Alas, And did My Savior Bleed is a beautiful hymn written was Isaac Watts in 1707. Verse 1 reads:
Alas and did my Savior bleedAnd did my Sovereign dieWould He devote that sacred headFor such a worm as IWas it for sins that I had doneHe groaned upon the treeAmazing pity, grace unknown And love beyond degree.
This verse so clearly states, Jesus chose to die “For such a worm as I.” We often like to think of ourselves as something pretty special, but when we consider our sinful behavior, we realize the description is pretty accurate.
As I consider the last two lines of this verse, I am struck by how hard it is to fathom Jesus’ love for us. The only thing I can remotely compare it to is our love for our children but I think that is the point—we are God’s children because of Christ’s sacrifice.
The second verse describes the fact God did not even allow the sun to shine during Christ’s suffering and death. We are certainly unworthy of the sacrifice made on our behalf, so our only response is to “Dissolve my heart in thankfulness, and melt my eyes to tears.”
Well might the sun in darkness hideAnd shut His glories inWhen Christ the mighty Maker diedFor man the creature’s sinThus might I hide my blushing faceWhile His dear Cross appearsDissolve my heart in thankfulness And melt my eyes to tears.
The refrain is what really spoke to me.
My God why would You shed Your blood So pure and undefiled to make a sinful one like me Your chosen precious child. It asks the simple question of “Why”—why would God make such a huge sacrifice for a “sinful one like me?” The answer is love—unconditional, unchangeable love. How amazing that the holy, just, righteous God who spoke this universe into existence would choose to save a wretched sinner as I! To Him be the glory.
Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use.