The Cross Through Songs

Martin Luther believed that "the gift of song was given to man that he should proclaim the Word of God through Music." Scripture encourages us to "...sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts” and to make "...music to the Lord in your hearts” as a method of letting "...the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives."

While hearing words describing Jesus’ humility, hymns about the Cross, like Beneath the Cross of Jesus and In the Cross, raced across my mind. I decided to search for more songs on the Cross and after looking through sixty-one songs, I was so excited that I wanted to stand and shout praise to the One who died and rose again for our sin and who imparted His Life to us.

In this article I’ve woven phrases together from these hymns which express essential truths about mankind’s condition; the sacrifice and amazing gift given through Jesus Christ; the person of Christ; and the believer’s privilege of being in Christ and of being transformed so that his new life flows with thankfulness, remembrance, trust, reliance, and commitment.

I hope to hear you shouting, too! See how many hymns you recognize.

Mankind’s Condition

Scripture declares that man is a sinner, condemned, unclean, whose iniquities are so vast. He in sin’s darkest night was wandering alone; whose past is its sin and stain. He is weighed down with his burden of sin. Therefore, mankind needed a perfect Sacrifice to wash away his sin and guilt for he has nothing good whereby God’s grace to claim.

The Sacrifice and Amazing Gift Given through Jesus Christ

That’s why the Cross was necessary. The invitation was given for all to look on the face of this crucified and risen Jesus; to see Him as your crucified Lord and at His feet bow. Ask for His grace and tender mercy. Ask to be redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; redeemed through His infinite mercy.

Thy blood, O Lord, was shed, that I might ransomed be, and quickened from the dead. Thy righteousness, Thy pardon, Thy precious blood, must be my only hope and comfort.

Gracious, loving Father, full of grace and truth, sent His Son to the world in human form, the Incarnate, to die for man on the Cross at Calvary, on a hill far away where stood an old rugged cross, the emblem of suff’ring and shame.

How could my Sovereign die for sinners such as I? O what cruel provocations, scourges of the tongue and rod, spitting, shame, and accusations, hast Thou borne, Thou Son of God to redeem my soul from evil. You are indeed a precious fountain free to all. O, praise the Lamb for sinners slain.

All hail the pow’r of Jesus’ name who wore and broke our prison bands with pierced feet and hands, who bought our pardon with His blood. That Victor bold, the tomb He broke and gave death its mortal stroke when He arose from the grave. Up from the grave He arose!

The Person of Christ

All fullness dwells in You, Almighty King, Beautiful Savior, Blessed Jesus, Blessed Redeemer, Blessed Trinity, Boundless Love, Christ, Dearest Friend, Emmanuel, Father, Fount of Every Blessing, Friend, Holy Comforter, and Jehovah.

You are Faithful, the King of Creation, the King of Grace, the King of My Life. You are the Lamb of Calvary, the Lamb of God. You are Light of My Soul, the Lord of the Nations, Merciful and Mighty!

You are my Priest, the Prince of Glory, Redeemer, Rock of Ages, Shepherd, Son of God and Son of Man, Spirit of Holiness, Spirit of Pow’r, Strong Deliv’rer, Sweet Jesus, the Babe of Bethlehem, the dear Lamb of God, the Lord of Life, and the Incarnate Word.

You are my Crown, my End, my Gracious Redeemer, my Guardian, my Jesus, my Joy, my Life, my Lord, my Prophet, my Shepherd, my Shield, my Sovereign, my Way.

You never fail from age to age, O Lamb of God most holy! Only Thou art holy. There is none beside Thee perfect in power, in love, and purity. O Sacred Head, what glory. Christ has for sin atonement made. Oh, what a wonderful Savior!

The Believer’s Privilege of Being in Christ and of Being Transformed

How can we not crown Him Lord of all! Before the throne my Savior stands, my name is written on His hands. He ever lives above, for me to intercede. And from Him I will not part because God will never break His covenant of blood, signed when our Redeemer died, sealed when He was glorified. I am an heir of His home in heaven. With confidence I now draw nigh, and Father, Abba Father cry. Yes, I am redeemed, restored, forgiven, through Jesus’ precious blood.

I give You thanks. You are all my hope and stay. You are mine. Thank You for knocking at my heart’s closed door. Thank You for taking my sins and my sorrows, and making them Your very own and for washing me white as snow. Thank You for giving Your life for me, for shedding Your precious blood to ransom me, and for raising me up from the dead. What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest Friend? Thousand, thousand thanks to Thee.

I remember You when I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss. Here, Lord, I give myself away; ‘tis all that I can do. Blessed Jesus, on my heart imprint your image so that life’s riches, cares, and pleasures never may your work erase.

I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus. How matchless Your grace. I would place my hand in Thine and rest upon Thy unchanging grace. How wonderful is my Savior’s love for me! I wholly lean on Jesus’ name. Behold, I am set free!

I need Thy Holy Spirit to teach me, to show me more of Jesus, to be my strength and stay; to guide my doubting footsteps and to lead me on my way. Spirit of holiness, on us descend! Spirit of pow’r to Thee, great One in Three, eternal praises be. Let the clear inscription be: Jesus, crucified for me is my Life, my hope’s foundation, and my glory and salvation!

Am I a soldier of the Cross? Are you walking daily by the Savior’s side? While the souls of men are dying, and the Master calls for you: take the task He gives you gladly; let His work your pleasure be; answer quickly when He ca’leth, "Here am I; send me, send me!"

If you cannot cross the ocean, find the heathen nearer, help them at your door. If you have not thousands to give, give the widow’s mite. Give of your best to the Master.

Would you be free from your burden of sin? Would you be free from your passion and pride? Then come to the Savior and receive new Life in Christ. Hear the Savior say, find in Him thine all in all. Be washed in the blood of the Lamb. Let Him have all my waking hours and choose that my life I would anew, devote, O Lord, to Thee; and in Thy service I would spend a long eternity.

Cathy Wilson is a former Christian school teacher and coach who remains a "coach" at heart. When secular employment ended 11 years ago, she responded to the tugging to once again become involved in some type of ministry as a Christian layperson. She serves with Servants of Christ, International (visit her web page here). She continues being amazed at Christ’s working in her, His unimaginable gifts, and the privilege of serving Him "as herself" through her own unique personality. She desires that others experience the joy of discovering Jesus as their Savior, Lord, and Life.