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Notes on the Notes – March 25, 2016 – Good Friday

jesus on crossHungering and Thirsting

for Salvation

“Beneath the Cross of Jesus” (VU #135)

“Beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand:  the shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land, a home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way, from the burning of the noon-tide heat and the burden of the day.

Upon the cross of Jesus my eyes at times can see the very dying form of one who suffered there for me; and from my  smitten heart, with tears, two wonders I confess, the wonder of his glorious love, and my unworthiness.

I take, O cross, your shadow for my abiding place; I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of his face, content to let the world go by, to know no gain nor loss, my sinful self my only shame, my glory all, the cross.”

beneath-the-crossElizabeth Clephane was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1830 and lived most of her life in the village of Melrose.  Her parents both died while she was young, and she was never very healthy herself.  Nevertheless, she was one of those cheerful people who brighten every corner –– perhaps because she focused on what she could do for others rather than sitting and feeling sorry for herself.  Elizabeth loved poetry and wrote several hymns.

In her hymn, “Beneath the Cross of Jesus,” Elizabeth alluded to a passage in Isaiah that speaks of “the shade of a great rock in a weary land” (Isaiah 32:1-2).  Perhaps one reason that this hymn has enjoyed such popularity is that we know what it means to live in a weary land.  We feel the need of a mighty rock to shelter us from the heat.  Elizabeth says that, for her, Jesus’ cross is that resting place.  For her, Jesus’ cross is her home within the wilderness, her rest upon the way.

See the Hastings College Choir:

Hear a trumpet/piano duet of the song at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIMWV7TbvVM

“Medley of the Cross”

“On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross, where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till by trophies at last I lay down.
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it someday for a crown.

I hear the Savior say: “Thy strength indeed is small.
Child of weakness, watch and pray;
Find in Me thine all in all.”

Jesus, keep me near the cross.
There a precious fountain,
Free to all, a healing stream,
Flows from Calvary’s mountain.

In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever,
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.”

Anna Laura Page and Jean Anne Shafferman have combined three traditional gospel favorites: “The Old Rugged Cross;” “Jesus Paid it All;” and “Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross” for this anthem.

Hear Sandi Patti sing “The Old Rugged Cross” at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWYZLsjVhcw

Hear George Beverly Shea sing “The Old Rugged Cross” (1957) at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpjjC3f1FvI

Hear an acapella version of “Jesus Paid it All” at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bPaXN9j9yQ

Hear “Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross” at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPtUwVoJsi8

“When We are Tempted to Deny Your Son” (VU #119)

“When we are tempted to deny your Son; because we fear the anger of the world,
And we are few who hear the insults hurled, your will, O God, be done.

When we are tempted to betray your Son, because he leads us in a harder way,
And makes demands we do not want to pay, your will, O God, be done.

When we forget the cross that held your Son, and would avoid the burden of this life;
The cry for justice and an end to strife…your will, O God, be done.

When doubt obscures the victory of your Son, and faith is weak and all resolve has fled,
Help us to know him risen from the dead: your will, O God, be done.”

The lyrics of this hymn bring the denial of Jesus from the ancient past, when Peter denied Jesus three times, to the present day and our own struggles with following Jesus.  Daniel W. Romig wrote the words for this hymn in 1965.  It was first published in an American Presbyterian hymnal known as The Worship Book (1972).  The melody, FAITH, is by J. Harold Moyer (1965).

“Go to Dark Gethsemane” (VU #133)

Getsemani“Go to dark Gethsemane, you that feel the tempter’s power;
Your Redeemer’s conflict see; watch with him one bitter hour;
Turn not from his grief away, learn from him to watch and pray.

See him at the judgement hall, beaten, bound, reviled, arraigned;
See him meekly bearing all; love to all his soul sustained.
Shun not suffering, shame, or loss; learn from Christ to bear the cross.

Calvary’s mournful mountain view; there the Lord of glory see,
Made a sacrifice for you, dying on the accursed tree.
“It is finished,” hear his cry; trust in Christ and learn to die.””

James Montgomery, born of Moravian missionary parents, was a newspaper editor in England who, risking imprisonment, published articles advocating human rights and the abolition of slavery.  He wrote more than 400 hymns.  He created two versions of this text.  The one used here is the earlier, published in 1820, (edited with updated language).  The tune, REDHEAD, by Richard Redhead, was published in 1853.

Hear a choral version of the hymn at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btd2BItO6Wc

Hear a male soloist with guitar, with an alternate version of the lyrics at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vD6tcMroY0A

“Without His Cross”

“Without His tears, there is no comfort.
Without His death there is no life.
Without His blood there is no pardon.
Without His cross there is no crown.

Without His shame there is no glory.
Without His grief there is no joy.
Without His stripes there is no healing.
Without His cross there is no crown.

Lamb of God you bring salvation,
And with your grace our hearts are sealed.
Lord, with your tears of love you bathe our sorrows.
In your eyes we stand revealed.

Without His tears, there is no comfort.
Without His death there is no life.
Without His blood there is no pardon.
Without His cross there is no crown.”

This anthem is by Joseph M. Martin. It was written in 1996.



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