by Kelly Bonyata, Communications Director
As we begin to approach the end of the Lenten season and draw close to Holy Week, we are reminded of Jesus' sacrificial love for us on the cross. This is a time to focus our hearts and minds on the magnitude of Christ's love and the gift of salvation he offers us. Let’s approach the celebration of Easter with hearts full of gratitude for the incredible sacrifice made on our behalf.
In Ephesians 3:18, Paul prays that we will have the power “to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.”
The song “How Deep the Father’s Love For Us” focuses on the cross, and helps us to grasp this incredible love. Songwriter Stuart Townend talks about writing this song:
“I’d been meditating on the cross, and in particular what it cost the Father to give up his beloved Son to a torturous death on a cross. And what was my part in it? Not only was it my sin that put him there, but if I’d lived at that time, it would probably have been me in that crowd, shouting with everyone else ‘crucify him’. It just makes his sacrifice all the more personal, all the more amazing, and all the more humbling.”
Click here to listen to the song as you meditate on the lyrics.
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.
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.
Prayer: Ephesians 3:14-21 (The Message)
My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Reflection: What has helped you grow in your understanding and experience of the love of Christ? Has God used certain songs or hymns to help you to know his love more fully?