Jesus would have died for you if you were the only person alive.
This is a concept I've heard on and off for a long time, but I can think of no basis in the bible to back it up. Both my wife and I see Jesus as going to the cross because of the glory set before Him (a complex set of ideas in a single phrase) rather than because He was 'thinking of me' to follow a recent idiom (I'm pretty sure He didn't think of me personally at all, and I'm not deliberately sniping at THAT song).
I would be interested to know, do you agree with the idea of Jesus dying for you alone and specifically, or do you see Him doing it from obedience and because of what His death would do to creation? I'd love to hear why you believe what you do. Answers with too many long words may be mocked.
People who were near the depression and/or prohibition via parents or directly are able to identify with that song. It completely nails the culture that was happening back then.
This alice-rabbit-trail on lyrics took me all over the google machine listening to music from the psychedelic era, early Grateful Dead, Beatles pieces blending Indian and British culture, and various pieces with wonderful swirly-art covers and a very relaxed approach (in general) to music -- hardly anything Type A at all. Refreshing to listen to, instrumentally speaking. When I hear such a gorgeous array of sounds from musicians who were so strung out on stuff they could barely function, makes me wonder why Christians, being sober and alert, during the same era seem to have decided that the most clever thing a person could do harmonically was a borrowed dominant or (for the really serious) a subtonic. I suppose the response would be that it's not about cleverness, but about Jesus. But maybe that's another discussion - WWJD with a guitar, being the creator of all, including music?
I've no doubt about God's love for us as individual persons, as well as collectively - that is, I agree, clear from scripture.
I just don't feel comfortable with adorning what we can safely say from scripture with invented ideas designed to produce an emotional response, and specifically reinforcing a me-centred theology, and then teaching this as truth.
I don't know the song, but looking at the words, I wouldn't use it.
I suspect many a false-teaching arose out of similar kinds of unbalance.
Good responce, it can never be me centered, always, ALWAYS God centered!!!!!!
Like I said ealier, God Loves us all equally and anytime we put ourselves above someone else we are making an unBilical statement. God loves us all, He may not love what we do sometimes, but He still loves us as we should others. I try to teach that in my preaching, love the person, hate the sin, when we begin to do that we will begin to see people through God's eyes and not our own, we tend to see the sin as the person and that is what gets us in trouble and the reverse, we tend to see people doing everything right and think they are some great person above everyone else but that is not how God sees us. Maybe I'm getting too deep in this but once I get going I like to make sure I am understood, I don't like when people walk away scratching their heads wondering what i was talking about.
This is a difficult one. My feeling is that our God is in three persons. Therefore a God of relationship. He offers us that choice of being in relationship with Him. Therefore each one of us is important to Him as stated above. Because He is holy we could not approach Him. So God the Son, Jesus, died so we can approach Him and have eternal life in all it's fullness (a relationship with God)
From my point of view He died for me. If I was the only pathetic example of humanity available, would Jesus die for me! Well the three person God of relationships and the fact God wants more people to be involved in this relationship suggests He would!
PS I struggle with "Above All" as it feels to me like an Xfactor/Pop Idol/The Voice winners anthem. Particularly the rose line.
I agree, there are many places in the Word talking about individuals, He also says He is no respector of persons, so if He did it for all then he did it for one. Jesus being all God and all man has, had, the ability to think of each of us individually and colectively. You can't say God can't do that, He's God. If we look at it in that perspective, yes He did it for me but He also did it for each and every one of us, His wish is that none should parish so therfore is concerned for all as a whole and each individual. We sometimes can't wrap our minds around such things because we don't have the capacity to think of everyone at once, but God does. Many scriptures were quoted here and thereare many more about individuals, He knows every hair on our head, with the rate I loose hair i don't think you could even program a computer to figure out how many I have right now, but God knows how many are on each one of us.
We have to remember, it is a personal relationship with Him, so why can't it be personal back? I believe it is!!!!!
I just saw the one under this as I'm writing, yes above all would be wrong, He loves us all equaly and none above all others.
So I am not sure if this is because of one song or the general statement but God's plan is to redeem all people and that means even if there is only one left, whoever it may be He died for them!!!!!!
I don't see "Would-haves" and theoretical worlds in the Biblical landscape, which is more populated with real people, real problems and a Saviour who loves them enough to die for them. I would say the obedience to go to the cross is centered in God's love, period. The Good Shepherd gives his life for the sheep. But I think that the author of that statement was trying to steer us away from a groupish, instructional approach to salvation to the core of the thing, which is the love of God in Jesus Christ for individual human beings.
What I do agree with in the original statement is that I believe that God cares for all individuals. I agree with Psalm 139 - He searched me, knew me, inside the womb, right hand holding me, saw my bones being formed, days planned for me. In general, if I am to toss the term "personal relationship" out of my God-vocabulary, I am going to have to toss David the Psalmist out of my Bible, and likely a good many of the Prophets (certainly Isaiah and Jeremiah). These all speak of a God whose relationship is deeper than creating, giving instructions and observing man.
Now, if relationship is personal and specific to each person (contrasted with group/national/world salvation), that means that means that God has the ability to relate to two people at once with full attention. Most of us cannot give one person full attention, certainly not two or more, and definitely not seven billion plus angels. Now to reverse this flow of ideas - it is not hard to imagine Jesus dying for "the world", or dying in front of people who would carry the message of life and forgiveness to the world. When I was a child, hearing of the crucifixion, I imagined it that way. God as "Example" is easy to understand; it jives with our normal way of doing society, except on a higher plane.
Now I do like your primary reason for His dying - "the glory set before Him". He healed the blind man and raised Lazarus so that people would see the glory of God (and thus they did, even before the Cross!) They actually could see the glory of God as He was walking and talking with them (John 1), though most did not understand or comprehend (see).
Some of the power of the illustration (Christ dying alone for one person) is that the person died-for would have to also be the executioner (given no others present). Isaiah shows that we took part in crucifying Him through rejection, looking the other way, despising Him, forsaking Him, ignoring His love and mercy. When Philip explained this to the kandake's servant in the chariot, he immediately understood, believed, and desired to be baptised, personally.
Most theories about the purpose of Jesus' death get too complicated for my brain -- I don't have any idea what His death would do to creation, and I see Paul's lengthy arguments more as a way of countering false pretentions than of creating new doctrines. Paul says the mystery's been unraveled. It's Jesus. He's here - lived, crucified, risen. He expects us to pick up our cross, daily. If I'm going to do that out of obedience, my obedience had better come from love. And I find that love in the story and teaching of Christ, and in the rest of the Bible.
I have no idea of what it means to see Him alone and specifically, other than through the joy of life and prayer. My feeble brain can only picture standing in a line billions of people long (#4,237,821,008...next!). It would be easy to dismiss His Personality and imagine me zooming around heaven, finding my old friends in a super-Facebook at the recorder's desk. But somehow I don't think that's quite what He has in store. Eye has not seen, ear has not heard.
Greg, very well put. I didn't read all the posts before i wrote some above but it seems a lot of what I said got said later on. The main thing is God loves us all and wants that one on one relationship with Him who is the only one capable of doing that with everyone all at once, what an awesome God we serve.
I realize the statement is a "what if" kind of thing. My mind can't help but wander when I see this thread:
Again - I'm just sharing my imagination. I know it's just an example statement...
As much as anything it's the 'what if' that scuppers the value in the statement. Of course our relationship with God is direct and personal, but the point is that none of us were the only ones that Jesus died for, and none of us are in isolation apart from all creation.
But if we're going to have a zombie attack can I have the pump action shotgun, please?
OK, you can have the Shotgun. I'll take the medieval mace and a .45.