How Deep The Father’s Love

ruggedHow 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

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

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

Words & Music by Stuart Townend, 1995

 


God so loved the world that He gave His only son, so that whoever believes in him would not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16

About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
Matthew 27:46

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53:4 – 5

Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days,save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
Matthew 27:39 – 43

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
John 19:30

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Galations 6:14

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Mark 10:45


 

 

Do you have one of those things in your life that you wish you could do over? Things you have said, that you wish you could take back? Times you feel you have completely disappointed someone who means the world to you?

I remember a time when I was in fourth grade we had organized flag football games during our noon recess. Parents and others would come to watch the games. It was a pretty big deal. Well one day, it was my teams turn to play. I, however, did not feel like playing that day and instead chose to spend the time inside at the “Learning Center” with a friend. Now one could argue that I let my teammates down by not showing up, but that was nothing when compared to what I felt when I got home. I learned that’s my parents had gone out of their way to see me play in the game. My mom had interrupted her work at home to come in and my dad had given up his lunch hour from work. I felt terrible that I had disappointed them. They have probably forgotten it, but 35 years later, I still remember.

As much as I felt I had let them down, that is nothing, when compared to how we feel when we honestly look at how we have failed to live up to what God deserves and what Jesus went through to reconcile us with Him. This thought permeates through Stuart Townen’s hymn, “How Deep The Father’s Love For Us.”

The hymn begins “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.”

John 3:16 tells us, “God so loved the world that He gave His only son, so that whoever believes in him would not perish, but have everlasting life.” It is simply unimaginable that God could love us so much that He would give His son, His only son, and for us . . . for me.

But not only did He give us his son, He put our sin upon him. Sin so great that the Father could not look upon Him and then turned away. The hymn continues “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.” It reflects the words of Jesus found in Matthew 27:46 where we read “About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ (which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’).”

And so the Father turned away from the Son as He hung upon the cross carrying the burden of my sin. It fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 54:3 which says, “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering.” So the hymn continues, “Behold the Man upon a cross, My sin upon His shoulders.” And if it were to end there I would be amazed, yet it goes on. For his carrying my burden is something I did not deserve. I am as guilty as anyone of not truly realizing who He is. Townend writes, “Ashamed I hear my mocking voice, Call out among the scoffers” I might as well have been there. Surely I would have been no different than the people described in Matthew 27:39 – 43, “Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying . . . “save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!’”

Yes, as the hymn says, “It was my sin that held Him there, Until it was accomplished.” Everything that I have done shows that I do not deserve what He has given me. It is my nature to turn from him and instead trust my own ability. For this, I am ashamed. But, despite my failing,He will not abandon me. For with “His dying breath (He) has brought me life, I know that it is finished.”

He gave everything that we might be restored to Him, despite our failings. In light of this truth, I am embarrassed and ashamed of all I have done. So the hymn continues, “I will not boast in anything (I have done), No gifts, no power, no wisdom.” Instead there is only one thing I can boast in, “I will boast in Jesus Christ,His death and resurrection.” This is the message of Paul in Galations 6:14 when he says, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

Yes, there are things for which I am ashamed. There are thing I wish I could take back. Things that make me question, “Why should I gain from His reward? I cannot give an answer.” But these do not matter. The minute I put my faith in him, He forgave me. So I can say, “But this I know with all my heart, His wounds have paid my ransom.”

 

 

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