Guilty as Charged
My son’s recent article (Crucify Him; a study of the physical and psychological aspects of the cross with application brought forward to now) brought to remembrance one of my favorite songs out of the book. You can have a love hate relationship with the song, number 604 I’m the One. Due to the beauty of the song musically and the way the words are put together you can really love it but considering the deeper meaning of the words it is kind of hard to take on a personal level. Considering that it is the answer of a soul to the need for our Savior from sin and the recognition of our own personal guilt with having Christ hung on the cross I get a bit choked up when it is sung.
Let us revisit Isaiah 53 to understand why God sent his son. The lamb of the Old Testament was the symbol of purity in sacrifice so when the comparison was made in the chapter the readers who were Israelites would know exactly what was meant. We just completed the study of the Passover in the combined curriculum so most should be recently familiar with the lamb that was to be offered to help the families avoid the destroyer (Ex 12:23) during the final curse of Pharaoh. In like manner the Lamb of God is offered to help us avoid the curse of our own destroyer, our sins. This can help us to understand the language used in Isaiah when we see that the Lamb (Jesus) was “lead to the slaughter” and recognize what this personally means to us. Jesus spoke about this in clouded language during the final night with the Disciples when he compared sorrow and joy, a woman’s travail in childbirth in John 16:20-22. Hanging on the cross he said very few things but that act was the completion of the judgment shown in Is 53:8.
In Hebrews 9 we can see some of the details of this offering of Christ. Beginning in verse 11 we can see the comparison of the Old Testament sacrifices and what Christ came to do. He is the mediator of the new covenant, vs. 15, and unfortunately the wording changes to a testament immediately after this, true to the translation is the continuation of Christ as the beginning of the new covenant due to his sacrifice (this was explained to me by Jim Everett). Christ died to bring about a new way of coming to God, being the only true and perfect offering for OUR sins so we now no longer have the substitute sacrifices for sin the Hebrews had but one perfect offering that we partake of one time. Our offering is Christ going in for us, personally, to the most holy place, verse 24, taking his own offering to God in our stead, verse 26. It is after this we have no more fresh sacrifice for sin but an expectation of Judgment to come, Heb 10:26-27. We need to not put Christ to open shame by the vain response to his sacrifice, Heb 10:28-31.
Let us now look at the song, number 604 in our current songbook, and consider ourselves when we read of the verses. We were not in the garden but we were still guilty of his agony. We did not personally betray him with the kiss but we caused it to happen. We did not call his name to be crucified at the trial or make him carry the cross, but how could we have our sins compensated without this happening? We did not watch from a hillside or take his robe to be gambled for but our hands still have sinned. The chorus says it all; when I sin on earth I am the one.
Copied from our song book, Hymns for Worship by R. J. Stevens and Dane K. Sheppard