And Can It Be, That I Should Gain

JesusChristontheCrossAnd can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Words by Charles Wesley,1738
Music by Thomas Campbell, 1825

 

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.
John 15:12 – 17

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
Romans 8:1

So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Hebrew 4:14 – 16

 

What is a friend? You can get a variety of answers to this question. Definitions can range from those you know closely to people you have met in passing. So what is a friend?

True friends, are those in whom you can trust. Jesus told His disciples in John 15:14, “You are my friends if you do what I command.” Jesus calls His followers friends. Now before we think he may be using this term in a broad sweeping sense, step back one verse to John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” This is certainly not the act of a casual friend.

When we stop to think about this, it is a staggering reality. Jesus calls us friends. Jesus laid down his life for us. Jesus, the incarnate Son of God. Who are we that he would do this? This is the question asked by Charles Wesley in “And Can It Be.”

The opening line reads, “And can it be that I should gain an interest in the Savior’s blood?” Why should I receive such a wondrous gift. It is not simply a case of who am I, but the reality that I do not deserve it. Wesley goes on to write “Died He for me, who caused His pain, For me, who Him to death pursued?” Not only do we not deserve such a wondrous gift, but we were the cause of His very suffering and death.

But again we are drawn back to Jesus words, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” So Wesley writes, “Amazing love! How can it be, That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?”

Through His sacrifice we have been made new and Christ has opened the door into God’s presence. So we join with the words of Wesley, “No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in Him, is mine; Alive in Him, my living Head, And clothed in righteousness divine, Bold I approach th’eternal throne, And claim the crown, through Christ my own. Bold I approach th’eternal throne, And claim the crown, through Christ my own.”

 

 

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