Forerunner (Hebrews 2:10-15)

The chief and mighty captain: Christ,
The author of this story,
He through His fitting sacrifice,
Brought many sons to glory.
His battle-plan and mighty work,
Was making Himself humble.
That God became a man by birth,
To make the prideful stumble.
To win the war, He bared Himself,
And stripped off all His grandeur.
He took on sins of darkest hell,
Accepting human standards.
Yes He became as one of us,
And loved to call us brothers,
Though He into our wants was thrust,
And in our needs He suffered.
Yet why did He this pain accept?
But to destroy the Devil.
That He as man might suffer death,
Then death o’erturn and level.
And that He might buy back my life,
And free my soul from slavery.
And now a son, the church His wife –
This plan was all to save me.

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“Today in Paradise” (Luke 23:43)

Today slips through our grasp,
How many do we have?
A sense of our mortality,
Would drive us on in urgency.

We number all our days,
And wisdom comes to stay,
How soon will come our final breath?
Who knows the hour of their death?

With death the litmus test,
To hell or heaven pressed,
And in that moment transferred then,
To life, or torture for their sin.

And the most gruesome death,
Forgotten by what’s next,
Cast off in fullest ecstasy,
Or swallowed up in agony.

Yet words will not suffice,
For those in paradise.
A thief returns to Eden’s arms,
The real of every shadowed charm.

Our mask of sin dissolved,
Our understanding solved,
All left to us is the new man,
That God has molded with his hands.

This garden He has grown,
Before His awesome throne,
Was cultivated for our sakes,
For love and grace He now creates.

The joy the Father gives,
Eternal we shall live,
The center of our joy we spy:
Or risen Lord, our Savior, Christ!

Psalm 30: Delivered from Death

I see the phantom terror strong,
The damning angel’s sword is drawn,
It’s stretched against the holy hill,
Ten thousand sevens he has killed.
These sheep are slaughtered for my sin,
Lord, bring this plague unto an end!
My dignity is thrown aside,
As to Jehovah’s throne I cried.
I cried and pleaded for His grace,
In desperation, on my face.
“What profit is there in my death?
I praise you with my living breath.
Would Your name then be glorified,
If my belief were vilified?
Display Your power in this day,
Dismay the mockers when You save!”
The Lord has turned His ear to me,
He has responded graciously.
He sent this threat to right my pride,
To make me panic as He hides.
He turned my heart back unto Him,
That I would grieve over my sin.
The angel has put up his sword!
Our hill redeemed by our great Lord.
My sackcloth changed for wedding robes,
To sing and dance, not weep and mope.
In order that for all my days,
My body may proclaim His praise.
My purpose, then, to glorify,
My Lord who saved and sanctifies.
He hauled me from my self-dug well,
I must exalt Him, thus compelled.
So teach the world to sing my song,
God saved us when Death’s sword was drawn.
His anger for an instant seen,
Is swallowed in eternity,
Apostasy consumed like dross,
His wrath gives way unto His cross.
For we may weep on Friday night,
But He will soon appear in light,
The end – oh Death, where have you fled?
Oh Grave who could not hold your dead.
Our wicked sin thrown into hell,
Redeemed forever we will tell.
This momentary trial is,
Preparing us for endless bliss.