Once of my very favorite hymns is the song the title of this article is taken from. How Deep the Father’s Love for Us is a gut-wrenchingly beautiful admission of our incredible depravity and the even more incredible saving grace of God. The line of my title (and the following lines) hits me hardest each time I listen to it:
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers!
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished.
His dying breath has brought me Life
I know that it is finished!
Each time I hear those words I picture myself, tears in my eyes and hand over my mouth, as I realize that jeering and laughing towards Christ is coming from my own lips. What shame! What heartache! To realize that I am not only the reason for Christ’s suffering, but by nature I forget His gift and am even so ungrateful for His salvation that I mock the work He has done on my behalf!
When I use language unbecoming of a child of God in front of my coworkers because I want to look cool? When I find myself somewhere I shouldn’t be on a Friday night? When I lie to my parents about it? When I feel anger or bitterness in my heart against my spouse? When I deliberately lose my cool in front of my kids, blaming it on their disobedience? When I spread a seemingly harmless rumor about someone? When I watch that show or movie with my friends even though I know it sickeningly glorifies sin?
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers.
In any age or stage of life, there are hundreds and thousands of ways in which we may “hear our mocking voices.” Quite often they are so much more than just the words our physical voices produce. Our every thought, word, and action is so prone to reject and despise the very cross that delivers us from those evil tendencies.
How often in life don’t we look back with shame and regret on a decision we’ve made or an action we’ve taken? How many times have we, with tears in our eyes, covered our mouth with our hand and realized that the voice we’ve just heard mocking the Savior’s crucifixion is our own?
But the song, and the whole redemptive story, doesn’t end there. The very next lines of the song show us the amazing grace given to us repented scoffers. Yes, our sin held Him there, until it was accomplished! Our salvation is accomplished! It is finished! Praise the Lord for that amazing ending to our story! Jesus selected us, even when we by nature scoff at His suffering and death, and turned us from mocking scoffers into thankful, redeemed singers.
In this life, we will never become perfect at praising instead of scoffing at the cross. We will continue to mess up, and continually need to repent from the shameful mocking we speak. But Christ has made us holy before the judgement seat of God, and we have been given life everlasting!
So when you shamefully recognize your mocking voice among the scoffers, recognize that the story doesn’t end there. Remember that, although undeserving, you’ve been given the gift of complete salvation at the cross. Turn your face to that cross with thanksgiving and humility for the amazing gift. Work hard to avoid scoffing at the cross by any thought or word or action that denies our love for and dependency on Christ. Instead, remember that His dying breath has brought you Life! Rest peacefully in that assurance.