1. O dearest Jesus, what law hast thou broken
That such sharp sentence should on Thee be spoken?
Of what great crime hast Thou to make confession,
What dark transgression?
2. They crown Thy head with thorns, they smite, they scourge Thee;
With cruel mockings to the cross they urge Thee;
They give Thee gall to drink, they still decry Thee;
They crucify Thee.
3. Whence come these sorrows, whence this mortal anguish?
It is my sins for which Thou, Lord, must languish;
Yea, all the wrath, the woe, Thou dost inherit,
This I do merit.
4. What punishment so strange is suffered yonder!
The Shepherd dies for sheep that loved to wander;
The master pays the debt His servants owe Him,
Who would not know Him.
5. The sinless Son of God must die in sadness;
The sinful child of man may live in gladness;
Man forfeited his life and is acquitted,
God is committed.
6. There was no spot in me by sin untainted;
Sick with sin’s poison, all my heart had fainted;
My heavy guilt to hell had well-nigh brought me,
Such woe it wrought me.
7. O wondrous love, whose depth no heart hath sounded,
That brought Thee here, by foes and thieves surrounded!
All worldly pleasures, heedless, I was trying
While Thou wert dying.
8. Mighty King, no time can dim Thy glory!
How shall I spread abroad Thy wondrous story?
How shall I find some worthy gifts to proffer?
What dare I offer?
9. For vainly doth our human wisdom ponder,
Thy woes, They mercy, still transcend our wonder.
Oh, how should I do aught that could delight Thee!
Can I requite Thee?
10. Yet unrequited, Lord, I would not leave Thee;
I will renounce whate’er doth vex or grieve Thee
And quench with thoughts of Thee and prayers most lowly
All fires unholy.
11. But since my strength will never more suffice me
To crucify desires that still entice me,
To all good deeds, oh, let Thy Spirit win me
And reign within me!
12. I’ll think upon Thy mercy without ceasing,
That earth’s vain joys to me no more be pleasing;
To do Thy will shall be my sole endeavor
13. Whate’er of earthly good this life may grant me,
I’ll risk for Thee; no shame, no cross, shall daunt me;
I shall not fear what man can do to harm me
Nor death alarm me.
14. But worthless is my sacrifice, I own it;
Yet, Lord, for love’s sake Thou wilt not disown it;
Thou wilt accept my gift in thy great meekness
Nor shame my weakness.
15. And when, dear Lord, before Thy throne in heaven
To me the crown of joy at last is given,
Where sweetest hymns Thy saints forever raise Thee,
I, too, shall praise Thee.
Such a beautiful hymn that we do not get to sing that often. It speaks of the crucifixion – of how this pain is for us. Throughout the Lenten season and especially Holy Week people try to “sin less” then end up focusing more on themselves, on how sinful they are, then on the Gospel. That Gospel which came physically to all mankind on that Friday and still comes physically to each of us through the sacraments. This Thursday we remember the day when Christ first instituted The Sacrament of the Altar. Each time we partake in the Lord’s Supper the Gospel is being put directly in our mouths, you receive the forgiveness that was won FOR YOU on the cross. You receive the same blood that flowed from Christ’s side when his body was broken. How wonderful the Gospel is!
Though hymns like the one above sound “depressing” musically, they carry the wonderful message from the Gospel.
This sinless son of God chose to die for us. We who forfeited our own lives. In his love Jesus felt complete and utter loneliness, and also felt the full hammer of God’s Wrath all For You! And For Me Too!
Throughout this holy week keep that at the front of your mind. Christ Crucified for the Forgiveness of your sins.
Blessed Holy Week to each of you!