Gazing upon the blood of Good Friday.

I’ve long been a Horatius Bonar enthusiast. The prolific Scottish churchman, orator, and hymn-writer — along with younger brother, Andrew — served as a key influencer in the formation of the Free Church of Scotland after the Disruption of 1843. Horatius himself was greatly influenced by the life and ministry Thomas Chalmers, becoming a great winner of souls. He amassed a bevy of published works throughout the 19th century, authoring numerous books, tracts, and poems during the course of his ministry career. His book, The Story of Grace, remains my absolute favorite grace-laden treatise out of all the books I’ve ever read on the subject. It seems fitting, then, to incur the words of one of Bonar’s hymns as we reflect on the events of Good Friday. Here are lines from “He Died and Lives”:1

I hear the words of love,
I gaze upon the blood;
I see the mighty sacrifice,
And I have peace with God.

’Tis everlasting peace,
Sure as Jehovah’s name;
’Tis stable as His stedfast throne,
For evermore the same.

The clouds may go and come,
And storms may sweep my sky,
This blood-sealed friendship changes not,
The cross is ever nigh.

My love is ofttimes low,
My joy still ebbs and flows;
But peace with Him remains the same,
No change Jehovah knows.

That which can shake the cross
May shake the peace it gave,
Which tells me Christ has never died,
Or never left the grave.

Till then my peace is sure,
It will not, cannot yield;
Jesus, I know, has died and lives;
On this firm rock I build.

I change, He changes not,
The Christ can never die;
His love, not mine, the resting-place,
His truth, not mine, the tie.

The cross still stands unchanged,
Though heaven is now His home;
The mighty stone is rolled away,
But yonder is His tomb!

And yonder is my peace,
The grave of all my woes!
I know the Son of God has come,
I know He died and rose.

I know He liveth now
At God’s right hand above;
I know the throne on which He sits,
I know His truth and love!

May you be enriched this Good Friday in the remembrance of the Christ who “has died and lives” forevermore for us. Soli Deo Gloria. Amen.

1

Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope (London: James Nisbet & Co., 1872), 99–101.