Monday, July 27, 2009
But We DO Know How Much It Cost!
This week in church we sang....
"Here I am to worship, here I am to bow down, Here I am to say that You're My God, You're altogether worthy, altogether lovely altogether wonderful to me.... I'll never know how much it cost , to see my sin upon that cross.........
We've sung it many times before. But somehow this week I keyed in on the the words, "I'll never know how much it cost". I thought about those words for a bit, trying to see how they could be true, theologically speaking.
It's possible the author meant that we might never comprehend the entire breath-taking magnificence of Christ's death on the cross on our behalf. And I suppose in that sense the words would be true.
However...the words might be more literally interpreted as "I'll never understand the cross...never know what or how much Christ accomplished on behalf of His people".
But we DO know exactly what it cost to see our sins upon that cross. We know that it cost the life and death of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The entire Bible speaks to sin and redemption. The cost and manner of our redemption is spelled out very clearly. We know everything there is needed to know salvation.
So to say "I do not know" or "will never know" the cost of our redemption is simply not true. The New Testament writers laid it out very explicitly.
It would be more accurate to say that "we do not know" the depth of the Holiness of God and how deadly offensive is our sin against our Holy God.
And it would be explicitly accurate to say, "We'll never know" what it is to drink the cup of God's wrath against sin. But we do know that Jesus Christ drank that cup for us.
We know that Christ died for us. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, James, and Peter (did I miss anyone?) can be pretty specific in the details. So how can I sing, "I'll never know how much it cost...?" Their presentation of the exact cost for our salvation is quite clear. They preach Christ crucified.
The Good News is that the Messiah, the Savior, Emmanuel (God with us) came into humanity (John 1:1-3, John 1:14), lived the righteous life that we could not live, took our sins upon Himself at the cross (our sins were imputed to Him), and in exchange He imputed His righteousness to those who believe. When we stand before God, we are seen by God as "clothed in the righteousness of Christ" and not standing there in our own unrighteousness. Christ's righteousness is ours and so we stand "clean" before a God that demands complete righteousness. We know what it cost. If we do not, then we do not understand the Gospel (the Good News).