Above all, it wasn’t me.

Standard

Crucified
Laid behind a stone
You lived to die
Rejected and alone
Like a rose
Trampled on the ground
You took the fall
And thought of me
Above all

This song is among the most popular Michael W Smith songs and has found its way into many a church’s song books, including ours.  It’s got a great melody and it’s tune is such that can evoke strong emotions when being sung.

However, I question the theology behind it – especially the chorus – which is the central thought of the song.

The song protrays the Lord Jesus as thinking of me above all when came to earth, living a life of condescension and ultimately suffering and dying on the cross for me.

Was the Lord Jesus thinking about me when He came into this world? Yes.

Was the Lord Jesus thinking about me when He allowed Himself to be arrested, beaten, insulted and ultimately crucified? I believe He was.

But was He thinking about me, above all? I don’t think so.

In fact the Lord says quite the opposite when He spoke of His purpose on earth and His sufferings…
When the Lord told His disciples that the time of His sufferings was near, He said,

Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence. John 14:30,31

In the Lord’s own words, He allowed Himself to be taken, ‘trampled’ and crucified so that the “world may know that I love the Father”. What was His motivation above all? Love for the Father.
In the high priestly prayer in John 17, the Lord Jesus mentions,

v4: I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do

It was, above all, love and obedience to the Father, not us, that was on the Lord’s mind as He walked this earth. This is consistent with the picture given in the Burnt offering and Meal offering – completely offered to God – the Lord Jesus completely devoted to God’s will, in life and death.

Let us not rob the Father’s glory by claiming what belongs to God for ourselves.

Maybe next time we can sing that chorus differently

Crucified
Laid behind a stone
You lived to die
Rejected and alone
Like a rose
Trampled on the ground
In life and death,
The Father’s will
Above all

*weeps*

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