When a Hymn Says Look Up
When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.” Isaac Watts, 1704
Maundy Thursday. The Last Supper with one who would betray. The washing of feet of those who would run away. The Garden of Gethsemane to plead for relief and yield to a Will of Pain. Prayers and sweating of blood while friends fell asleep. The betrayer calling Jesus “teacher,” and Jesus calling the betrayer “friend.” A mob of violence for the innocent lamb.
I am not eager to lower myself to wash the feet of those who will betray me. I have been a betrayer when I should have been a friend. I have run from God when adversity came knocking.
Head hung in shame. I am one who would have run away that night.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast save in the death of Christ, my God! All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them through his blood.” Isaac Watts, 1704
Good Friday. The day that can only be good in hindsight. A day of ugliness and hatred, anger and jealousy, betrayal and murder.
I am filled with the ugliness of my sin. The hatred I can rage with. The anger of minor things. The jealousy of another’s fortune. The betrayal from those I trusted. The murder I commit in my heart when angry.
Head hung in shame. I am one that put him there.
See, from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down. Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?” Isaac Watts, 1704
Holy Saturday. All looks as if it’s lost. The disciples cower in dark corners. Tears, shame, defeat, confusion. The gruesome death won’t stop replaying in their heads. The believers hide, and the world holds it’s breath.
I know those times where I hold my breath. The times when I doubt God will come through. All is lost and I am too.
Head hung in shame. I one who has cowered even though I know how the story ends and who holds the power.
Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a present far too small. Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.” Isaac Watts, 1704
Resurrection Sunday. A stone rolled away. Grave clothes in a pile. A tomb empty. A gardener? No, that’s our Lord. Risen. Power over death, over sin, over all.
Head lifted up. I one who rejoices in the love that was given to me, the gift I can’t even begin to open. Undeserving. Undeserved. Yet, Jesus obeyed to the point of death so I could come to God unhindered. This is my God, His Kingdom, His power, His glory, His love, His grace.
Amen. Amen. Amen.”