October 25, 2016. Today we’ll be taking a look at “My Victory” by Crowder which currently sits at #16 on 20TheCountdownMagazine.
Today’s song lyric brings us Christ crucified for our sins. It’s a wonderful song, minus one squirrely line in the second verse. Let’s give it a listen and then discuss the theology we see in the lyric of this song.
Crowder VEVO (Lyric Video)
Lyrics (via K-Love)
You came for Criminals
And every Pharisee
You came for Hypocrites
Even one like me
You carried sin and shame
The guilt of every man
The weight of all I’ve done
Nailed into your hands
Oh your love
Bled for me
Oh your blood
In crimson streams
Oh your death
Is Hell’s defeat
A cross meant to kill is my victory
Oh your amazing grace
I’ve seen and tasted it
It’s running through my veins
I can’t escape its grip
In you my soul is safe
You cover everything
Behold the lamb of God
Who takes away our sin
The holy Lamb of God
Makes us alive again
Publishing: © 2016 SIXSTEPS MUSIC/WORSHIPTOGETHER COM SONGS/INOT MUSIC (ADMIN. AT CAPITOLCMGPUBLISHING.COM)/ALL ESSENTIAL MUSIC/BENTLEY STREET SONGS (ASCAP) (ADMIN. BY ESSENTIAL MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC)/ALLETROP MUSIC/DAYSPRING MUSIC, LLC (BMI)
Writer(s): David Crowder, Ed Cash, Hank Bentley and Darren Mulligan
Bridge. Let’s start with the Bridge of the song, because this is a beautiful quote of John the Baptist’s bold proclamation of Jesus as the Lamb of God.
John 1:29 (ESV) The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
Let’s look at how the Gospel According to John opens up, noting how the Apostle wrote concerning Jesus and concerning John the Baptist:
John 1:1-13 (ESV) | The Word Became Flesh
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
Amen. Now, let’s move to the first verse of the song.
Verse 1. Jesus came to save the world, to take away our sin. Not just those we like, but for those we don’t like. The Criminal and the Pharisee alike. This song does a great job of leveling out the playing field. Crowder hits the 2 hardest categories, then extends it to the Hypocrite and then places himself right there in the middle of the sinners.We are sinners. We sin because we are sinners. Christ died to atone for our sin, to pay a price we couldn’t pay for sin that wasn’t His, to grant us Grace we don’t deserve. This is a great start to the song. I love that Crowder used the word “guilt” here. Sure, it is possible to emotionalize the term to try to soften its objectivity, but our guilt is real, whether we “feel it” or not. It is the objective pronouncement of the Law upon us… we stand guilty, we are born guilty, dead in our sins and trespasses. It was for our guilt, that Christ was nailed to the cross.
Chorus. The chorus focuses on the redemptive power of the Blood of the Lamb. A wonderful Epistle to spend some time studying both before and after studying the Mosaic Covenant is the book of Hebrews.
Hebrews 9:11-14 (ESV) | Redemption Through the Blood of Christ
But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
Hebrews 9:22 (ESV) Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
The cross meant to kill Jesus, to silence the threat to Pharisaical rule under Pilate… ends up being our Salvation, through the Redemption bought by His Blood. Indeed, the cross is our Victory in Jesus’ Name.
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (ESV) | Proclaiming Christ Crucified
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
Verse 2. Okay, now this verse I think gets a little bit squirrely. The reference to having seen and tasted the Grace of God is most likely pulling from Peter’s Epistle. For most doctrinally sound Christians, this is a purely spiritual turn of phrase pointing to the Word of God. As Lutherans, we see recognize this as the Word of God, and also in the Lord’s Supper as an objective seeing and tasting of the Word, the Body and Blood of Christ. However you interpret the “seeing and tasting”, it’s important to see what Peter is teaching here:
1 Peter 2:1-12 (ESV) | A Living Stone and a Holy People
So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,
“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”
“A stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense.”
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
Getting back to the second verse of this song, it’s the next line where I think the theology gets squirrelly and, frankly, I can’t find a nice way to correct it other than saying “no”. Christ’s blood isn’t running in our veins. We have been baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection (Romans 6), we have been washed by Christ (Eph 5), made alive in Christ (Eph 2, 1 Cor 15)… but Christ’s Blood doesn’t run in our veins. Our bodies are still sinful flesh. Notice how Peter wrote of us as sojourners and exiles, encouraging us to abstain from the passions of the flesh. Our flesh is still sinful. Our hearts are still sinful. But we are also a new creation in Christ. This is that paradox of the Christian life, being simultaneously justified in Christ and sinners in the flesh. So, while I like this song overall, I do not like this line about Christ’s blood in our veins. I think it is a misstep.
I’ve given this song an overall Approval, though I take issue with that one line in the second verse. The song declares Jesus (“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away our sin”), our guilt under the Law and the Redemption by the Blood of Christ. Hell is defeated by Christ’s finished work on the Cross. There is a lot of good theological meat in the lyric of this song. I’m very pleased to be adding another song to our approved list.
Hebrews 13:20-21 (ESV) | Benediction
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
In Christ Jesus,