Monday, September 22, 2008

The Glorious Christ and Christ Alone

We sang "On Christ the Solid Rock" at Element last night.

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


salguod said...

I, for one, am thankful that it remains so fresh for you, so real. Because my mind drifts, the world calls, the important issues shout and I listed and I forget that I was bought at a high price, yet a price joyfully paid. But I come here and I'm reminded and the cross is amazing again.


co_heir said...


Anonymous said...

i would suggest that a lot more attention needs to be given to teh ascension of Christ as well. i appreciate your emphasis on the cross, but we cannot stop there...Easter is coming and so is the ascension...the ascension sends the Spirit which convicts and consecrate. i believe we as the body of Christ would do well to talk more about the ascension. i have seen very little written on it b/c i believe it is something that we do not fully understand. where did the raised body of Jesus actually go? another dimension? i mean if we really believe that Jesus' body was literally raised, then it stands to reason that his body still exist therefore it has to be located somewhere...i mean he did not give up his body..he stil has it..right? therefore we need to ponder the signficance of that event, b/c he said himself that his leaving was to our benefit..

peace and grace,


Jared said...

Mason, I agree.

The resurrection is in the 12th paragraph.

I've written on the ascension elsewhere. This is a blog post and cannot encompass everything that can be said on a given subject, especially about Jesus for whom not all the books in the world could contain all of his excellencies.

Kenneth said...


Blessed by this post. Wondered if you had ever come across this hymn, from a man God used in a mighty way in our land in the 19th Century. His name - Robert Murray McCheyne, and the hymn - 'When this passing world is done'

Just a couple of verses from it...

When I stand before the throne,
Dressed in beauty not my own,
When I see Thee as Thou art,
Love Thee with unsinning heart,
Then Lord, shall I fully know—
Not till then—how much I owe.

Chosen not for good in me,
Wakened up from wrath to flee,
Hidden in the Savior’s side,
By the Spirit sanctified,
Teach me, Lord, on earth to show,
By my love, how much I owe.

May these words bless your heart too.

Jared said...

Kenneth, am somewhat familiar with McCheyne but had never encountered that hymn. Thanks so much for sharing. Those are powerful lyrics.

Pete Wilson said...

Awesome post Jared. I have to say that is still my favorite hymn. I pray things are going well for Element. Think about you guys often.

Jared said...

Pete, thanks so much!