At Crossroads Church, we are bringing in the new year with five sermons from the passion narrative in Mark’s Gospel. We have been in an expository study through the Gospel of Mark for over a year and we are now nearing the end. As part of our gathered worship each Lord’s Day in January, we decided to make “All I have is Christ” our theme song for the month. We sang this song on each of the first two Sundays in January and we will sing it for the remaining three.
The refrain from this song is quite simple and it captures an appropriate response to the meaning of Christ’s cross:
Hallelujah! All I have is Christ Hallelujah! Jesus is my life
When we understand that at the cross we encounter God in our nature forsaken of God on our behalf and for our sin, then the refrain from the song begins to make sense. All we truly have is Christ and Christ alone. At the cross of Christ we are stripped bare and stand naked and exposed before God. We have no trophies to present to Christ; we have no merit that will impress Christ and him crucified; we have nothing of which we can boast. We must either come to Christ humbly with the empty hands of faith and receive his substitutionary death as the sufficient payment for our sins and be clothed in his righteousness through faith, or we can balk at the humiliating prospect of having to acknowledge our own helplessness and the need for someone else to pay our debt. The apostle Paul discovered his own bankruptcy before God and the beauty of the sufficiency of Christ’s cross. He wrote these words to the Galatians believers:
Galatians 6:14 (ESV) — 14 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Paul refused to boast in his own merits or his own good works or his own accomplishments because he knew that they meant nothing in light of the self-substitution of God in our place on the cross. In other words, Paul acknowledged that for all of his great achievements, all he had was Christ and Christ alone. We will continue to sing the refrain from this song for the same reason: Hallelujah! All we have is Christ. Hallelujah! Jesus is our life.