Jesus – Rich Mullins (1997, the Jesus record)

click on image to listen to song for free.

We’ve come to Holy Week and the time to reflect upon the cross.  In this series of posts throughout the week, we will major on two things: the resurrection and our response to Jesus.  I may go back and forth, but be sure to come back frequently, for I hope to blog several times this week.

Let’s open with a rough diamond that I have treasured for many years.  This would fall mostly in the category of response and reflection and I offer it first for one simple reason: our personal heart response to the cross is what matters most during this week.  God’s Son did not die for any other reason than to glorify His Father through bringing people close to Him again.

But we have a tendency during the Easter season to zero in on things like cross, resurrection, salvation, etc.  These are central and colossal matters in scope and depth and its so easy to get lost in doctrine and rhetoric.  One thing that might get lost in the shuffle is the pure, stripped down truth that a man named Jesus loved us so much that He died and rose again on our behalf.

Rich Mullins is exactly what we need to capture the angle of Easter that reminds of a love from a man that is so intoxicating, we simply cannot resist.  This song is actually just a poor recording that was released posthumously.  Mullins died in a car accident, but shortly before his death, he went alone to a small chapel and recorded a demo of songs for his next project.  The plain, scratchy sound seems to perfectly reflect a lonely, human heart aching to be attached to the sparkling, yet approachable heart of the Son of God.

Listen to the magic of a song without fanfare and frills:

They say You walked upon the water once
When you lived as all men do
Please teach me how to walk the way You did
Because I want to walk with You

They say you taught a lame man how to dance
When he had never stood without a crutch
Well, here am I Lord, holding out my withered hands
And I’m just waiting to be touched

Write me into Your story
Whisper it to me
And let me know I’m Yours

They say You spoke and calmed an angry wave
That was tossed across a stormy sea
Please teach me how to listen, how to obey
‘Cause there’s a storm inside of me

Write me into Your story
Whisper it to me
And let me know I’m Yours

They drove the cold nails through Your tired hands
And rolled a stone to seal Your grave
Feels like the devil’s rolled a stone onto my heart
Can You roll that stone away?

The hint of the resurrection at the end of the song connected to our personal struggle to be revived is truly palpable.  Sometimes, our Easter meditations become too disconnected from our every day lives.  Yet, no one could ever accuse Rich Mullins of promoting such a disconnect.  He reaches across the gap and pulls us into the realm of the authentic and the honest.

I wanted to include another song from this “album” because it takes this issue even further.  Listen to an excerpt from the lyrics of “Hard To Get” by Rich Mullins:

Did You ever know loneliness
Did You ever know need
Do You remember just how long a night can get?
When You were barely holding on
And Your friends fall asleep
And don’t see the blood that’s running in Your sweat

Will those who mourn be left uncomforted
While You’re up there just playing hard to get?

And I know you bore our sorrows
And I know you feel our pain
And I know it would not hurt any less
Even if it could be explained

And I know that I am only lashing out
At the One who loves me most
And after I figured this, somehow
All I really need to know

Is if You who live in eternity
Hear the prayers of those of us who live in time
We can’t see what’s ahead
And we can not get free of what we’ve left behind
I’m reeling from these voices that keep screaming in my ears
All the words of shame and doubt, blame and regret

I can’t see how You’re leading me unless You’ve led me here
Where I’m lost enough to let myself be led
And so You’ve been here all along I guess
It’s just Your ways and You are just plain hard to get

How often we sit in church or alone, trying to connect with God, but these kind of thoughts and emotions serve as the chasm standing between us and Him.  Mullins faithfully writes like the psalmists of old – who left no doubt or fear tucked away in their hearts – but instead, laid it all out at God’s feet.  And yet he includes references to the everlasting truth that God loves us best!  The cross proves this over and over again!

Deep within our hearts we must always keep telling ourselves that the cross trumps all doubts, fears and shortcomings.  Let Easter be a time to feel the freedom that was earned for you by His blood.  Let the Passion of Christ wash away all your reservations about God’s love for you.  Let His resurrection release your heart the from cage of fear and death.

But most of all, let Jesus be Jesus.  In one very important sense, Jesus was just a man.  A man who loves you best and died to prove it.  You are deeply known and deeply loved by the Son of God…and He has written you into His story, if you have given your heart to Him.