Sunday, February 18, 2007

Behold the Man!

From "Melody Moments"...

Before we altogether leave our series of Passion hymns, my studies brought up one published by Balthasar Muenter in 1774, and translated in 1845 by Henry Mills. The text takes its departure from Pontius Pilate’s words. The tune is AUS TIEFER NOT II (Lutheran Worship No. 248).

Behold the Man! how heavy lay
On Him the sinner’s burden!
What grievous price had He to pay,
That we might hope for pardon!
Such sorrows, since the world began,
Before were never seen by man,
Nor ever after witnessed.

Behold the Man! it was for thee
Such shame and grief He suffered;
Now hear Him say: Behold, in Me,
The victim for thee offered!
The guilt was thine, I bore its load
For thee, atoning with My blood:
I died, from death to save thee!

Blest Jesus, God’s beloved Son,
Who all my sins removest,
Exalted to Thy Father’s throne,
Show that my soul Thou lovest.
And let Thy griefs and death, O Lord,
New life and peace to me afford,—
Thus glorify Thy mercy.

And when the world, when flesh and blood,
To paths of sin allure me;
’Gainst wand’ring from the heav’nly road,
Do Thou, O Lord, secure me;
In mercy cry to me: Behold,
The Man who suffered ills untold
For thee!—wilt thou forsake Me?

IMAGE: Tissot, James. Jesus for the First Time Before Pilate (1886-1894), from a series of Bible illustrations. Image: Brooklyn Museum /Corbis

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