I am so excited about our worship department and the second live recording this Friday night for Vertical Church Band. They are such a gifted young group of artists—and we are so passionate about our adoration of Jesus Christ. We have spent many years building a worship culture, and our people will turn out in force to be part of this week’s recording, with 13 new original and dynamic songs of worship.
Before I was married, I heard an occasional gospel sermon that compared the earthly love of a father and son to the love God expressed in giving His only Son. As I listened, it occurred to me that the tearful, pleading preacher imagining how giving his earthly son would affect him was describing a love I didn’t then know. I have two adult sons, both effective pastors and growing preachers, and I would truly do anything for them. I know it’s not good, but I fear not that my love would fail to give what they need, but that it would give too much. I have to say I think I would hide a body for one of my sons. If they came and told me some horrific truth and that they were going down, I think I would jump from the dock and go down too, in hopes of finding a solution in the final seconds. I really wouldn’t think twice about giving whatever I could to save my son.
But that’s not what God did. God didn’t demonstrate His love for His Son by sparing Him; He gave His Son freely to demonstrate His love for us sinners. That incredible sacrifice, so counter-intuitive to how human father love works, is the engine that drives our heavenly Father’s passion to see His Son Jesus elevated in our churches. The passion of God the Father is that Jesus would receive the honor due Him in view of the church He “purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). The love between a father and son is so powerful that in certain ways it transcends all other human love. When my sons became men, they learned that beating me in basketball and other things was not the vindication they thought it would be for their childhoods, where I never let them win. What they discovered was that as much as I liked winning, I liked it even better when they were victorious. When my sons won, their victory was my victory in an even deeper and more profound way.
God surely chose the best of human analogies to assist our understanding in this greatest of mysteries. Scripture says that it pleases the Father that all the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Jesus in bodily form (Colossians 1:15-20), that Christ is the “radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (Hebrews 1:3), and those who spurn the Son of God are worthy of greater punishment (Hebrews 10:26-31). All that to say, we shouldn’t be surprised that God the Father shows up in power by the Holy Spirit when God the Son is unashamedly adored.