Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Lamb I crucified

In evil long I took delight,
Unawed by shame or fear,
Till a new object struck my sight,
And stopped my wild career.

I saw One hanging on a tree,
In agony and blood,
Who fixed His languid eyes on me,
As near His cross I stood.

Sure, never to my latest breath,
Can I forget that look;
It seemed to charge me with His death,
Though not a word He spoke.

My conscience felt and owned the guilt,
And plunged me in despair,
I saw my sins His blood had spilt,
And helped to nail Him there.

A second look He gave, which said,
“I freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid;
I die that thou mayst live.”

Thus, while His death my sin displays
In all its blackest hue,
Such is the mystery of grace,
It seals my pardon too.

~John Newton

Today is the first day of Lent, a time the Christian Church has traditionally contemplated the price Christ paid to accomplish our salvation. While I am not in favor of some legalistic observance of Lent, I am in favor of setting aside time in the regular course of our lives to comtemplate such things.

This wonderful hymn by Newton has been adapted to a beautiful contemporary tune by Bob Kauflin. I wept this morning as I sang it during my morning devotions. My sin nailed Him to the cross, and that blood He spilled paid for that sin. What an amazing moment of exchange! Mr. Kauflin adds the following words to the original hymn:
With pleasing grief and mournful joy
my spirit now is filled
That I should such a life destroy
Yet live by Him I killed

Forever etched upon my mind
Is the look of Him who died
The Lamb I crucified
And now, my life will sing the praise
Of pure atoning grace
That looked on me and gladly took my place

This beautiful hymn can be found on this CD, (and if you hurry, it is still on sale during the month of February. It is well worth the purchase!)


Gus/Adri said...

Your posted hymn reminds me of a favorite poem, He Bore Our Griefs by the Dutch metaphysical poet Jacobus Revius (1586-1658)

He Bore Our Griefs

No, it was not the Jews who crucified,
Nor who betrayed you in the judgment place,
Nor who, Lord Jesus, spat into your face,
Nor who with buffets struck you as you died.
No, it was not the soldiers fisted bold
Who lifted up the hammer and the nail,
Or raised the cursed cross on Calvary’s hill,
Or, gambling, tossed the dice to win your robe.
I am the one, O Lord, who brought you there,
I am the heavy cross you had to bear,
I am the rope that bound you to the tree,
The whip, the nail, the hammer, and the spear,
The blood-stained crown of thorns you had to wear:
It was my sin, alas, it was for me.

Translated by Henrietta ten Harmsel [Calvin College], 1968

Sorry for such a long comment; I'd have written a personal e-mail if I had your address.

MagistraCarminum said...

No apology needed. Adri! This is a beautiful poem. Thanks so much for sharing it!