Monday, 31 August 2020

Jehovah willed that Jesus should be bruised

 Jehovah willed that Jesus should be bruised

“He hath subjected him to suffering”!

What wonder that the man whom men refused

Should be the One God made the offering:

The trespass-offering for our offence,

Who bore our sins upon the cross of shame,

Whose sufferings for us were most intense

When taking for our sake both wrath and blame.


Inside the garden Christ has seen a seed:

Loving Him more than she could understand

Was Mary, whom His work of grace made whole;

Years after years of glory now succeed,

For all God’s pleasure prospers in His hand,

Filled with the fruit of travail of His soul.

Saturday, 29 August 2020

The Lord must lie in His appointed grave


The Lord must lie in His appointed grave,

But not the grave that man appointed Him;

When it was needed God let men behave

Evilly towards Christ, and all was grim

Through capture, jeering, beating, and the cross,

Where even His dead body was assailed;

Men could not bury Him with this world’s dross

For in the choice of grave God’s will prevailed.


So in His death the Lord was with the rich

Because He never did a violent deed,

Because no word of His trapped or abused;

His was a life of grace and glory which

Delighted God; but yet, to meet our need,

Jehovah willed that Jesus should be bruised.

Thursday, 27 August 2020

As He was taken by constraining force

The Coast of Scottish Borders from Cove to Siccar Point


As He was taken by constraining force

And from all semblance of true equity

His captors were not those men thought as course,

But those marked by refined iniquity;

What generations spring from such a Man,

Cut off and having nothing in the land?

Of those who live?  He has no partisan

Or fellow who can truly understand.


So for the Jews’ transgressions He was struck

But all may cling by faith to Jesus’ work

Through which God is omnipotent to save;

But if the hand of Jesus was to pluck

Brands from the fire, and from the sins that lurk

The Lord must lie in His appointed grave.

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

When to man’s view the Saviour was oppressed

The Palace of Holyrood House, Edinburgh

When to man’s view the Saviour was oppressed

And bitterly afflicted in their spite

No words of acrimony were expressed

By Christ while he endured man’s evil might.

He, like a lamb for slaughter, humbly went

The way through pain and grief by which they led;

They did not fathom why He had been sent

Or that they were the ones for whom He pled.


Thus as a sheep led to be shorn is dumb

He made no cry of anguish or complaint

But let the dogs and strong ones drive His course;

This, since they know the way by which He’d come

Brings out the admiration of each saint,

As He was taken by constraining force.

Sunday, 23 August 2020

Although all we like sheep had gone astray

 Although all we like sheep had gone astray

And wandered from the shelter of the fold

Our great good Shepherd followed our bent way

Through crags and hollows that cannot be told:

Good Shepherd laying all down for the sheep

And showing thus the wonders of God’s grace!

Great Shepherd of the sheep whose grace will keep

All whom He reaches to behold God’s face!


God laid upon Him our iniquities:

The iniquities of all who trust in Him

And find in Him their Fortress and their Rest;

He suffered once for these propensities

Which shut up Eden by the cherubim

When to man’s view the Saviour was oppressed.

Friday, 21 August 2020

It was indeed for us He bore God’s stroke

 It was indeed for us He bore God’s stroke,

For our iniquities that He was bruised;

Against this Man God’s judgment-sword awoke

After His sinless body was abused

By human malice.  He who knew no sin

Has been made sin for us; the chastisement

Of or peace was upon Him. How begin

To tell the horrors of that punishment?


We had been wounded in the thrall of sin,

Leprous, and blind, and lame, and bruised, and wealed,

Under the power that gripped us every day;

And with a grace which we cannot begin

To understand, with His stripes we are healed

Although all we like sheep had gone astray.

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Though He hath borne our sorrows and our griefs

 Though He hath borne our sorrows and our griefs

In sympathy, and empathy, and grace,

Rejected by the people and their chiefs,

Despised by those who struck Him on the face,

Taking His place beside the poor and weak,

Feeling the sadnesses of the bereaved,

Sharing the toil of those He came to seek,

Knowing the desolations of the grieved,


We thought Jehovah rightly punished Him,

That He was some transgressor of God’s law

On whom God’s righteous retribution broke;

We saw the pierced side, and each nail-pierced limb,

And though munificence of grace we saw

It was indeed for us He bore God’s stroke.

Saturday, 15 August 2020

He was despised and left alone of men

 He was despised and left alone of men

Though He had come to share their sufferings,

And though He wished to shield them as a hen

Enfolds its frightened chicks beneath its wings.

Each day He walked here on His earthly way

Grief went with Him: grief for a fallen race,

Bonded to sin; grief for the pain that lay

Upon man’s life; grief for rejected grace.


For He was an embarrassment to man,

A corner-stone whom mankind must reject

Because He could not square with their beliefs;

They hid their faces, mocking rather than

Acknowledging the worth of God’s Elect,

Though He hath borne our sorrows and our griefs.

Thursday, 13 August 2020

Through One who came here with no worldly charm ...


In the Pentland Hills

Through One who came here with no worldly charm,

Who was not known by fleshly lordliness,

But who has come to save and not to harm,

God has determined He is going to bless.

Yet this is One who charmed the heart of God

Because of the perfection of His ways:

God saw Him with the grace of Aaron’s rod

Growing in loveliness through desert days.


He was a root that grew out of dry ground,

A tender sapling burgeoning in strength,

Then rendering its fruit to God again;

He drew His moisture from above, yet found,

Though He would reach for men to any length,

He was despised and left alone of men.

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Have you believed the message that God sent?

Have you believed the message that God sent?        

Have you received His pure since-time-began

Prophets? Consider all that He has spent;

And since men disbelieved He sent His Son

To let you know His heart.  In grace He pleads

And shows you that He longs to fill your heart;

In Christ He has the answer to your needs:

Repent, go out from hence; depart, depart!


And has the Lord revealed His arm to you?

It is not shortened that it cannot save;

He will redeem you with a stretched-out arm

And what unbounded blessings will ensue!

He’ll ransom you from all that might enslave

Through One who came here with no worldly charm.

(Continuing thoughts on Isaiah 53, this is the first of twelve sonnets in a corona of sonnets; that is, the last line of one is the first of the other, reverting to the first line of all in the last line of the last sonnet.  The corona form is being used by the poet Malcolm Guite for the rather more ambitious project of writing a poem responding to each of the psalms.  The use of a corona is a response to the coronavirus which has so constrained us.)

Saturday, 8 August 2020

And made intercession ...

"Father, forgive them": pinioned
To the cross, the Saviour,
"Made intercession" in grace
For us all, "for the transgressors".

And as the ascended Man,
Embedded in glory He
Maintains the Intercessor's place
Towards those whom He loves.


Friday, 7 August 2020

And he bore the sin of many ...

Through mercy I know
That He bore my sins;

Through mercy I have learned
A grain of what that meant;

Through mercy I find He bore
My sinful condition;

For He bore the sin of many
And mercy drew me in.


Wednesday, 5 August 2020

He shall instruct many ...

If He instructed many
In righteousness
He would bear
Their iniquities.

If I was to be righteous,
Exposed by Him,
He must endure agonies
Unbearable to me.

My sins pronounced on
The Scapegoat's head
See the righteous One
Bear my iniquities.

And the many
Make that claim too:
The, we revert to Him for
Instruction in righteousness.


Sorry - not in the right order!

Monday, 3 August 2020

He ... was reckoned with the lawless

Though God saw His way perfected
Christ was beaten and rejected.

Though He walked in grace and meekness
He was crucified in weakness.

Though His earthly path was flawless
He was reckoned with the lawless.


Saturday, 1 August 2020

Because he hath poured out his soul ...

View towards Edinburgh from Musselburgh

The blood of the covenant
Is poured out for us
For our liberation.

The drink-offering
Was poured out to God
For His satisfaction.

An ointment poured out
Is the name of Jesus
For our delectation,

Since He has poured out
His soul unto death
For our salvation.