At the Cross
Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sov’reign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?
[CHORUS] At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light
And the burden of my heart rolled away
It was there by faith I received my sight
And now I am happy all the day
Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!
“Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed,” Isaac Watts (cr. 1707)
A Little Church in Anderson, Indiana
Bill and Gloria Gaither live in Anderson, Indiana where Bill grew up. Amazingly, Bill actually grew up in the Nazarene Church there in Anderson where I’ve had the privilege of singing with my college choir in 1999.
While sitting in the sanctuary of this little farm church in Anderson, Indiana, a man told stories of how Bill would get up on Sunday nights and ask permission to play a song that God had laid on his heart. Sometimes they would be original songs like, “He Touched Me,” or “Because He Lives,” but to man’s recollection, one of the most powerful times was when Bill got up to play the great Hymn, “Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed.”
Later Bill would record a popular version of this song entitled, “At the Cross.”
Because in the reflections we will encounter the cross four times in the Gospels, I would like to do something unique each time. Today I simply want you to watch/listen to the words and reflect on the power of this song.
Place Yourself At the Cross
While you listen, place yourself “At the Cross.” Imagine Jesus hanging suspended between heaven and earth as a man who at that moment had no home. Picture as he agonizingly stretches upward against gravity just to capture what little air could enter his lungs. Look over to see and hear the mocking voices of the Pharisees, Governor’s Guards, and the crowd.
Don’t miss the moment or opportunity today to be reminded of the lengths Jesus’ went through for you. He didn’t die on the cross for himself. As we read yesterday, Jesus could have called twelve legions of Angels to come and rescue him at a moments notice… but he didn’t. He didn’t call in the angels. He didn’t walk away in the Garden. He didn’t numb himself to the pain and agony of not only the cross, but the brutal beatings of the guards even before making the journey to Calvary. No, he went to the cross, and that is where we meet with him today.
Even though the Gaither Vocal Band only does two verses, there are more verse to this great Hymn by Isaac Watts.
Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in
When Christ, the mighty Maker died
For man the creature’s sin
Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness
And melt my eyes to tears
But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe
Here, Lord, I give myself away
‘Tis all that I can do