I’m the Branch, Not the Vine

I was listening to Jeremy Camp this morning and the song “This Man” came on. The song is about the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, and the chorus asks the question:

Would you take the place of this man
Would you take the nails from his hands
Would you take the place of this man
Would you take the nails from his hands

I suspect most, if not all, of us would answer “no” to that question. None of us wants to endure the pain, torture, ridicule, and death that Jesus endured for us. In Romans 5:7, Paul writes, “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.” Possibly, but not the kind of death Jesus suffered. We just are not that selfless, even if we want to be.

Whenever this song plays while my 15-year-old son is around, he can’t help but answer the question out loud. “No!” That is always his answer. But I am amazed at his reasoning and the understanding that it reveals. His stated reason is not because he is afraid to die as Jesus did (though he might be if he thought about it). The reason he gives for not wanting to take the place of “This Man” is that it would do no good.

He is absolutely correct. The death of no one but Jesus could result in the blessing of salvation that we reap from His sacrifice. The sacrifice of even a good kid like my son, or even a saint like Mother Theresa, would not provide the blessing of salvation. Only the blood of the sinless Lamb of God could do that.

We cannot take the place of God. Many have tried or desired to. Humans (and angels) have from time immemorial desired to take the place of God. That is what got Satan kicked out of Heaven. It is what lead to the deception of Eve in the Garden of Eden – she and Adam ate the forbidden fruit so they could be like God. Inventors, writers, artists, and actors often want to be immortalized and remembered forever as if they were God.

But we cannot do what God does. We can do great things through the strength, wisdom, and power God gives to His people, but alone we can do very little. We certainly cannot create the universe or save the souls of the world. We cannot bear fruit. As Jesus told His disciples, “a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” John 15:4. Let us remain in the vine, not try to take its place.

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.


1 Response

  1. Linda,

    Very powerful thought…My post for today was also about the great price He paid for the cross….Somehow Holy Spirit was forching me to write that…and felt so happy to read yours in that same topic…We can never repay what He has done for us…Our pastor told us the other day that if in this lifetime if we take the decision to preach the Gospel and reach out to many others the love of God…even then it would never repay what He did for us in return…


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: