Once Again…

Matt Redman released this song in 1997 on his album The Friendship and The Fear. It has been on my heart for a number of days now. I was looking through one of my notebooks earlier and found some of the lyrics on the very last page. I wanted to share it along with my feelings about the cross.

 Jesus Christ, I think upon Your sacrifice
You became nothing, poured out to death
Many times I’ve wondered at Your gift of life
And I’m in that place once again
I’m in that place once again

And once again I look upon the cross where You died
I’m humbled by Your mercy and I’m broken inside
Once again I thank You
Once again I pour out my life

Now You are exalted to the highest place
King of the heavens, where one day I’ll bow
But for now, I marvel at Your saving grace
And I’m full of praise once again
I’m full of praise once again

Thank You for the cross
Thank You for the cross
Thank You for the cross, my Friend

What do you see when you look at the cross?

 Anguish? Pain? Sadness?

 I see those things. But that is not all. I also see other things.

 I see love.

 I see sacrifice.

I see compassion.

 I see bravery.

 I see encouragement.

 I see a man desperate for a relationship with me; a man whose blood was shed so that I could live, a man who died because of my brokenness.

 When I feel worthless, unloved and unwanted, I take time out and I look to the cross. God thought I was worth it, in fact He thought I was worth dying for. God loved me so much that Jesus had his life taken from him so that I could live without condemnation.

  A few years ago I read a book called 3:16 The Numbers of Hope by Max Lucado. The book focuses on the cross and the overwhelming love God had for us. There were many times in the book where my eyes filled up with tears. When I read this book I was going through an extremely difficult time in my life. I had messed up quite a lot of things and I felt as though nobody could love me because of that. The future looked bleak and my hope was slowly fading. I was studying for my A-levels whilst battling with some personal issues. It was tough but after reading this I was encouraged. If you ever needed reassurance that you are loved then you will find it within these pages.

At the end of the book there are, what I will call, daily devotions for forty days. I want to share day thirty with you. As I read this, tears stung my eyes and my heart ached. This is one of the reasons why I live for God.

 Day Thirty

He Saw The List

 Come with me to the hill of Calvary. Watch as the soldiers shove the Carpenter to the ground and stretch his arms against the beams. One presses a knee against a forearm and a spike against a hand. Jesus turns his face toward the nail just as the soldier lifts the hammer to strike it.

Couldn’t Jesus have stopped him? With a flex of the biceps, with a clench of the fist, he could have resisted. Is this not the same hand that stilled the sea? Summoned the dead?

But the fist doesn’t clench…and the moment isn’t aborted. The mallet rings and the skin rips and the blood begins to drip, then rush. Then the questions follow. Why? Why didn’t Jesus resist?

“Because he loved us,” we reply. That is true, wonderfully true, but – forgive me – only partially true. There is more to his reason. He saw something that made him stay. As the soldier pressed his arm, Jesus rolled his head to the side, and with his cheek resting on the wood, he saw:

A mallet? Yes

A nail? Yes

The soldier’s hand? Yes

But he saw something else. Between his hand and the wood, there was a list. A long list. A list of our mistakes: our lusts and lies and greedy moments and prodigal years. A list of our sins. The bad decisions from last year. The bad attitudes from last week. There, in broad daylight for all of heaven to see, was a list of your mistakes.

He saw the list! He knew the price of those sins was death. He knew the source of those sins was you, and since he couldn’t bear the thought of eternity without you, he chose the nails.

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