The final verse of a hymn sung by Keith and Kristyn Getty portrays a strikingly beautiful contrast:
Two wonders here that I confess
My worth and my unworthiness
My value fixed – my ransom paid
At the cross
The cross of Christ clearly establishes my unworthiness. Like all of mankind I was dead in my sin, completely incapable of knowing God or pleasing God–and it was my sin that put Jesus on that cruel cross. Jesus did not suffer and die because I was worthy of His salvation, but He faced the wrath of God in my place out of His great love for me, even when I was dead in my sin.
But amazingly, the cross not only establishes my unworthiness, but at the very same time establishes my great worth. The fact that the sinless Son of God would bear shame and wrath and separation from His Father on my behalf places inestimable worth on me. It is not worth that I have somehow earned or gained, but worth that is bestowed because of the incalculable cost that Jesus paid to make me His own.
Unworthiness and great worth meet at the cross. There the ransom for my unworthiness is paid, and there–through that ransom–my worth is established. Lyricist Graham Kendrick says of this hymn:
We need to sing about our worth from God’s perspective, not ours or our cultures, and God’s perspective centres in on the cross.