Today is the 6th Wednesday of Eastertide, the 50-day Christian season between Easter and Pentecost Sunday, which is May 19 this year. We’ll continue to focus on Resurrection songs until then.
I want to take us back to 1863 today. It was in that year that Charitie Bancroft penned the lyrics to this powerful song. This Irish writer was not prolific in the number hymns she wrote. In fact, I know of only three attributed to her, but what she wrote was excellent!
The lyric is so beautifully Christ-centered. The first verse highlights Jesus’ role as our High Priest and alludes to Isaiah 49:16 where the LORD says, Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me. The second verse reminds us of the wonderful truth that Jesus paid for the sins of every person who will believe on Him. They are no more! As Paul trumpted, Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us, (Romans 8:33-34). The final verse glories in the Risen Lamb who was slain, bringing victory over the grave and life everlasting for those whom He purchased. Hallelujah, indeed!
Over the years, people have put different tunes to it that we today associate with other songs, such as the tune to “Sweet Hour of Prayer” and the tune to “And Can It Be,” but in 1997, Vikki Cook of Sovereign Grace Music wrote a fresh, beautiful melody for the song all its own, bringing this song back to the forefront of worship music 150 years after Bancroft wrote the lyrics. What an awesome lyric and melody!
Sing along with my favorite rendition of the song done by the Promise Keepers praise band as you worship the Lord this Wednesday!
Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.
When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.
Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!