Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Comment on a Hymn

And Can It Be That I Should Gain

The thing to see here is the note of surprise. That is clearest in the first verse. This is how we might say it.
Is it possible that I should receive some benefit from what Jesus did on that Cross? Does that make any sense? After all, I'm the one who caused Him pain in His dying. Amazing! Is it possible that You, God, would die for me?
And each stanza has the same note of surprise and amazement. I think that it would be good to read over each stanza. Focus on the words and set aside for now the music. This hymn does a great job of capturing the wonder of the Gospel.

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

’Tis mystery all: th’Immortal dies:
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.


He left His Father’s throne above
(So free, so infinite His grace!)
Humbled Himself (so great His love!)
And bled for all His chosen race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!


Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray;
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.


No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ, my own.


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