Bible Ballistics: BBs #482 Surveyors Needed???
I want us to consider an old hymn written by Isaac Watts in 1707 not only the beauty of its message, but also its import to our daily lives as believers.
When I survey the wond’rous Cross
On which the Prince of Glory dy’d,
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 am I 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.
The main thing I want us to consider is a word in the first verse, survey:
to take a general or comprehensive view,
to view in detail,
especially to inspect,
or appraise formally
in order to ascertain condition, value, etc.
Isaac Watts paints a picture of our need to seriously consider what our Lord did for us on “the wond’rous Cross”—to “survey” that cross; to “view in detail”, to “inspect”, to “examine”, to “appraise”—“to ascertain …value”! So many today have made the cross simply a trinket to wear, or a symbol in a cemetery, and have removed the importance and value of the truth that only “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin”!
We have become accustomed to a gospel that appeals to the masses with no call to repentance or recognition of sin, but a soft-soaped message that only emphasizes the “love of God” without any consideration for the ‘holiness’, or the ‘righteousness’ of God that caused Him to send HIS “only begotten Son” to die for sin—because “all have sinned”! When we remove sin from the equation it negates the need for a crucified Savior—the substitutionary, atoning sacrifice of the very Son of God!
Even those of us who have truly come to Jesus in repentance and faith in His sacrifice for us, can get so caught up in the ‘chaos’ of our world that we forget that our only avenue for successful, faithful Christian victory is to “survey the wond’rous cross”! To keep it ever in our minds, remembering that to walk with Jesus is to be “crucified with” Him on a daily basis. We must “survey” HIS cross, HIS sacrifice for “me”, HIS saving and keeping power continually.
“And he said to them all,
If any man will come after me,
let him deny himself,
and take up his cross daily,
and follow me.” Luke 9:23
And I can only do that in the resurrection power of a crucified, buried and risen LORD JESUS! In HIS power I can live a victorious life—keeping my eyes “fixed on Jesus” and ‘surveying’ every situation through ‘cross-focused’ eyes—ever remembering the price HE paid for “me” and “you” on that cross!
“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
I “can do all” this because I am empowered by HIS Spirit to think with the mind of Christ—servant-hood and sacrifice—rather than self-seeking and selfish ambition.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:5
Amen and Amen!