When my life ends one day and friends and family gather to remember me, I have one song I want sung at my funeral by everyone who attends: In Christ Alone.
Holy Week, the week leading up to the celebration of Christ’s defeat of death always takes me through an emotional upheaval. The reality of the horrific death reminds me of the true nature of sin- painful, gross, damaging and offensive. It both breaks my heart to think of Jesus enduring the cross for me and humbles me to know He chose to do so out of love.
The resurrection is so powerfully joyful I almost cannot contain myself. When we sing,
“Oh death! Where is your sting? Oh Hell! Where is your victory? Oh Church! Come stand in the light- Our God is not dead, He’s alive! He’s alive!”
I feel the relief and amazement- it truly is finished! Christ’s work on the cross and in the resurrection accomplished all that I need to never fear or experience shame again. He defeated death. He erased my sin- permanently. I am loved and secure and accepted by God because of what my Savior did for me.
The song that most resonated while my understanding of the gospel has grown in the past few years is In Christ Alone. Most of my Christian life I knew with my head that I did not, could not, earn Christ’s love. But in my heart I often felt compelled to work harder, do more and hide my darkest sins, in order to really feel secure in my relationship with God. Surely it couldn’t be as simple as: accept grace. So I would doubt, albeit secretly, that God really accepted me and would actually be everything I needed. My heart would wander to other lesser gods to give me hope and security. Performance, beauty, friendship, money, intelligence, marriage and on and on. But as they always do each of these false saviors let me down. None of them were bad things in and if themselves- they were simply insufficient to meet the demands of my soul.
In Christ alone, my hope is found. He is my light, my strength, my song! This cornerstone, this solid ground…. No guilt in life. No fear in death- this is the power of Christ in me. From life’s first cry, till final breath, Jesus commands my destiny. No power of hell, no scheme of man-can ever pluck me from His hand. Till he returns or calls me home, here is the power of Christ I’ll stand.
No guilt, no fear. Could there be a more beautiful way to describe complete freedom?