Life is filled with “what if” moments. What if I hadn’t quit those piano lessons? What if I had picked a different major? What if I hadn’t asked her out? What if I had taken that job offer? We all ask these kinds of questions. We all wonder where we might have ended up or how our lives would be different if we had made different choices.
And when you think about it, it’s not just our own lives that would be different because our choices effect the lives of everyone else around us. It’s exactly that kind of scenario that the song “Hallelujah For The Cross” by Chris McClarney wrestles with.
In it, the song asks us, “Where would I be if it wasn’t for the cross?”
Take a moment to think about that. Where would you be without the cross of Christ? Where were you before He found you?
The first verse of the song attempts to give us an answer. It says, “I would be hopeless without your goodness. I would be desperate without your love. Slave to the darkness if it wasn’t for the cross.” That’s exactly where you and I would be: lost without hope and slaves to the darkness of our sin nature.
Ephesians 2:1 takes it step further and says, “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you once walked….” It doesn’t get much more lost than that.
But scripture also lets us know time and again that God doesn’t like for anything to remain lost. In fact, scripture likens God to a shepherd who has one hundred sheep and loses one. Instead of being content with the ninety-nine He still has, He leaves them in search of the one that has been lost.
That’s what the cross is for us. It’s tangible proof of the heart of God for the lost.
He was unwilling that you and I should be left hopeless and desperate, so He came and found us. Jesus went to the cross because that’s what it took to truly free us.
The Bridge of this song says, “By your stripes I’m healed. By your death I live. The power of sin is overcome. It is finished. It is done.” The pain that He endured has become our healing. The death that He died has become our life. The victory He won when He rose from the grave has become our victory. The power of sin that once enslaved us has been overwhelmed by the blood of Jesus.
This is something that isn’t just for those who haven’t come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. This is for you and me every single day. This is what stands between us and the “what if” becoming a reality. This is the message of the cross.
1 Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the message of the cross is foolishness for those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” The gospel is the power of God for us and our only hope, and that is why we sing it!