When I was a pastor without a congregation, I wrote a hymn
around which I planned a sermon series for Lent. The hymn is called “As Strode the Christ to Cross and Grave,” and it discussed the testimony given by those
who witnessed Jesus on His journey to the cross. When I returned to full-time
parish ministry eleven years ago—thanks be to God!—I used this sermon series
during my first Lent back in the parish.
A few years back, I shared the hymn and series with the pastors in my Circuit. I don’t know that any of them actually used it, but one brother asked me to add another verse to it. I’d forgotten about it over time, until I was going through loose papers in my study a few months ago. I came across the request, and of course I set it aside because I was in the middle of Lent. But—of course it happened during the Circuit pastors meeting, as it always seems to—inspiration came to me today, and I wrote a new verse around the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.
Here is the updated hymn. The new verse is now verse 2. I know the accented e in “savéd” at the end of line 4 is little awkward—you try finding a true rhyme for the word “David” that fits the text, confessing Christ as the One who saves!
Feedback is love.
As Strode the Christ to Cross and Grave
To bear all men’s transgression,
Men saw His mighty pow’r to save
And of Him made confession.
Hail, Jesus, David’s greater Son,
Who, in His love, heals everyone,
Delivering God’s mercy.
“Hosanna, Son of David!”
Only in Christ, the Crucified,
Can sinful man be savéd.
Oh, blesséd be the One who came,
Who bears the Lord’s most holy name.
“Hosanna in the highest!”
3. “‘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.
4. “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.
5. Pilate before the
“I find no fault in Jesus.”
All said, who should be greatly shamed,
“Naught but His death appease us.”
Still, Pilate knew His innocence.
He gave up Christ at truth’s expense.
Thus death became the judgment.
6. 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.
7. 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 favor.
8. “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.
© 2010, 2021 Alan Kornacki, Jr.
87 87 887
Tune: AUS TIEFER NOT (LSB 607)
Midweek Lenten Series
Ash Wednesday—Luke 21:1-9
The Crowd: vv.1, 2, 8
Midweek 1—John 11:45-53
Caiaphas: vv.1, 3, 8
Midweek 2—Matthew 27:1-10
Judas: vv.1, 4, 8
Midweek 3—John 18:33-40
Pilate: vv.1, 5, 8
Midweek 4—Matthew 27:15-26
The Mob: vv. 1, 6, 8
Midweek 5—Luke 23: 33-43
The Thief: vv. 1, 6, 8
The Centurion: vv. 1, 8