“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
The second verse of “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” continues by rightly identifying the focus of a believer’s affections. This song does not direct our affection to objects like the cross or the blood and so imply improper worship, but it clearly specifies the deity and work of Christ as paramount to us. We worship Him for who He is and what He has done and is doing on our behalf. His death makes all the difference to us.
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.
We know that “being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8). What happened there? “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Romans 5:10).
Today we no longer have an obligation to render animal sacrifices to God for our sin, but we do need to offer something better than even our best. Scripture asks us to “present [our] bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God” (Romans 12:1). We do not literally sacrifice ourselves to His blood, but we cherish and recognize that the shedding of His blood on the cross makes it all possible. JDM
From Days of Praise