When I Survey the Wondrous Cross. March 28, 2018
Introspection and personal inventory necessarily accompany my survey in this sacred season. The Prince of glory, author and finisher, saw fit to put the exclamation point on eternity and offer it to a wretch such as I. How is it then, whereupon my acceptance of this inexpressibly divine punctuation mark, my steps were not led immediately to my victorious rest?
What kind of a confident God would allow a newly minted believer to venture forth on this earth, hung with a name tag called “Christian”? Allowing me to flop about on stork’s legs, brimming with guileless enthusiasm, quoting Bible verses and bumping into furniture; basically, making a mess of things.
Forgive me, Lord! Is my daily plea. To think- that from that cosmic crossroad, which eternally sealed me to you, to now, decades later- I still flop about. Perhaps my enthusiasm is a bit more measured (until I meet with you on a dark night of the soul, and you tenderly bind my wounds) and then my enthusiasm becomes guileless and irrepressible and the furniture again is at risk.
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Pouring contempt on all my pride is a compelling word picture. Brother Watts brought the hammer down on that nail. I envision contempt for my pride as a burning liquid brought down on a wax mountain of hubris and misunderstanding. How easily this wax mountain builds in the darkened recesses of my psyche. My needs and desires, not brought before the cleansing flow are easily compounded and perverted into a show of opinion, emotional agenda and disobedience. As I cast myself as the star in my selfish program the mountain grows.
Forgive me Lord! Is my daily plea. When I come to my senses, and submit to His authority, we are at one with each other, my Friend and I. We begin to explore life in spite of the boundaries of time and space. His inspirations bring great understanding and delight, allowing me a glimpse beyond this mortal coil to the majesties He is holding in promise for me. Suddenly, I’m up and running on my own energy and enthusiasm for Him. Look, Look, what I can do!
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.
Forgive me, Lord! Is my daily plea. It’s not about me. Each day I become more aware of the all in all of the all in all. His words are all important yet learning the meaning behind the words that He spoke becomes a pastime that transcends sometimes even the most enjoyable activities. My pursuit in the scriptures becomes set to a rhythmic chanting prayer. Please let me see what you meant, please let me see what you are expecting. How can I get this right?
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?
Forgive me, Lord! Is my daily plea. Just to survey the wondrous cross. I see you looking down upon me from that scandalous place you chose. It is your love that needs to be understood, but in my sin-sick and wicked heart, the question persists: how could you love me, as I am?
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.
Forgive me, Lord! Is my daily plea. There is no way I can frame this experience. There is no way I can climb high enough to see the wondrous cross in context. I am imprisoned by my estate. No intelligence, no information, no power on earth will assist me to comprehend the work of the Cross.
As I sit and contemplate at the Cross this Good Friday, I will cling to the promise it brings. I will examine my attitudes and appetites, my expectations and plans. When the mildest of irritations prompt me to begin creating my own empire, I will bow down in obedience and submit to the work the all-mighty one is doing in my life. I will submit to His love and look with true hope toward the dawning of Resurrection.
Submitted by Sunny Vigos, Good Samaritan Ministries Staff Member & Life-long Samaritan