Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory? –Luke 24:26
Michael Card, a Christian musician and author, has some amazing thoughts about the crucifixion. This very articulate writer has 37 albums, 27 books, and over 19 #1 hits. And yet his goal in life has always been to “simply and quietly teach the Bible.” I love his writing; it’s powerful in his unique, close relationship with our Lord. He wrote the delightful book, Joy in the Journey, from which the following quotes came as he explained his song-writing process for one piece in particular. These words are profound, in my opinion.
The trappings of the crucifixion had always puzzled me. Why was it necessary that a close friend betray Jesus? Why the crown of thorns, that grim tribute to humor? Why the cross–wasn’t there some other way for him to die? I had been playing with those three questions, trying to make them sound lyrical, in other words trying to make them sound pretty. But they aren’t pretty questions.
I had finished three verses of a song incorporating the questions. I had planned to write one chorus which would answer all three. That proved to be as impossible as the questions themselves. So I did the only thing a committed seeker of the Truth could do: I gave up and put them away in a drawer!
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. –Hebrews 12:2
Weeks after I gave up and put away my three song verses, I was awakened in the night with three separate choruses going through my mind, something that had never happened before and has never happened since. To my trilogy of vain, cynical questions the Lord gave three unexpected answers:
Why did it have to be a friend? Because only a friend comes close enough to cause such pain.
Why the thorny crown? Because in this life, the only kind of crown the world would give such a Lover is a crown of thorns.
Why did it have to be a cross? Because the cross is the place for a thief. And Jesus had come to steal the world’s heart away.
Now each time I listen to the song, I hear two separate voices: my own pessimistic voice asking the meaningless why questions, and another gentler Voice speaking the wonderful answers. –Michael Card