Friday, 2 April 2010

Jesus, the Crucified, Pleads for Me

For every day, but especially on Good Friday:

Jesus, the Crucified, pleads for me,
While he is nailed to the shameful tree.
Scorned and forsaken, derided and cursed,
See how his enemies do their worst!
Yet, in the midst of the torture and shame,

Jesus, the Crucified, breathes my name:
Wonder of wonders, oh, can it be?
Jesus, the Crucified, pleads for me!

Lord, I have left thee, I have denied,
Followed the world in my selfish pride;
Lord, I have joined in the hateful cry,
Slay him, away with him, crucify!
Lord, I have done it, oh! ask me not how;
Woven the thorns for thy tortured brow;
Yet in his pity, so boundless and free,
Jesus, the Crucified, pleads for me!

‘Though thou hast left me and wandered away,
Chosen the darkness instead of the day;
Though thou art covered with many a stain,
Though thou hast wounded me oft and again;
Though thou hast followed thy wayward will;
Yet, in my pity, I love thee still.’
Wonder of wonders it ever must be!

Jesus, the Crucified, pleads for me!

Jesus is dying, in agony sore,

Jesus is suffering more and more,

Jesus is bowed with the weight of his woe,

Jesus is faint with each bitter throe.

Jesus is bearing it all in my stead,
Pity incarnate for me has bled;
Wonder of wonders it ever must be!
Jesus, the Crucified, pleads for me!

William John Sparrow-Simpson (1860-1952)

Okay, so I’ve now been sensitised to see the pietism and individualism in hymns like this one. And, in a weak moment, you may even get me to admit that versions of the gospel which suggest that Jesus’ death deals only with the results of personal sin are somewhat truncated. But, I will be forever grateful that I spent my formative Christian years in a tradition that sung truths like these heartily, believed them tenaciously, preached them powerfully, and sought to live them daily. All the ‘missional ecclesiologies’, ‘holistic minstries’ and ‘kingdom living’ in the world don’t even get off the ground without the sin-bearing death of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 comment:

Brett Jordan said...

amen mr billington