Off the Hook

Has a rap song ever made you cry?  It has for me.  I'm speaking of Cross Movement's "Off the Hook" (video with lyrics below), which tells the gospel story through the analogy of a young thug brought to court for his sins, standing before God the Judge and being prosecuted by "Mr. Law."

The young thug goes from thinking he will get off easy (verse 1) to admitting he's guilty, assuming his sentence will be light, and being stunned that he's receiving the death penalty (verse 2) to realizing he's deserving of such a sentence (verse 3).  What really gets the tears welling up in my eyes is what climaxes the song, as well as the gospel message, which is that it is the judge himself who takes off his robe and takes the punishment upon himself due the young thug. The young thug is crushed by this substitution - he was guilty, but another, more righteous bore the consequence - and trudges home to weep in his room . . . only to find a love letter from the one who substituted for him.  And then, a knock on the door - it is the one who substituted for him, now resurrected.

The song makes me cry because the gospel makes me cry.  If you start with the premise that you are OK, then there is no power or emotion to the gospel message; for you, it is simply history or religion or myth or allegory.  But if you are brought to the same realization as the young thug in the song - I am indeed guilty, and deserving of death, and one more righteous than I has bore the punishment due me - then there is no other message more powerful or persuasive. 

Which is it for you?

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