The other day, the words to an old Matt Redman song was stuck in my head:
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.
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
I was reminded how little I ponder on how God saved me through Jesus Christ. It’s one of those things that’s always in the back of my mind, but not in the forefront nearly enough. I think one of the reasons for this is that it’s easy to place things like my salvation and the Cross as being “elementary” to the Christian faith; as if it were like “Kindergarten Christianity.” “My salvation? That’s something that took place years ago. I’m on to more ‘mature’ things, like spiritual formation, mission and theology.”
But we never graduate from the Cross. And if we are really maturing in Christ, we begin to understand that our Salvation is not just elementary (meaning the first step in Christianity), it is foundational to everything we do as a Christ follower. It is the portal to everything: prayer, understanding the Scriptures, being filled with the Spirit, ministry, mission, Church multiplication, fellowship, theology, etc. If we do not see ourselves first as undeserving sinners who have been saved by grace through the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the Cross, then we have absolutely no basis to think of ourselves as God’s children or ministers of the Gospel or ambassadors of Christ or even servants of the Living God.
It causes me to be humbled by God’s mercy. And it breaks me in the depths of who I am.
It causes me to remember how Christ came into my life. He lavished His love through people who shared the Gospel with me throughout my life. He gently confronted me with the truth on how I was living my life through a series of many events. He broke down my pride over the course of time and patiently wooed me with His love. What trouble He went to so that I could hear, understand and respond to the message of the Gospel!
But most importantly, it causes me to reflect on what Christ did to procure our salvation. How He left His heavenly throne to become “a slug like one of us.” How He lived a perfect, sinless life (which involved turning His cheek more times than we’ll ever realize, not to mention saying “no” to shortcuts, conveniences, privileges, and rights that He certainly could have taken). How He willingly suffered excruciating physical pain and untold emotional humiliation on the way to dying the most horrendous execution, that involved the shedding of His blood and a slow asphyxiation of His breath. And then to bear the sins of the world through the unbearable separation from the Father – a connection that existed since before time began – all to pay the price of our sin!
To quote some of the great reflections of salvation and the Cross:
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble…
Oh praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead…
Hallelujah! What a Savior!
As we draw nearer to the Thanksgiving feast, let us thank Jesus Christ for such a great salvation He provided for all of us. Let us bow down and worship. Let us kneel before the Lord, our God, our Savior.