The hymn writer Charles Gabriel lived from 1856-1932. He wrote the hymn, “My Savior’s Love”. The first and third stanzas, along with the chorus, invite our consideration on this Thursday of Passion week.
1 I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how he could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean.
3 He took my sins and my sorrows
He made them his very own;
He bore the burden to Calv’ry,
And suffered and died alone.
How marvelous! How wonderful!“My Savior’s Love”, Charles Gabriel. Viewed on Hymnary.org
And my song shall ever be;
How marvelous! How wonderful!
Is my Savior’s love for me!
The prophet Isaiah indicated the kind of suffering God’s Servant would endure in Isaiah 53. He wrote, “But he was pierced because of our rebellion, crushed because of our iniquities, punishment for our peace was on him, and we are healed by his wounds. We all went astray like sheep, we all have turned to our own way; and the LORD has punished him for the iniquity of us all…he willingly submitted to death, and was counted among the rebels, yet he bore the sin of many and interceded for the rebels.” (Isaiah 53:5-6,12c, CSB)
Isaiah prophesied in the 8th century BC as noted in the Holman Bible Dictionary and the heading of the book. The prophet wrote about the Suffering Servant between 600 and 800 years before Jesus. What he wrote powerfully demonstrates the role of the Spirit in Bible prophecy. Some liberal scholars have contended that Isaiah 40-66 was written by a second or third “Isaiah”. I reject that notion. While the prophecies he made, such as those about Cyrus, were well after his time, there is no real problem if you affirm that the Holy Spirit inspired the Bible. If you deny biblical inerrancy and inspiration, yet call yourself a Christian, you are on dangerous hermeneutical ground. Either you presuppose that the Bible is the word of God and supported by various internal and external evidence, or you adopt the mentality of the 20th Century and are skeptical over whether the Bible is the word of God or not. (The evidence is in favor of those who affirm inerrancy, by the way. Consider the vast textual evidence!)
When Isaiah wrote about the suffering servant who willingly submitted himself to death on account of rebels, he was referring to none other than Jesus the Messiah.
Jesus bore my sin and your sin in his body on the cross. He interceded for you then and intercedes for you now. Truly we can all say, “How marvelous, how wonderful, is my Savior’s love for me!”
God’s marvelous, redeeming love extends to you and me today. That’s why we become his disciples through faith. That’s why we don’t get to live however we want to. Jesus alone earned the right to be our King when he atoned for our sins. The apostle Paul recognized the beauty of the Gospel and our need for it in Romans 3.
22 The righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe, since there is no distinction. 23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 24 They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
[Rom 3:22-24 CSB]
Paul also acknowledged the pivotal role God’s love plays in the whole salvation drama in Romans 5.
6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For rarely will someone die for a just person – though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. 8 But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 How much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by his blood, will we be saved through him from wrath. 10 For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation.
[Rom 5:6-11 CSB]
God’s marvelous, redeeming love invites you to respond today. Dear reader, how will you respond to God’s marvelous and redeeming love? If you are not a Christian, I hope you will respond by becoming a disciple of Jesus. Send me a message on the “contact” tab and I will be more than happy help you in your spiritual journey anyway I can. If you are a Christian, you are invited to respond to his loving provision in the cross through worship.