The Grand Canyon is deep. The ocean is wide. We know these things in our head – after all, we’ve seen the pictures! But have you actually stood at the edge of the Grand Canyon? Have you been on a boat with no land in sight? If you have, you understand that to know something in your head and to know something in your heart are two very different things.
“He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins.” –Ephesians 1:7
This week’s KLRC Words of Hope speak to the depth of God’s love for us. Of course, we know that God’s love is big and wide and lots of other adjectives that convey a large degree of size. But do we really know it?
One of my favorite modern hymn-writers is Stuart Townend. You may not recognize his name, but you would almost certainly recognize some of the songs he’s penned, such as “In Christ Alone” or “Beautiful Savior.” He’s also the composer of one of my favorite hymns of all time, “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us.” No other song I’ve ever heard better communicates the truth of Ephesians 1:7 to my heart.
How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss –
The Father turns His face away,
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.
I’ve long thought that one danger of knowing the gospel from a young age is that I might not always fully appreciate how miraculous it truly is. Indeed, I have occasionally lost sight of the richness of God’s kindness and grace. But as Townend’s words remind me of the role I played in my own Savior’s death, the vastness of God’s love is made abundantly clear.
Behold the man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders;
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life –
I know that it is finished.
“It was my sin that held Him there.” I’m not sure a line in a song has ever convicted me as deeply as that one. But the Good News is that the song and the story don’t end there. Being reminded of my own character is certainly important – but mostly because of the perspective it gives me concerning the character of God.
I will not boast in anything,
No gifts, no power, no wisdom;
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer;
But this I know with all my heart –
His wounds have paid my ransom.
“Why should I gain from His reward?” There is no answer that can be given except for what Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians – it is the exceeding richness of God’s kindness and grace. He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave us for placing Him there. It’s not just words on a page or in a song – it’s God’s truly incredible truth. His wounds have paid my ransom.
This I know with all my heart.