“I need no other argument,
I need no other plea;
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.”
—Lidie H. Edmunds, 19th Century
Is that really enough for me on this Good Friday?
Today, of all days, I’ve made so many mistakes. I have failed, both in my conscious choices to sin, and in my responses to my sin – responses of pride, unrepentant attitudes, fear and self-pity.
I have wanted to run away from the truth of the cross today…from His grace. I have wanted some other argument or justification for my actions…some other plea of righteousness…something more than the righteousness of Christ, which is imputed to me through faith in His finished work.
I found myself wanting to WORK…to strive, to study, to cook, to help, to plan, to clean…ANYTHING to make the guilt go away…to make me feel worthy again…to make me feel like a “good Christian.”
I did not want to accept the simple, beautiful truth that Jesus’ death was enough to cover all my sins – including the sins I committed today.
I didn’t want Jesus to have payed for the sinful, ugly attitudes and actions I displayed today.
It seemed so wrong…so unjust that the Holy One, sweet Jesus Christ, should be “poured out like water” (Ps. 22:14) with His “strength dried up” and His tongue sticking to His jaws (vs. 15)… “despised and rejected by men” (Is. 53:3), “smitten by God and afflicted” (vs. 4), “cut off from the land of the living” (vs. 8) … all for my foolish rebellion, my ungodliness, my lack of love, my sinfulness.
Yet I am reminded of an analogy by John Piper where he says that a fountain is not honored by people dumping in their own buckets of brown, dirty water. Rather, a fountain is honored by those who drink deeply from it with satisfied sighs and contented words of praise, having had their thirst quenched. In the same way, Christ is not honored by the “buckets” of my own efforts and my striving to “make it up to him” or repay my debts. How prideful and futile to even think that would be possible! Instead, Christ is honored when I sit at the foot of His cross and drink deeply of His love and grace, freely poured out for me.
So tonight I sit before the Everlasting Fountain of glorious living water, and I drink.
As I do, I hear Him say, ” I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep…No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.” (John 10:11, 18).
So this little, striving sheep puts down her “buckets” and rests, comforted by the authority of the Good Shepherd and grateful that His suffering did not end with regret and death.
It’s Friday (one when I’m more aware of my failings than ever), but SUNDAY IS COMING!
♪ ♫ I see His love // Jesus, heaven’s light // no longer despised // but glorious in our eyes. // Unto death He was stricken // a silent grave with the wicked // but raised to life and seated glorious // our God victorious // never more to die // He LIVES! ♪ ♫ ~Sovereign Grace Music~
If I don’t want Jesus to be despised any longer…if I want Him to receive the glory He’s due…then I will place all my trust in Him (rather than myself) and praise Him for the willing death He died and the victorious life He lives!
Thankfulness and praise is the only appropriate response of an empty vessel to her Faithful Fountain…of a grateful sheep to her Saving Shepherd.
And tonight I see that it truly IS enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me.