Can you think of more wonderful words than these? The blood-soaked cross and the blood-stained ground beneath it both look magnificently different today than they did yesterday. For yesterday they reminded me of a dead man and the death wherewith he died. Today however, they serve as witness to what a living Savior endured out of total love for me and total devotion and obedience to the Father!
Alas, today I have a new emblem! There is an empty tomb! An angel sits atop the stone that once sealed its’ entrance and proclaims, "He is no longer here, for he is risen – just as he said"! His death gave me hope – his resurrection gives me life! His last words on that cross, “It is finished”, hinted at victory. His resurrection gave credence to his claim of being “the Resurrection and the Life”.
Yet, as beautiful and victorious as this empty tomb is, my eyes keep glancing back at that wretched cross. The prophet said that I would be healed by His stripes, but I never expected those stripes to cut so deep.
I cannot understand this amazing love. For centuries men have pondered the question…. “Why would One such as this suffer and die for one such as I?”
Why would He trade in His kingly crown for a crown of thorns?
Why would He give up His place in the Heaven of heavens shrouded in glory to be wrapped in this putrid flesh?
Why would He exchange angels worshipping at His feet for men pounding nails through them?
The angels sang His praises. Men mocked Him and spat upon Him.
In His former estate, the entire heavenly host gave to Him…worship and adoration. Here, the creatures of His creation took from Him….always wanting food, or a miracle, or health.... They took everything they could from Him…even His life.
Why art thou cast down, oh my soul? Do not mourn the crucifixion…hope thou in the Resurrection! Oh, what a glorious thought this is! My Lord has risen and He reigns in majesty! He sits clothed in glory, angels worshipping Him in His righteousness! And wonder of wonders, His very presence at the right hand of the Father perpetually satisfies the just judgment and punishment that my sin deserves!
My risen Lord and Savior hath clothed me in His righteousness! My soul leaps within me! Death hath no power! The cross is no longer a picture of horror, but one of beauty! HE IS ALIVE! HALLELUJAH! I will shout with joy today! As long as I have breath, let me not forget to praise thee, oh my Lord! And when I’ve breathed my last…oh, how I long to be in thy presence and at thy feet, and sing glory, glory, GLORY to your wonderful name!
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
To Christ, who won for sinners grace
By bitter grief and anguish sore,
Be praise from all the ransomed race
Forever and forevermore.