I took a break from the studio last fall to travel to Israel for the first time. Knowing this album was about the resurrection meant I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go if I could, and a number of the songs were directly influenced by that trip. This is one of them.
When we went to the Garden of Gethsemane, I knelt near the fence that surrounds the ancient olive trees and read Psalm 22, which opens with, “My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me?” The entire psalm, which foreshadows Jesus’s suffering in a very specific way, would have been on his mind as he was first abandoned by his friends and then subjected to torture.
By the time we left Gethsemane, I was weeping. That’s no exaggeration. I couldn’t stop crying as I asked God the same question: “Why did you forsake him?” And my question to Jesus was, “Why were you willing to be forsaken?” The writer of Hebrews gives us an answer in chapter 12, which says that it was for the joy set before him that he endured the cross, despising its shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father. What joy? The joy of seeing his world and his people redeemed; the joy of the glory he brought himself by making every sad thing come untrue; the joy of making us his sons and daughters.
The chorus of the song comes from a Tim Keller sermon I heard once, where he pointed out that, while we often say that we hope to run the race in such a way that God would tell us, “Well done, good and faithful,” that just won’t ever happen. None of us is good and faithful. Only Jesus is, and it is because of his goodness and faithfulness that we are made heirs of the King.
You can pick up Resurrection Letters: Prologue in the Rabbit Room Store and listen to “Well Done, Good And Faithful” here:
Andrew Peterson is a singer-songwriter and author. Andrew has released more than ten records over the past twenty years, earning him a reputation for songs that connect with his listeners in ways equally powerful, poetic, and intimate. As an author, Andrew’s books include the four volumes of the award-winning Wingfeather Saga, released in collectible hardcover editions through Random House in 2020, and his creative memoir, Adorning the Dark, released in 2019 through B&H Publishing.