Favourite songs (3): The Power of the Cross

I’ve been meaning to write this one for ages. The Power of the Cross is a very powerful hymn by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend that takes us back to Good Friday and to remember how Christ “became sin for us” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Oh, to see the dawn
of the darkest day:
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men,
torn and beaten, then
nailed to a cross of wood.

This, the pow’r of the cross:
Christ became sin for us;
took the blame, bore the wrath—
we stand forgiven at the cross.


Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2005 Thankyou Music

The reason this post has been sitting unwritten for so long is that half of me loves this hymn and half of me finds it just too much to bear. There is a part of me that doesn’t want to see the dawn of the darkest day. I like to think I can avail of the cross of Christ whilst walking quickly by without thinking too deeply about exactly what was involved.

There is a wonderful little booklet by John Richardson, “The Eternal Cross“, reflecting on the sufferings of Christ and the place of suffering at the heart of God. He points us to John 14:8-9, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father”, and says:

Of course, these words are also comforting to the armchair theologian who looks at Jesus healing the sick or raising the dead. It is easy to see the Father there, if we have already decided that the Father is the one who always delivers when he is called upon. But the cross confronts that illusion by saying, “Look, here is also the Father. He who sees this Christ, the Christ on the cross, has also seen the Father.” Yet crucifixion is an unpalatable sight, from which human instinct turns away. Trying to look at this to see God is like trying to look at the sun. We must force ourselves into the confrontation.

And so I sing this wonderful hymn.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s