Review - When I Survey the Wondrous Cross by Isaac Watts

24Mar

In our Review segment this week, Pastors Nathanael Mayhew and Rob Sauers look at another Lenten Hymn, "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" by Isaac Watts.  This hymn (number 175 in The Lutheran Hymnal) was composed in English by the prolific hymnwriter, Isaac Watts, who wrote over 700 other hymns, some of which are found in our hymnal and other hymnals.  Watts had a natural talent for meter and rhyme at a very early age, and put it to work in pointing people to his Savior.  This hymn is rich in Biblical pictures and based largely on Paul's words in Galatians 6:14: "But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."  He points sinners to the cross of Jesus which is the means of our salvation, and our only hope in this world of sin.  We are reminded of the danger of our pride and posessions which we are tempted to value above Christ and His cross.  In the final verse, after we have viewed the gift of God's salvation in Christ's sacrifice for us, we are motivated to respond by giving our life to Christ and in His service.  We give thanks to God for the salvation He has won for us in Christ and the forgiveness of our sins.

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