Posted by Seth & Nirva on 21 July 2016

I remember sitting next to my grandma during the Easter play at our church one year when I was around 14 or 15 years old, and watching her weep as they were portraying Christ’s crucifixion. I knew something was right about her reaction, and being a Christian myself, I desired to experience at least a small portion of the feelings she displayed. But I didn’t. I tried, but I couldn’t. Whether it was my lack of theological depth, or the anti-supernaturalistic secularism I was indoctrinated in throughout my educational life, there was a major disconnect when it came to processing what Jesus had done for us.

Thankfully, through the ministries of people like Lee Strobel and William Lane Craig, my confidence in the historical reliability of the New Testament records of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection has grown enormously over the years. And because of theologians such as NT Wright and Dallas Willard, my understanding of Christ’s sacrifice has significantly deepened.

Nirva and I recently had the opportunity to co-write a song with Mia Fieldes and Jacob Sooter on this very topic, and it was a joy to create art directly rooted in subject matter we have studied over the years. The song, entitled “Should Have Been Mine”, springs out of that central biblical doctrine known as the atonement, which basically affirms that Christ died on the cross in our place, forgiving us our sins and reconciling us to God (that is, those of us who place our confidence in Him).1

In the verses we attempt to flesh out this idea a little bit: “The death You died should have been mine. The crown of thorns, I should have worn. Every step to Calvary should have been reserved for me…tears in Your eyes, should have been mine. The heavy cross, You suffered on. Should have been the price I paid for all my failing all my shame…”

In the chorus we turn our attention to magnifying Christ for what He accomplished on our behalf and end each stanza with “By Your death I’m raised to life.” For it’s not only our guilt removal that Christ’s death (and resurrection) secured for us, but life and freedom as well. We can finally become who we were meant to be from the beginning—“co-regents with God and worshipping priests in his presence.”2

Then we come to the bridge (my favorite part): “I’m not living under sin, sin is underneath my feet.” Because of Christ’s work, we are no longer slaves to sin. Accordingly, “I’m not bowing down to fear, fear is bowing down to me!” There is no need to fear, for we are reconciled to God! Now when I draw my mind to these things through reading, songs, and other art forms, I find it difficult not to be deeply moved. I don’t have to try to work something up. It really is true—as many have pointed out—that our worship is greatly enriched by the discipline of study.3

1 There have been a variety of theories put forth as the best explanation of exactly how the atonement works out, but they are not mutually exclusive. They may be best understood as different angles or highlights that fill out the full picture. The particular theory we rely on the most in “Should Have Been Mine” is the penal (or substitutionary) theory of the atonement. For more on this theory of the atonement as well as a variety of others and an assessment of them all see William Lange Craig’s Defender Podcasts here—specifically “Doctrine of Christ” Parts 11-13:

2 Paul Copan. Loving Wisdom: Christian Philosophy of Religion (p. 11). Kindle Edition..”

3 See the chapters on Worship and Study in Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline for more about the relation of these two disciplines as well as Dallas Willard’s The Spirit of the Disciplines.

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