Sunday, October 31, 2010 pm        Return to Songs



                Tonight we examine the lyrics of another song that we sing from time to time.  This particular song was written by Charles H. Gabriel (1856-1932).  Gabriel was a prolific song writer and teacher.  Beginning at age 17, he taught singing schools.  It is said that during his life he wrote and/or composed between 7000 and 8000 songs, many of which are familiar to us.  His songs include: “Only a Step” “I Will Not Forget Thee” “Send the Light” “God is Calling the Prodigal” “O Sacred Head” “Oh That Will Be Glory” “Where the Gates Swing Outward Never” and he composed tunes to songs including “The Way of the Cross Leads Home”, “Higher Ground”  “Only in Thee” “An Evening Prayer” and “Jesus, Rose of Sharon” etc.

                As always, our purpose this evening is to examine the text so that as we can know we are “teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs (Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16) and so that we will “sing with the Spirit and with the understanding” (1 Cor. 14:15).

                While our song books only record 4 verses of this song, the original song has 5 verses.  I want to examine all 5 verses tonight.  It is a song reminding us of the suffering that Jesus endured for us so that we might be saved.  It is sometimes sung to prepare our minds for the Lord’s Supper properly so, but it is also a song appropriate to be sung at other times and often since the message is one we ought to continually keep before us – how much Jesus loved me.

 I.                    Vs. 1 - I Stand amazed

a.        Vs. 1 - “I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene, and wonder how He could love me.  A sinner condemned unclean.”

b.       Am I amazed when I consider all that Jesus has done for me?  The intent of this song is to remind each of us what Jesus endured on our behalf.

c.        Jesus the Nazarene of course speaks of where He was raised as a boy (Matt. 2:23).  As I see this I am reminded that the Son of God actually left heaven and came to this earth for us (John 1:1, 14, Phil. 2:5-7).

d.       I am a sinner, unworthy of His great love – but He loved me anyway.   1 John 3:16, Ephesians 5:2 says, “And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”  Gal. 2:20 tells us He loved us and gave Himself for us.


II.                  In the Garden

a.        NOTE: This verse is omitted in our hymnal and modified in others.  It makes reference to a very real event that is recorded in the synoptic gospels.

b.       Vs. 2 - “For me it was in the garden, He prayed, ‘No My will, but Thine.’  He had no tears for His own grief, but sweat drops of blood for mine.”

c.        This verse takes us to the garden of Gethsemane where on the night Jesus was betrayed, He took with Him disciples (Peter, James and John).  All four gospels make reference to events that occurred in this place.  It was here that He admonished His disciples to keep praying lest they be tempted.  It was late and His disciples were exhausted so that they slept while He prayed.

d.       Jesus submitted to the Father – He prayed, “Not My will, but Thine.”  Matthew 26:36-46 records Jesus praying there three times as He prepared to be betrayed.  His prayer, “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (39)

e.       He had not tears for His own griefs (His tears were not about Himself), but sweat drops of blood for mine.  This phrase is a reference to Luke’s account found at Luke 22:39-46. 
There are some questions about the wording here – questioning whether or not Jesus did shed tears for His own grief.   Jesus was exceedingly sorrowful and deeply distressed (Matt. 26:37) and He did not physically want to endure what was ahead, BUT the truth is all He endured was for us.  It was OUR sins and OUR grief, which is the result of our sins that brought Him to this occasion, not His.  Isaiah 53:3-5 notes that He was a man of sorrows acquainted with grief.  Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.  He was wounded for OUR transgressions.”  Also, 1 Peter 4:1 that Jesus suffered for us in the flesh.  Also, that such could be the meaning is determined by looking at the next verse which speaks of the sorrows “He bore for my soul that night.”

f.         Furthermore, this verse says, “He sweat drops of blood for mine.”  A reference to Luke 22:44 which says, “And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly.  Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground.”  It is worthy of note that the text does NOT say He sweat drops of blood but His sweat was AS drops of blood – a reference to the profuse nervousness Jesus was enduring.
RJ Steven’s hymnal, Hymns for Worship, modifies this verse saying, “He cried with tears in His sorrow”.  Also the last phrase could be changed to “But sweat drops AS blood for mine.”   OR the verse can be omitted or skipped, as in our hymnal.

g.        If this verse is questionable (and omitted in our hymnal), why even bring this up?  For two reasons:
1) To emphasize “poetic license” – sometimes for the sake of flow, a song poetically alters words that requires thought (for example – “What a Savior”, #128 where verse 1 says, “They searched through heaven and found a Savior”.  The point being that a Savior was needed and found – btw, that is actually more scriptural than some think when you consider the figurative language of Rev. 5:3-5)
2) Because to me it lends strength to the greatness of our Savior’s love.  Everything He put up with ULTIMATELY for me and you.   As another song that we occasionally sing says, “He bore it all that I might live”, #648.


III.                Vs. 2 - In Pity Angels Beheld Him

a.        Vs. 2 in SS, (Omitted in Hymns for Worship, and vs. 3 in the original).   In pity angels beheld Him, and came from the world of light.  To comfort Him in the sorrows He bore for my soul that night.

b.       While in the Garden and being in agony, Luke 22:43 tells us, “Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.”  While Jesus was greatly concerned about what He was about to endure, God did NOT abandon Him.  He was there with Him and gave Him the strength He needed to finish the task.  Jesus would need this comfort because this was just the beginning of tribulations He would face in the coming day – from rejection, to lies against Him, to an illegal trial, to beatings and ultimately the crucifixion.

c.        “To comfort Him for the sorrows He bore for MY soul that night” – Emphasis is that what Jesus went through was FOR US!  It was OUR sins that caused this.  Heb. 2:9 says that He tasted death for everyone.


IV.                Vs. 3 - He died on the cross for me

a.        He took my sins and my sorrows, He made them His very own.  He bore the burden of Calvary, and suffered and died alone.”

b.       1 Peter 2:22-24 speaks of how He bore our sins in His own body on the tree.
2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 

c.        He bore the burden to Calvary – Calvary is reference to the place where Jesus was crucified (Luke 23:33).  The actual word in Greek is the word from which we get our word cranium.  The word Calvary is actually Latin.  The place is also called Golgotha (John 19:17-18).  We frequently refer to both of these in our songs.

d.       He suffered and died alone – referring back to the Garden we read, “Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.” (Matt. 26:56).  While on the cross, Jesus cried, “My God, My God, why Have You forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46).  As He was crucified, there was no one who could physically deliver Him.  Even though He was innocent, the sentence had been carried out.  But ultimately, what He did for us, ONLY He could do and He was willing to do that.  He became that necessary sacrifice. 


V.                  Vs. 4 - Our hope

a.        When with the ransomed in glory His face I at last shall see. Twill be my joy thru the ages to sing of His love for me.”

b.       The ultimate reason Jesus died was to provide a home in heaven for us.   1 John 4:9 says, “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.” 
John 14:1-3 Jesus promised his apostles mansions in heaven.  It is the hope we have as well (cf. Heb. 11:16).  Heb. 13:14 says, “Here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.
Phil. 3:8-11 makes reference to our giving up this world with the hope of the resurrection.  Something better when this life is over.
The GLORY would have reference to being in the presence of God – Jude 24, 1 Thess. 4:17-18 speaks of us always being with the Lord.

c.        The verse concludes observing that in heaven there will be great rejoicing throughout eternity - we will worship God there and see His face – throughout the book of Revelation, when we see scenes of heaven, we often find them worshipping God - Rev. 15:2-4, 4:6-11, 5:8-14, 19:1-5, etc. 
And this worship will certainly be with joy - 1 Pet. 4:13 speaks of rejoicing as we partake of Christ’s sufferings, “that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.”
Matthew 25:23 described heaven as entering, “the joy of the Lord.”

d.       Many of the above verses (especially the ones in Revelation) imply that our rejoicing and worship in heaven will include singing songs of praise to Him.


VI.           Chorus

a.        How marvelous, how wonderful – and my song shall ever be.  How marvelous, how wonderful is my Savior’s love for me.”

b.       Even while on earth, we know that we worship God in song.  Do we sing these words with joy and feeling?  As we worship God, we ought to do so with enthusiasm and joy.  James 5:13 in being cheerful, you sing songs.  Col. 3:16-17 – singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:19 speaks of “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” 

c.        How marvelous, how wonderful is my Savior’s love for me!  Truly His love is greater than that of any on earth.  May we always cherish His love.  As Paul said in Romans 8:35-39, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”



And thus we see the message of another song that we sing.  May we never forget how wonderful our Savior really is.  Let us sing of these things with the joy He deserves.