A String of Gems for Holy Week and Beyond

by Dr. Becky Luman

“‘Man of Sorrows,’ what a name
For the Son of God who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim!
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood;
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Guilty, vile and helpless we;
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
FULL ATONEMENT—Can it be?
Hallelujah! What a Savior!”
Phillip Bliss (1875)

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“He was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53:5-6, New International Version

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“The essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man. Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be; God sacrifices himself for man and puts himself where only man deserves to be. Man claims prerogatives that belong to God alone; God accepts penalties which belong to man alone.”
-John Stott in the essay “Naked Pride” from the book Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter

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“The strife is o’er, the battle done;
The victory of life is won;
The song of triumph has begun.
Alleluia!

The powers of death have done their worst,
But Christ their legions hath dispersed:
Let shouts of holy joy outburst.
Alleluia!

The three sad days have quickly sped;
He rises glorious from the dead:
All glory to our risen Head!
Alleluia!

He closed the yawning gates of hell;
The bars of heaven’s high portal fell:
Let hymns of praise His triumphs tell.
Alleluia!

Lord, but the stripes which wounded Thee,
From death’s dread sting Thy servants free,
That we may live and sing to Thee.
Alleluia!”
Latin hymn c. 1695 Translated by Francis Pott, 1859

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“But the proclamation of Easter Day is that all is well. As a Christian, I can say this — not with the easy optimism of one who has never known a time when all was not well, but as one who has faced the cross in all its obscenity as well as in all its glory, who has known, one way or another, what it is like to live separated from God. In the end, his will, not ours is done. Love is the victor. Death is not the end. The end is life. His life and our lives through him, in him. Existence has greater depths of beauty, mystery, and benediction than the wildest visionary has ever dared to dream. Christ our Lord has risen.”
-Frederick Buechner in the essay “The End is Life” found in the book Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter

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“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere . . . to the ends of the earth. After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching and they could no longer see him. . . . [T]wo white-robed men suddenly stood among them. . . . ‘Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go.’” Acts 1:8-11, New Living Translation.

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“Lifted up was He to die,
‘It is finished’ was His cry;
Now in Heaven exalted high;
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

When He comes, our Glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew this song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah! What a Savior!”
Philip Bliss (1875)

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“The cross is not a defeat, but a victory. It is the dramatic reassertion of the fact that God’s love is sovereign, that the rulers of the world do not have the last word, that the kingdom of God has defeated the kingdom of Satan, that the kingdoms of the world have now become, in principle, the kingdom of our God, and of his Messiah; and he shall reign forever and ever.”
-N.T. Wright in the essay “A New World” found in the book Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter

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All glory to Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen!
Revelation 1:5b-6, New Living Translation

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