Our Good Friday service included three meditations on Christ’s atonement. Specifically, they addressed expiation, propitiation, and reconciliation. If you look closely at the hymns we regularly sing, you’ll find that these three themes are woven into many of them. Kevin DeYoung points this out in his post What You Can’t Sing Without Penal Substitution. He lists some key passages that justify our view of substitutionary atonement. Then he lists some favorite hymns that are laden with this idea, before concluding “Without penal substitution there is no salvation. And there isn’t nearly as much to sing about.” Here is a sampling of these hymns:
Man of Sorrows! What a Name
Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned he stood,
Sealed my pardon with his blood:
Hallelujah! what a Savior!
O Sacred Head, Now Wounded
What thou, my Lord, hast suffered was all for sinner’s gain:
Mine, mine was the transgression, but thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! Tis I deserve thy place;
Look on me with they favor, vouchsafe to me thy grace.
Ah, Holy Jesus, How Hast Thou Offended
Who was the guilty who brought this upon thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone thee.
‘Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee:
I crucified thee.
Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed
Was it for crimes that I had done he groaned upon the tree!
Amazing pity! Grace unknown! And love beyond degree!
Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted
Tell me, ye who hear him groaning, was there every grief like his?
Friends thro’ fear his cause disowning, foes insulting his distres;
Many hands were raised to wound him, none would interpose to save;
But the deepest stroke that pierced him was the stroke that Justice gave.
Ye who think of sin but lightly nor suppose the evil great
Here may view its nature rightly, here its guilt may estimate.
Mark the sacrifice appointed, see who bears the awful load;
’tis the Word, the Lord’s Anointed, Son of Man and Son of God.
What Wondrous Love is This
What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul,
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul!
Many of these excellent hymns have been put to new music by Indelible Grace. If you’ve never heard of Indelible Grace, here is a quick intro: