Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hymn: As Strode the Christ to Cross and Grave

For a number of years now, I've had it in mind to do a sermon series based on the eyewitness testimony given by those who witnessed Jesus as He made His way to the Place of the Skull. I'd thought about calling it, "Sermons from Christ's Enemies"; but then it occurred to me that not all of those whose testimony was given were speaking or acting from enmity. The woman who anointed His feet with oil, for example, did not act out of anger or fear. The thief on the cross went so far as to defend Christ from a fellow criminal's words. Not being in the parish for the past four years, and not having much say in what was chosen as a sermon series the two years before that, I've never written the sermon series.

But then I started to look at the same theme with the thought of writing a hymn. After a few abortive attempts, this is what I've come up with, set to the tune of "From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee". And who knows? Maybe that will be my Lenten sermon theme next year.

To God alone be the glory.

As Strode the Christ to Cross and Grave

1. As strode the Christ to cross and grave,
The blind men stood before Him.
"Lord, Son of David," they did rave,
"Have mercy!" they implored Him.
Hail, Jesus, David's greater Son,
Who, in His love, heals everyone,
Delivering God's mercy.

2. "'Tis better that one man should die
Than die our holy nation."
When Caiaphas these words did cry,
He prophesied salvation.
Though speaking as Christ's enemy,
Unknowing, he spoke faithfully.
Christ died to save all people.

3. “Innocent blood have I betrayed,”
Said Judas to the plotters.
Our own destruction Jesus stayed
Through blood poured out with water.
That sinless blood makes our robes white
And saves us from death’s endless night.
That blood has bought our pardon.

4. Pilate before the priests proclaimed,
"I find no fault in Jesus."
All said, who should be greatly shamed,
"Naught but His death appease us."
Still, Pilate knew His innocense.
He gave up Christ at truth's expense.
Thus death became the judgment.
5. The crowd cried out, "Then be His blood
On us and on our children!"
God saw His Son's great crimson flood,
Heard those words, and fulfilled them.
That sacrifice atoned, and thus
The blood of Christ now cleanses us.
The stain of sin is ended.

6. The thief with Christ knew his own guilt,
And of it made confession.
Yet in the Lord his hope was built
Who would forgive transgression.
He prayed, "O Lord, remember me."
No matter how near death we be,
Christ shows His grace and mercy.

7. "Truly this man was God's own Son,"
The soldiers said in wonder,
As death's fierce power was undone,
The veil now torn asunder.
May we, with those who saw, believe
The saving work which Christ achieved
For us and our salvation.

(c) Alan Kornacki, Jr.
87 87 887

And the sermon series layout:

Witnesses on the Road to Golgotha
Midweek Lenten Series

Midweek 1—John 11:45-53
Caiaphas: vv.1, 2, 7
Midweek 2—Matthew 27:1-10
            Judas: vv.1, 3, 7
Midweek 3—John 18:33-40
            Pilate: vv.1, 4, 7
Midweek 4—Matthew 27:15-26
            The Mob: vv. 1, 5, 7
Midweek 5—Luke 23: 33-43
            The Thief: vv. 1, 6, 7

Midweek 6/Good Friday—Matthew 27:46-54
            The Centurion: vv. 1, 7


Mark Buetow said...

Nice! But should the "his" in the last line of st. 3 be capitalized? That is, it's Jesus' judgment, right?

Rev. Alan Kornacki, Jr. said...

Looking at it again, I'm not sure. Pilate made the judgment, and the judgment applies to Christ. So I changed it to "the".