by Tom Hanton
The wonderful thing about Easter is realizing that the Gospel has been fulfilled. All of time and space up through the Easter story pointed to the truth that humankind was saved from sin! The Last Supper, the garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal of Judas, the cross, and then the resurrection all were according to the will of God. His love is so vast! Our minds can’t wrap around it! If there ever was a time to realize how much Jesus loves us, it is now!
So, it got me thinking. Is there a song or music that exemplifies the love of Christ in this same way for me?
It did not take me long to think back to my childhood days and remember the Sunday School chorus, Jesus Loves Me. Although the song itself has a nursery rhyme quality to it, and the words seem very profound, there isn’t another song that rings truer no matter what age we are.
Let’s take a look at the lyrics of this song real quick. “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” I do believe in the Bible. Although I realize it tells me so, there is a deeper understanding of His love when I recognize the sacrifice he made for all humanity! There are very few things in this world that address all of humanity that also affect someone personally all at the same time. On the cross and through His resurrection, Jesus has this effect on both humanity and our own personal struggles.
The next line of the song, “Little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but He is strong.” As a child of God, this phrase is becoming more and more relevant as I grow in my faith. Not just because of hardships and trials I may go through, but because my dependency on Him becomes more of a necessity once I realize how much He loves me! My faith is not dependent on blessings He gives, but rather the truth of His living word and walking daily with Him.
What is my response? How do I follow the example of Christ in my own living? Although I could never atone for anyone’s sin, it makes me wonder what I would give up for others (friends or enemies) so freely. Once I realize how much Jesus loves me (and yes, I say it over and over again as the chorus does), my heart begins to fill with joy, and the Holy Spirit begins to chisel and work in my life. I live for Him instead of selfish ambition or piety and place my thoughts on heavenly things instead of earthly things.
As we approach Easter, strip away everything else and dwell in the fact that Jesus loves you! Yes, Jesus loves you! Yes, Jesus loves you. The Bible tells you so!
Tom Hanton has been the Assistant Territorial Music Secretary for The Salvation Army USA Central Territory since 2019. In this role, Tom conducts the Central Territorial Youth Band and serves as the Deputy Bandmaster of the Chicago Staff Band, where he also plays principal Trombone. He also serves as the bandmaster of the Oakbrook Terrace Corps band in suburban Chicago. Tom has been active in Salvation Army music ministry for many years and enjoys making music through all the opportunities the army provides. Before working for The Salvation Army, Tom taught in public schools and has been a guest conductor and clinician at camps and conferences nationwide. Read more...