O Lord, forever will thy free forgiveness live that was gained on the mount of blood; In the midst of a world of pain it is a subject for praise in every place, a song on earth, an anthem in heaven, its love and virtue knowing no end. I have a longing for the world above where multitudes sing the great song, for my soul was never created to love the dust of earth. Though here my spiritual state is frail and poor, I shall go on singing Calvary’s anthem.
The morning time is a wonderful time to read the Word of God and to spend time in prayer. In addition to reading the Bible, one of the things I have been gleaning from in my prayer time is a book called The Valley of Vision. While thumbing through it recently, I came across an entry titled Calvary’s Anthem. It was beautiful to read and to think upon Jesus Christ and what He did for you and me at Calvary.
The author speaks of being led singing to the cross, flinging down every burden and sin while watching them vanish because of the blood of Christ. We have such joy in the redemption wrought by our Savior. What a beautiful reminder we have in Colossians 2:13-15,
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
This puritan prayer echoes the truth of His redemption, “At the cross there is free forgiveness for poor and meek ones, and ample blessings that last forever.” Death has been defeated. The cross that is foolishness to those who are perishing is the power of God to those of us who are being saved (1 Corinthians 1:18).
A World of Pain
While reading this prayer, my thoughts turned to those in Afghanistan facing unimaginable peril. Christian pastors and fellow believers are faced with threats of severe persecution and death. There are many people in dire circumstances currently, and they are in a world of pain.
This includes both believers and unbelievers. Yet, though the believer in Christ will face trials and tribulation in life, they do not cease in praising God. They rejoice because of the promise of eternal life starting at the cross of Christ.
This song on earth is the anthem in heaven. Revelation testifies of the Lamb who was slain with those singing praises to Him, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” (Revelation 5:12).
It is overwhelming to think about the anthem we will sing in heaven to the Lord as we worship Him forever.
The thought of these believers in Christ suffering for the sake of Christ brings me to weep for them. They will face incomprehensible suffering for their faith, but they understand the cost because of the cost paid for them at Calvary.
Though they face this world with pain and turmoil, they are also like the one who wrote this prayer, “I have a longing for the world above where multitudes sing the great song, for my soul was never recreated to love the dust of the earth.”
There is something about this statement, which brings me personal pause and reflection. Do I long for that world above where the multitudes sing praises to the Lamb who was slain more than the temporal things of this world?
If I were honest, I would say I do not because I forget the promise of eternal life, distracted by the cares and pleasures of this world. The joy of His salvation wanes at times because the song turns to complaining.
When thinking about the suffering those across the world are enduring for His sake, I am convicted. Some are singing praises to God and calling to remembrance Christ’s atonement, and they may be singing for the last time on this earth.
My mind cannot comprehend such suffering. It is in this realization that the cross of Christ is valued because of Him who hung on it, taking upon Himself what I deserved.
An Anthem in Heaven
As Christians, we keep in the forefront of our thought this anthem unto the Lord, thankful for His sacrifice on our behalf and for clothing us in His righteousness and promise. One day, we will be with Him in all His glory.
We are reminded of those in Hebrews who died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeting them from afar (Hebrews 11:13). It is because of Christ that we can lay aside every weight and sin, which clings so closely and run with endurance the race before us.
We look to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Though we are spiritually frail and poor as this prayer states, we can go on singing Calvary’s song because of Jesus Christ.
Though many of us weep for those suffering for the sake of Christ, we can rejoice in their reward. Their light momentary affliction is preparing for them an eternal weight of glory.
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17). The same applies to us all who are in Christ Jesus.
What Does This Mean?
They will join with those in heaven who sing this anthem originating at Calvary with Christ’s atonement for their sin, cleansing them from all unrighteousness, justifying those who would believe before the Father, and proclaiming the promise of eternal life.
Calvary’s anthem has an empty cross because our Savior has risen and is alive forevermore. May we all go on singing Calvary’s anthem both here and on into eternity. Worthy is the Lamb who was slain.
For further reading:
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Arthit_Longwilai
Dawn Hill is a Christian blogger known as The Lovesick Scribe and the host of The Lovesick Scribe Podcast. She is passionate about sharing the truth and pointing others back to Jesus Christ through the written Word as the standard of authority for Christian living and instruction while being led by the Holy Spirit into maturity. She is the author of NonProphet Woke: The Reformation of a Modern-Day Disciple. She is a wife to Nicholas and a mother to Anabel and Ephraim. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.