“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross,
so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness…
1 PETER 2:16
Charles Wesley came face to face with the claims of Christ on May 21, 1738. Opening his Bible to Psalm 40:3, he was struck by the change that had taken place in his heart.
He hath put a new song in my mouth;
many will see and fear and will trust in the Lord.”
Taking that verse literally, Charles started writing his first hymn, very likely the hymn below. Eventually composing over 6,500 hymns, And Can It Be captures the appropriate wonder the truth of 1 Peter 2:24.
And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
This coming Sunday, Jackson Randall will remind us of the depth our Savior’s love, how he bore up under unjust suffering, refusing to retaliate, but rather entrusting himself to his Father, who judges justly.
As Jackson preaches, may we be so moved by that love, that we willingly and enthusiastically embrace a life of dying to sin, living lives of righteousness.