Tuesday, February 16, 2010

An Unfair Exchange...

"...and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head."
Matthew 27:29
As I have mentioned before...music speaks to me. Sometimes I can hear a brand new song and it will instantly resonate in my spirit. Other times I can hear a song over and over without really listening to it. Then one day, I will "hear" the words and it will bless me. Then there are occasions like tonight...an old hymn, written almost 150 years ago, and one that I have sang probably hundreds of times in my lifetime. But tonight, it spoke to me anew in a deep and moving way. 
This song was written in 1864 by a sixteen year old boy, William Ralph Featherston. I grew up in an Assembly of God church, we sang this song often. The words are embedded in my brain...
Tonight... they are in my heart.
My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
I love Thee because Thou has first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree.
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
We sang through the first verse, and then the second verse. We omitted the third verse and went straight to the fourth. That's when it hit me! Look at this line from the second verse.
 I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow
Having been raised in the church, I have heard the Easter story time and time again. Matthew, Mark and John all record the same statement..."they twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head". The picture above is a recreation of what this crown of thorns could look. Is this a crown fitting a king...the King of Kings? They didn't just lay it on His head...my understanding is that it was pressed upon His head. Adding to the pain and agony He had already endured.

Then we sang the final verse of this song... 

I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow 
I Peter 54 says, "...you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away." Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 4 that we will receive a crown of righteousness and James says God will give us a crown of life. What will this crown look like? Will it be a crown of gold or silver, glittering with diamonds or emeralds or rubies like the crown in this picture? I don't know what it will look like, or even if it is a physical crown. But what struck me so deep in my heart tonight was...
This is an unfair exchange!
Jesus, the King of Kings received the crown of thorns...the crown I deserved. And I will receive a "glittering crown"...the one I don't deserve.  At that moment of revelation, all I could say was, "God, this is not a fair trade". But because of His immeasurable love for me, and His Grace and His Mercy...Jesus has exchanged His crown of Glory for my crown of thorns. And while it is not a fair trade, it is a most precious gift.

If ever I loved thee, my Jesus...'tis now!

link to Avalon singing "My Jesus, I Love Thee"


Lori said...

Beautiful - as always!

Cindy said...

Wow Lena! I had never thought of it as an unfair trade. But you're right. I'll be meditating on this all day. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

rosebloo said...

Lena, so true. He died so I can live. I pray my life brings Him glory. Thank you for this reminder.