I was listening to Haste the Day's new album Attack of the Wolf King this morning and a thought struck me during the song Travesty which contains this line:
"You cover me! I am spent and with death you paid my ransom."
The album, which I haven't dug into that much, is apparently a concept album. From Jesusfreakhideout.com:
With such a unique name as Attack of the Wolf King, it is no surprise to learn that it is a concept album. It tells of a herd of sheep protected from a pack of wolves by righteous lions. To open with "Wake Up The Sun," a group of individuals (the sheep) are running from an unnamed threat, but feel that their "hearts are empty." "We've tried to run, but it's no use and all this time we've reached the point of desperation." With "Dog Like Vultures" comes the arrival of the lions. "Our eyes are upon you and we will protect you, be assured no fang will breach your fleece." This story can be taken as a basic analogy of our weakness, and Jesus' willingness to protect us. In "Travesty," the sheep proclaim their praise to the lions, as we to our Savior, "With love that the blindest eyes will see, you cover the darkest part of me."
This post isn't about the album, but about that one line from Travesty that hit me, "With death You paid my ransom." And thinking about it in terms of the story of the album, I placed myself in that flock. Surrounded and without hope of escape. Then I thought of the Mel Gibson movie Ransom, where his son is kidnapped, and the kidnapper demanded something (a ransom) in order for Mel's character to get his son back.
Then I started to think about what a ransom is. Typically it's something that is demanded to get something returned that doesn't belong to them, such as a kidnapper with a kidnap victim. The dictionary says ransom is "the redemption of a prisoner, slave, or kidnapped person, of captured goods, etc., for a price." But our situation is much different. We weren't pulled into sin against our will. We dove right in. We ran for it. We were slaves. Not against our will, but willfully. We turned our backs on our Father. But a ransom was needed to rescue us from a bondage we placed ourselves in.
That's pretty offensive. But what did our Father do? The ransom, the only payment acceptable for our sin, was death. Our death. Our blood. But instead of demanding our death, instead of demanding our blood be shed, our Father gave His Son. Can you imagine that exchange? I was thinking of it in terms of the sheep surrounded by the wolves in the story of this album. The Lion makes the exchange. "My Son for their lives." But what the Wolf King didn't realize was that he was giving up all rights to those sheep. They belonged to the Lion now. I wonder if he realized what was happening. I wonder if he realized the game had changed forever. I'm certain he realized it when the Righteous One came bursting forth, very much alive, from that tomb.
I'll end this with more words from the song Travesty. It's very rare that a metal song with screaming/growling vocals can move me to tears. This song does. It's worth a listen. Try and hear the screaming verses as desperate cries to God for aide, and the beautifully sung chorus as a praise of thanks when rescue has come. Our ransom is paid in full. All praise be to God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
As I am met with travesty,
and I am broken and I am empty.
And through it all I can see your face.
With words unspoken
I hear your voice and I see the hand,
The hand that writes it all.
You've called the wind to show its worth.
You've called the sun to brag about its warmth.
Because you are the writer!
Because you are the soul of the world.
You cover the darkest part of me
with a look that's sure to set the captives free.
With love that the blindest eyes will see
You cover the darkest part of me.
Full lyrics: http://www.jesusfreakhideout.com/lyrics/new/track.asp?track_id=13840