep was His love that He sent His Son - God Himself - to die for us.

Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?

He died for me, not because of anything He had done, but because of the sin I had done; not because He had to, but because He loved me more than I can comprehend.

Ephesians 3:17-19: And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

We did nothing to deserve His love - quite the opposite. We deserve eternal punishment. Pause and think about that. Even though we did nothing good, through Christ's death, and because of His great love for us, God gave us everything good. We couldn't even seek Him out. He came to us in our weakness and brokeness and lavished His grace on us.

’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Ephesians 2:4-5:  4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

His love does surpass all our knowledge. It will take all of eternity for us to comprehend it.

’Tis mystery all: th’Immortal dies:
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.

The fourth verse is the one that leads scholars to believe that Charles Wesley wrote this hymn shortly after his conversion. It references Peter's miraculous escape from prison in Acts 12 and makes the analogy to the freedom from sin we have in Christ.

My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

There is only one response.

Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

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