By Dick Wamsley
Is it possible to become so accustomed to the wonder of God’s creation that you lose a sense of awe when you see a majestic mountain, hear a rustling brook, gaze into the heavens at night, or smell the aroma of spring flowers? If so, then is it also possible to lose your sense of wonder at the cross of Christ?
As a young man, Isaac Watts must have suspected it was possible. When he considered the wonder of the cross, he wrote these words:
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,
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?
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.
When was the last time you genuinely surveyed the wondrous cross? I’m not talking about an occasional remembrance or a passing glance, but a significant, directed time of meditation on the cross of Christ.
Some are tempted to downplay the cross and the remembrance of Jesus’ death. It is more palatable to talk about the peace Jesus brings or how much better you’ll feel when you become a Christian. But your walk with God will always be superficial until you bow in awe before the cross of Christ.
The apostle Paul wrote,
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:17, 18).
As we approach Easter, renew your sense of wonder at the power of the cross, especially when you come around the Lord’s Table. “Do this in remembrance of me,” Jesus said to his disciples in the upper room (Luke 22:19). Remember the wonder of the cross.
Dick Wamsley served as senior minister at Taylorville (Illinois) Christian Church for more than 27 years and with Nebraska Christian College for 14 years. He is retired from full-time ministry but continues to serve in interim ministries for churches in central Illinois.