Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Deepest Stroke that Pierced Him

Of all of the hymns that remember the work of Christ's death, "Stricken, Smitten and Afflicted" has spoken most to me. The more that I encounter injustice in the world and find myself recognizing the cost of justice, the more I see that beyond the pain of the thorns, the beatings and the nails was the deep agony of the "stroke that justice gave." What a gift. Thank You for the cross.

Tell me, all who hear him groaning,
Was there ever grief like this?
Friends through fear his cause disowning,
Foes insulting his distress;
Many hands were raised to wound him,
None would intervene to save;
But the deepest stroke that pierced him
Was the stroke that justice gave.

You who think of sin but lightly
Nor suppose the evil great
Here may view its nature rightly,
Here its guilt may estimate.
Mark the sacrifice appointed;
See who bears the awful load;
It’s the Word, the Lord’s Anointed,
Son of Man and son of God.