See the Lord of Glory Dying

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This passion hymn invites us to behold Jesus on the cross, both to remember how deeply our sins have stung him, and to remember that freedom from death and sin - true life - is found by looking to Him. The song not only tells the story of Jesus' suffering and death, but also of His triumphant resurrection and the eternal proclamation that peace and pardon were won through His death and resurrection. This text represented somewhat of a musical challenge in that the first two stanzas focused on Jesus' suffering and the last two stanzas on His resurrection, making it difficult to write a tune or find a mood that would do justice to the feeling of both halves of the song. The solution was to write one melody (so that congregations could easily learn the song) and set it to minor chords for the first two stanzas and major chords for the second two stanzas. The result provides a sharp musical contrast between the suffering of Jesus and the triumph of His resurrection which helps us to feel the contrast of the lyrics.


             (Show Original Wordings)
See the Lord of glory dying!
See him gasping, hear him crying!
See his burdened body heave!
Look, ye sinners, ye who hung him,
Look, how deep your sins have stung him,
Dying sinners, look and live!

See the rocks and mountains shaking,
Earth unto her center quaking!
Nature's groans awake the dead!
Lo! the sun is struck with wonder,
While the peals of legal thunder
Smite the fair Redeemer's head.

Hell, and all the pow'rs infernal,
vanquished by the King Eternal,
When he poured the vital flood,
By his groans which shook creation,
Lo, we sound the proclamation:
Peace and pardon through His blood.

Shout, ye saints, with admiration,
Fill with songs the wide creation,
Since he's risen from the grave.
Shout, with joyful acclamation,
To the Rock of your salvation,
Who alone has pow'r to save.

Lyrics: Unknown, ed. by David Ward
Music: David L. Ward
© 2009


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