Lately I have been giving my personal devotional time each morning to seeking God through the songs in the Northstar Arts God is Faithful album. Someone on the Arts team has written a devotional for each of the songs. I will refrain from mentioning their name so as to not encroach on their fragile humility (and also I don’t know who they are).
Today’s song was “Beautiful Disaster” (one of the free bonus tracks from the album). I spent quite a bit of time this morning talking with Jesus about the line “All because of glory and of love, there upon the cross You gave it all”
This devotional said: “but the first thing on His [Jesus’] mind was to please, obey, and bring glory to the Father, showing His love for us.”
I have to ask the question, “Which was it?” Did Jesus go to the cross “to bring glory to The Father” or “to show His love for us?”
Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus, “for the joy set before Him endured the cross.” My question is, “what was the joy that Jesus looked too that motivated him to endure the cross when he didn’t want too (see Matthew 26:38-39)? Was Jesus anticipating the joy of pleasing and glorifying His Father or the joy of saving us from our sin? Unfortunately, the passage in Hebrews does not answer this question.
A few years ago the lyrics of the song “Above All” created quite a controversy among deep thinking Christians (or perhaps among Christians that had too much time on their hands). The offending lyric was “you took the fall and thought of me above all.” Lenny LeBlanc, who took all the flack (and all the royalty checks) for this lyric was saying that Jesus’ ultimate motivation for going to the cross was our salvation.
But many would say that Jesus thought “above all” about glorifying The Father not about saving you.
What struck me from “Beautiful Disaster” was the line “all because of glory AND of love.” Did Jesus think ultimately about pleasing His Father or saving me? I do not think it is possible to separate the two.
I would agree that God’s glory is the highest reality in the universe. But the glory of God is not some “thing” like a light. God’s glory is the manifestation, the unveiling of the perfections of His character. And what is at the core of God’s character?
1 John 4:16 says that “God is love.” This means that at the core of who God is, He delights to do good to you (you should pause for a minute and think about the implications of that reality).
Did Jesus go to the cross first to please His Father? Yes. But what was it that pleased His Father? Our redemption. So ultimately Jesus did think of us “above all” because when He thought of His Father’s glory He found His Father thinking about us.
I wonder what our world, I wonder what my world would be like if God was not love. If God did not bring glorify to Himself by doing good to me?
It was all because of glory and of love.