Monday, March 08, 2004
This must be a cross of love....
Lately, I've been listening to and reading about the responses and reactions of Christians whose opinions I value and respect, on the subject of the movie, The Passion of the Christ. This includes, not only people whose reactions I've read in the media and in online blogs, but friends, relatives and co-workers who know and love Jesus. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Again, let me stress, these are people who have actually seen the movie. While no one of my acquaintance has claimed that the film is perfect by any means, nevertheless they have been very moved by what they saw. Most claim a greater appreciation for the the cross, and love for Jesus for His sacrifice.
While pondering on these reactions recently, I began to hum a song that my sister Lisa and I have often sung together. It was originally part of a 1994 Easter musical entitled "Saviour--The Story of God's Passion for His People," by Greg Nelson and Bob Farrell.
I first heard "Cross of Love" right here on Radio 91 several years ago, and I was moved by the beauty and integrity of the voices of Steve Green and Twila Paris singing the duet, but even more so by the simple yet profound lyrics:
Cross of Love
Blood and sorrow flow from the languid brow of Jesus dying;
and tears from Heaven's eyes are the anguished drops of a Father crying,
Emblem of his pain, oh splintered wood of my transgression
I'll never comprehend how an act so great gave love expression--"Oh, why?"
And the people jeered at Him and mocked His holy name,
for they knew not who He was, nor why it was He came.
Some had come to offer help to soothe a mother's pain,
but as she watched her wounded Son, the comfort never came,
This must be a cross of love
for God to bruise His only Son.
Jesus, what a sacrifice to reach us,
it had to be a cross of love!
Although Lisa and I have sung this song many times, it never loses its power for me. It never fails to touch me.
The question--"Oh, why?" rings even stronger now, as people see this film and wonder why Jesus endured such agonizing torture and pain. In an AP story today, Bible Answer Man Hank Hanegraaff points out that the physical suffering was only part of what Christ endured on the cross: "Christ suffered in the sense that he bore our sins in his body on the tree; therefore, there's a metaphysical suffering that place, a suffering that's beyond the physical."
Why? Why did he do it? The only answer can be His love for all mankind--love so strong that it provided for our redemption and reconciliation to Him.
Truly, "this must be a cross of love."