Eureka!

I love discovering something new.

At Doxology we sang a hymn from Lutheran Service Book which I had seen, but had not heard before:  LSB 432 “In Silent Pain The Eternal Son,” a Lenten hymn.  This hymn is yet another great marriage of text and tune, (one of LSB’s most redeeming traits).

1.  In silent pain the Eternal Son hangs derelict and still;
In darkened day His work is done, Fulfilled, His Father’s will.
Uplifted for the world to see He hangs in strangest victory,
For in His body on the tree He carries all our ill.
 2.  He died that we might die to sin And live for righteousness;
The earth is stained to make us clean And bring us into peace.
For peace He came and met its cost; He gave Himself to save the lost.
He loved us to the uttermost And paid for our release.
3.  For strife He came to bring a sword, The truth to end all lies;
To rule in us, our patient Lord, until all evil dies:
For in His hand He holds the stars, His voice shall speak to end our wars,
And those who love Him see His scars And look into His eyes.

Text:  Christopher M. Idle, b.1938
©1992 Jubilate Hymns Ltd.: admin: Hope Publishing Co.

There is a whole theology of the scars (stigmata-Greek) of Jesus.  These scars heal us from our deepest wound of sin itself.  In the strangely incarnational teaching of the baptized life, it is said that those who are baptized into Christ bear His scars.  Beginning with Cain’s mark, extending to circumcision, and then to Baptism itself, the precious wounds of Jesus heal and their benefits are given to us.  To be scarred is to be forgiven, to have the scars of Jesus as our health and salvation.  Paul writes very powerfully and freely to the Galatians when he writes his last words to them:  Let no one cause me trouble, for I bear in my body the marks of Jesus (Gal. 6:17).  Those marks meant freedom to Paul.  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities, upon Him was the chastisement which brought us peace, and with His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5).

Stanza 3 is one of the deepest in all the hymnal.  These scarred hands are the hands which gripped his mother’s finger as a baby.  These same scarred hands now “hold the stars.”  These same scarred hands are raised to forgive the repentant.  These same scarred hands are lifted up in blessing on His forgiven believers.  Those scars point to the fact that only one man’s scars can save the world.

To quote another favorite hymn from LSB:  With what rapture, with what rapture, with what rapture gaze we on those glorious scars!  (LSB 336, “Lo, He Comes With Clouds Descending” st. 3).

The wounds of Jesus bring you healing, joy, and peace.

Pastor Torkelson
1 Tim. 1:15-17

One thought on “Eureka!

  1. Great stuff! I believe there is great value in meditating on the wounds of Christ, particularly because of their being evident (and evidence) after the resurrection. Might just challenge or enrich our thoughts about how our lives and identities will be expressed in the age to come. Peace!

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