1:55 AM

HYMNS

Not What My Hands Have Done
not what my hands have done can save my guilty soul
not what my toiling flesh has borne can make my spirit whole
not what i feel or do can give me peace with God
not all my prayers and sighs and tears can bear my awful load

Thy work alone, o Christ, can ease this weight of sin
Thy blood alone, o Lamb of God, can give peace within
Thy love to me, o God, not mine, o Lord, to Thee
can rid me of this dark unrest and set my spirit free

Thy grace alone, o God, to me can pardon speak
Thy power alone, o Son of God, can this sore bondage break
no other work save Thine, no other blood will do
no strength save that which is divine can bear me safely through

i bless the Christ of God, i rest on love divine
and with unfaltering lip and heart, i call this Savior mine
His cross dispells each doubt, i bury in His tomb
my unbelief and all my fears, each lingering shade of gloom

i praise the God of grace, i trust His truth and might
He calls me His, i call Him mine, my God, my joy, my light
tis He who saveth me and freely pardon gives
i love because He loveth me, i live because He lives
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yeah, love that last line. but the whole thing is an amazing explanation of the Gospel - it is only in Christ that i have any hope at all. "not what i feel or do can give me peace with God" - thank GOD this is true, cause if that's where i had to put my hope, i'd be in serious trouble.

i love the possessiveness in this hymn: "He calls me His, i call Him mine..." this is the language of lovers, but it is true of an even deeper and wilder relationship - between God and His child.
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Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted
stricken, smitten, and afflicted, see Him dying on the tree
tis the Christ, by men rejected - yes, my soul, tis He, tis He
tis the long-expected Prophet, david's Son, yet david's Lord
by His Son God now has spoken, tis the true and faithful Word

tell me, ye who hear Him groaning, was there ever grief like His?
friends through fear His cause disowning, foes insulting His distress
many hands were raised to wound Him, none would interpose to save
but the deepest stroke that pierced Him was the stroke that justice gave

ye who think of sin but lightly, nor suppose the evil great
here may view its nature rightly, here its guilt may estimate
but the Sacrifice appointed, see Who bears the awful load -
tis the Word, the Lord's Annointed, Son of man and Son of God

here we have a firm foundation, here the ransom of the lost
Christ, the Rock of our salvation, is the Name of which we boast
Lamb of God for sinners wounded, Sacrifice to cancel guilt
none shall ever be confounded who on Him their hope have built
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my favorite line here is the last of verse 2: "the deepest stroke that pierced Him was the stroke that justice gave." how amazing is it that when justice demanded payment for sin, it was Christ who payed - He was the "Sacrifice appointed." blows my mind.
and the fact that "none shall ever be confounded who on Him their hope have built" is pretty incredible.
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O Sacred Head Now Wounded
o sacred head, now wounded - with grief and shame weighed down
now scornfully surrounded with thorns, Thy only crown
how pale Thou art with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn
how does that visage languish, that once was bright as morn?

what Thou my Lord has suffered was all for sinners' gain
mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain
lo! here i fall, my Savior - tis i deserve Thy place
look on me with Thy favor, vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

what language shall i borrow to thank Thee, dearest Friend -
for this, Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
o make me Thine forever, and should i fainting be
Lord let me never, never outlive my love to Thee
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in this hymn (written by bernard clairveaux in the 12th century!) we find a very clear and yet mysteriously beautiful description of "the great exchange" - Christ swapped places with me! so often i think we forget what this means, particularly if we grew up in the church and really have been Christians either for a very long time or since we were quite young. we forget what it means to have the wrath of God justly fixed upon us. and this is truly tragic, for it robs us of the Gospel itself - it keeps us from understanding that Christ took all the reasons that God should punish us and with them stood in the way, so that He both took the sin and the punishment for it on Himself. talk about "pity without end"!!
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Man of Sorrows, What a Name!
'Man of sorrows,' what a name for the Son of God Who came
ruined sinners to reclaim - hallelujah! what a Savior!

bearing shame and scoffing rude, in my place condemned He stood
sealed my pardon with His blood - hallelujah! what a Savior!

guilty, vile, and helpless we; spotless Lamb of God was He
'full atonement' - can it be? hallelujah! what a Savior!

lifted up was He to die; 'it is finished' was His cry
now in heaven exalted high - hallelujah! what a Savior!

when He comes our glorious King, all His ransomed home to bring
then anew His song we'll sing - hallelujah! what a Savior!
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ok, so this one i feel like is loaded because it is so simple. let's take this one a little more slowly, though not exhaustively to be sure.
1) let's just think for a second about the implications of God Almighty becoming the "Man of sorrows." as andy peterson wrote in 'the silence of God,' "the Man of all sorrows, He never forgot what heartache is carried by the hearts that He bought." not only is Christ's death in our behalf an act of sacrifice and commitment, but of complete identification.
2) what was He doing all this for? "ruined sinners to reclaim." i cannot express how much i love that phrase, especially today, when i am feeling all the more a "ruined sinner." hallelujah! what a Savior, to reclaim such a ruined sinner...
3) "full atonement" is an incredible doctrine. it means absolutely NOTHING can separate God from His people again.
4) "it is finished" is so important for us - our salvation is accomplished. it is completed. we belong to God - signed, sealed, and sure to be delivered.
5) the most exultant part of this is the last stanza - Jesus is coming back, "all His ransomed home to bring." that would be us! we get to go home with Jesus, and it's not like your boyfriend taking you home to meet his parents for the first time. it's like Christmas break, but with perfect love from the God of all grace - and lasting forever!
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i can't resist. one more tonight.
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How Deep the Father's Love for Us
how deep the Father's love for us, how vast beyond all measure
that He should give His only Son to make a wretch His treasure
how great the pain of searing loss; the Father turns His face away
as wounds which mar the Chosen One bring many sons to glory

behold the Man upon a cross, my sin upon His shoulders
ashamed i hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers
it was my sin that held Him there until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life; i know that it is finished

i will not boast in anything - no gifts, no power, no wisdom
but i will boast in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection
why should i gain from His reward? i cannot give an answer
but this i know with all my heart: His wounds have paid my ransom
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i think this hymn sorta sums up the rest of todays hymnal adventures. it adds a few new facets though - the idea that the Father's love is so huge for our salvation. He is no mean taskmaster that Jesus has to calm down and soothe for us - it is His passion and desire to have us to Himself - to 'make a wretch [that would be me] His treasure' - that instigates all of the action here.
also signficant is the idea that the Father turned away from the Son on the cross. He did this so that He would never have to turn away from us.

wow. the Gospel is so amazing. :)