Welcome back to the Song Corner! This week we're going to be taking a look at a song we'll be doing this upcoming Sunday. It is by Sovereign Grace Music, and it is called "The Glories of Calvary."
Just let the title of this song rest in your mind for a moment. Dwell upon the juxtaposition of Calvary, the event of the Crucifixion, the humiliation and mutilation, being called "glorious." It is a paradox, like many great theological truths. And that paradox is beautiful--though Christ was humiliated and murdered in the horrible fashion that is the crucifixion, it is only through Christ's death that we can, as the song states, "explore the depths of grace/that came to me at such a cost."
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.” The whole of the song explores this beauty of paradox. It is only through boundless love, displayed on the cross, was our boundless sin put to death. But through death, we have been given new life, "Holy wrath has been removed/and Your saints below/join with your saints above/rejoicing in the Risen Lamb." It is only through Christ's death, and through Christ Himself, that we can rejoice, that we have freedom from the bondage of sin, and we now have fellowship with God Himself! All of this was accomplished by Christ through the cross, and that is truly glorious. Paul writes as much in Romans 5, "but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation."
Christ’s death on the cross was not a defeat, but the greatest victory. His wounds were not a weakness, but a triumph. The wounds of Christ are monuments to His victory over sin and death, and the great price paid to defeat them. This is truly a glorious truth, and therefore, it is one we should declare, it is one we should boast of, “Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14).
There is deep beauty in paradox, and paradox is how our salvation was assured. The greatest, mightiest being, God Himself, made into a man, then beaten, and mocked, and crucified as if He was a member of the lowest, most undesirable of society. Through that pain, through that suffering, and through that death, we have now been given freedom, joy, and life.
We’ll end today’s song corner with
an excerpt of a prayer from the Valley of Vision:
me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision…
Let me find thy light in my darkness,
thy life in my death,
thy joy in my sorrow,
thy grace in my sin,
thy riches in my poverty
thy glory in my valley.”