To Live Without Me…

The other night Amy sent me out to Dairy Queen to pick up a couple of ice cream cones for us to eat while we watch The Biggest Looser (one of the many blessings of living with a pregnant wife).  As I was driving back home with cones in hand I had the radio tuned into our local Christian radio station (Praise 106.5) when a song came on that caught my attention.  The name of the song is “To Ever Live Without Me” by Jody McBrayer.  What caught my attention was not the stellar vocals, because they weren’t really stellar.  Nor was it the outstanding musical quality, because it was pretty bland for my taste.  What caught my attention was the pure, unadulterated pride implicit in the song along with the depreciation of the cross.  Here is the chorus:

Heaven knew the reason you were there

It was all about a man

It was all about a cross

It was all about the blood that was shed so I would not be lost

It was all about a love that was bigger than a life

It was all about the freedom that was given through your sacrifice

‘Cause you would rather die than to ever live without me

The pinnacle of the message of this song is the very last line which says that Jesus would rather die than “to ever live without me.”  Now on one level that is kind of true.  Jesus did die a substitutionary death on the cross in order to purchase my salvation and adopt me into His family.  However, the motivation for that sacrifice was not my inherit goodness, nor was it the sheer joy of being with someone as great as I am for eternity (note my sarcasm here).  The cross was about God the Father crushing His Son in order to glorify Himself.  This is one of the principle differences between man-centered worship and God-centered worship.  Man-centered worship tends to make everything that God has done somehow about me, whereas God-centered worship understands that man is simply the happy beneficiary of God’s passion for His own glory.

While the chorus was somewhat irritating, what really bothered me about this song was a single line where she said, “Selfless, you could have called ten thousand angels down to take your place.”  I can’t think of a single line of music in recent memory that is more disrespectful to the cross than this one.  The entire concept makes a mockery of Hebrews 1.

Hebrews 1:1-4 “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.”

The point is that no one else could have made the sacrifice that Christ made, because only the death of God is sufficient to atone for my sins.  It didn’t matter if it was 10,000 angels or 10,000,000 angels giving their lives.  There is nothing that can wash away my sin but the blood of Jesus and I am so humbled by the fact that He did give His life and that I get to live with Him for eternity.

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October 08 2009 09:25 am | Devotional

2 Responses to “To Live Without Me…”

  1. Heidi on 08 Oct 2009 at 5:41 pm #

    Since our talk on Monday night, I have wondered about this! Thanks for explaining it so well. It hasn’t rubbed me quite right…the song, that is…Now I see why. Sometimes, I think in an effort to be artistic and not to necessarily teach theology, songs (and some hymns, too) end up preaching something that is an assault on the true gospel message. Jody McBrayer is a man, btw. He has a high voice and is a part of the group, Avalon. Another one that gets me is by Point of Grace, “How You Live.” Cindy Morgan wrote that song and she loves the Lord, I am pretty sure, but I find that song really pushing a message that isn’t quite right:
    “cause it’s not who you knew
    And it’s not what you did
    it’s how you live”
    From where I sit, it IS about who I know and who knows me and who gave his life for me. I love the rhythm, the vocals and the music, but it unsettles me. Yikes…I am waxing eloquent (well, not quite) on your blog! 🙂

  2. Yelena on 10 Apr 2011 at 6:32 am #

    The fact that Jesus died on the cross can be viewed as a broad, multiple angled event. In the eyes of a sinner, the most significant truth is that Jesus did it for him/her because that is what matters to that person the most to have the everlasting life with the Lord. And only then, to glorify His Father. It seems that you are able to distinguish left arm from right but some do not have that skill yet because they are spiritually young. The song was destined for them. Let us think the lyrics would have been “Cause He would rather die than not to obey His Father”. How would an unbeliever connect to the song? In my opinion, it would leave a slight mark if any in that person’s thoughts. However, I agree with you. The bottom line or the truth if you will is that Jesus took the path to Calvary and finished it gracefully to glorify His Father.