My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
This gets me. It slays me.
Honestly, in the words of another great hymn, I scarce can take it in.
I am not a fan of emotionalism. And I would never encourage gauging the quality of one's spirituality based on how one feels (I in fact discourage such temperature taking). But I do think it is important for us to be moved when we ponder the gospel. When you even barely grasp the depths of your depravity in even a glimpse of the light of God's holiness, and then see that terrible contrast intersecting at the cross, where God's only Son bled the ground red with grace, how can you not be moved?
How can I not be moved?
These days, the more I think on it, the more I reflect on it, the more I feast on it, the more I trust in it, the more I proclaim it, the more I enjoy it . . . the more I am in disorienting awe over it.
The scandalous beauty of the crucified king, the awful glory of the sacrificed Lord: this is the watershed moment of all of history, and it ought to be the watershed moment of your history.
It is Jesus' offering of himself to the torturous, murderous death on the cross that connects us to the potential of beholding him in his resurrected, exalted glory. Without the full experience of the Incarnation, obedience to the constraints of humanity (His oath, His covenant, His blood / Support me in the whelming flood), we could not behold the full glory of God and live. Yet because he became like us and died, we can behold him as he truly is and live.
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my Hope and Stay
Oh Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand
Does it make your soul sing?
Jesus Christ is glorious. He is glorious. Because he is God, and because he bore the sins of the world, undeserving of a necessary death.
When you think on the crucified Christ, do you see the exaltation in this humiliation, the glory in this inglorious death?
Looking back through the powerful lens of the bodily resurrection, we see the cross not simply as the moment Jesus died because of sin and death, but as the moment Jesus murdered sin and death. Christ killed is Christ conquering; Christ raised is Christ in conquest.
That is amazing. Only a wild God could tell a story so fantastic.
Does the gospel still thrill you? Does it still captivate you? Does its simple presentation still warm your heart?
Or are you cold to its plot points? Has the repetition of its propositions desensitized you to its scandal? Is it theory to you, a catchphrase, a buzz word? God forbid, is it a cliche?
It is for me, still (thank God), the inconceivable event of my very real and terrible sin being covered and conquered by a very real and terrifying grace.
Behold -- fix on, revel in, exult in -- the glory of God in the glorious Christ.
When He shall come with trumpet sound
Oh may I then in Him be found
Dressed in His righteousness alone
Faultless to stand before the throne
For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness,"made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
-- 2 Corinthians 4:5-6