Letters to the Family of God

by Joe Franzone | March 16, 2023 | Pastor's Blog

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March 16, 2023


How deep the Father's love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.


Behold the man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished.


How Deep the Father’s Love for Us—Verses One and Two

Dear Friends.


The Trouble With “X” was an essay written by C.S. Lewis post-World War Two. In it, he takes a very true doctrine, human depravity, and the inability of anyone to stand over others as God perfect in all their ways; and like a master painter, Lewis paints a clear, striking picture of who “X” really is—everyone! In some ways, it’s an exposition of Romans Two.

There are two respects in which God’s view must be very different from ours. In the first place, He sees (like you) how all the people in your home, or your job are in various degrees awkward or difficult; but when He looks into that home or factory or office He sees one more person of the same kind – the one you never do see. I mean, of course, yourself. That is the next great step in wisdom – to realize that you also are just that sort of person. You also have a fatal flaw in your character.


That is one way in which God’s view must differ from mine. He sees all the characters: I see all except my own. But the second difference is this. He loves the people in spite of their faults. He goes on loving. He does not let go. Don’t say, ‘It’s all very well for Him; He hasn’t got to live with them.’ He has. He is inside them as well as outside them. He is with them far more intimately and closely and incessantly than we can ever be. Every vile thought within their minds (and ours), every moment of spite, envy, arrogance, greed, and self-conceit comes right up against His patient and longing love and grieves His spirit more than it grieves ours.

It Was My Sin that Held Him There.


Polarization is a popular word these days in many circles. Outside the domain of science, the word means to divide into two completely opposing groups where there seems to be no middle ground and no mercy offered by either side, only condemnation. For example, in a survey conducted last year by the Pew Research Center, 72% of Republicans said that Democrats are “more immoral” than members of their own party, and 63% of Democrats said the same about Republicans — an increase of 17% and 16% in just three years. Similar trends exist in other countries.


We can often assume we have the right to condemn others as it appeals to our sinful nature, however, it certainly was not a part of Jesus' earthly ministry. As we inch closer to Easter weekend, we must keep before us Jesus our Savior, and our substitute was not sent into the world to condemn it but to save it. (John 3:17)


It is the unexpected response if the teacher comes into the classroom and it's dark, and the kids are jumping on the tables. You expect a few detentions and some letters sent home, but here is the Son of God coming into the world filled with sinners, and those who would reject who He was would then crucify Him, and He will not condemn whoever believes in Him.


Lewis continues.

We must love ‘X’ more, and we must learn to see ourselves as a person of exactly the same kind. Some people say it is morbid to always think of one’s own faults. That would be all very well if most of us could stop thinking of our own without soon beginning to think about those of other people. For unfortunately we enjoy thinking about other people’s faults: and in the proper sense of the word ‘morbid’, that is the most morbid pleasure in the world.

When Stuart Townend wrote the hymn How Deep the Father’s Love for Us, he was latched onto sound gospel truth. Make a wretch His treasure, my sin upon his shoulder, I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers, why should I gain from His reward? Yes, the song is all true of me, and thank God it is all true of Christ. Personally, it was a great relief for me to get it all out in the open.


By nature, the human heart wars against the notion that what is not right in my life could be put away/removed as far as the east is from the west. However, equally, wars against the notion it was my sin that held Him there on the cross. Other’s sins, sure, but my sin?


Christ alone is the obedient servant called to suffer on behalf of the disobedient people – to be struck, spat upon, and mocked. He knows that His suffering was not in vain because, by it, people are redeemed.




The gospel does not ask us to suspend our critical faculties and dull the line between truth and era or good and evil. The gospel certainly does not want us to turn a blind eye to sin are refused to name it as it is. Rather, the gospel acknowledges it is one sin and not 10,000 or a million or a certain kind of sin that deserves the wrath and curse of God. Self-righteousness, hypocrisy, self-exaltation, and harsh judgmentalism seeking merely to highlight the faults of others is not our master’s way, and therefore it cannot be ours.  We are “X”. It was our sin that held Him there.


The road to Easter is a humble joyful road. It quiets the mind and, in the best of ways, the mouth.



God bless you in everything. With all my love in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Pastor Joe