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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Exposition on "All of Creation" (Part I)

My new favorite Christian song is "All of Creation" by Mercy Me. Not only are the lyrics and musical composition beautiful technically and theoretically nearly flawless, but the theology of the words speak to the essence of the human experience.

I will present this exposition in five parts to avoid too much confusion and an epically long post. This first part focuses on Verse 1.

The progression of the song speaks of the three eras of human's post-fall existence, and when combined with the chorus and the bridge, outline the story of salvation.

Verse 1
"Separated until the veil was torn"

The first verse speaks of the time between the fall until the moment of the Crucifixion when salvation becomes possible for all. We were separated from God because of our sin and thus, salvation was not possible. However, with the crucifixion the veil was torn. This is symbolic in a few different ways. First, historically, the veil was what separated the rest of the temple from the Holy of Holies (the tabernacle), the very presence of God, which only the high priest could enter during one day of the year (Yom Kippur--the Day of Atonement). Veil, in Hebrew, literally means "to conceal". However, we know Christologically that Christ is the real presence of God, and that his sacrifice was for all people of all times. Therefore, theologically this shows that, with the crucifixion, Christ became present for all people, not just his "chosen".

Secondly, in the anagogical (Eschatological) sense (which is more relevant to the actual song), the veil refers to the [Hebrew] cosmological and [Christian] theological separation between heaven and earth. In other words, humans from earth could not reach heaven. With the crucifixion this veil was torn and salvation was made possible for all.

The moment that hope was born

How great it was of the author to include virtue in this song dealing with salvation. Present in this first age of man (fall-->atonement) is first the virtue of faith... the only virtue that could truly be present in this era (controversial statement, I realize, but that's for another post). However, with the crucifixion hope is finally born, in the ultimate sense, in that finally salvation is made possible and God fulfills his promise. Granted, hope, in some sense was always present in that God always planned to fulfill his promises, both ultimate and specific, but finally hope is completed with ability for man to receive salvation through the cross.

and guilt was pardoned once and for all

And how was this veil torn and hope born? Through the act of atonement brought about by Christs sacrificial act. According to basic "satisfaction theory", Christ paid our debt to the Father, pardoning us from our guilt in an eternal sense and enabling salvation.

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