The Atonement: Songs of Atonement.

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,” (Ephesians 5:18-19)

The Scriptures describe three distinct types of musical forms for which we can praise the Lord. They are referred, in Ephesians 5:19, as being psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.

Psalms are those praises which are taken directly from the Hebrew Psalter, otherwise known as the Old Testament Book of Psalms. Hymns are songs which focus almost exclusively on the person, character and work of God. Philippians 2:5-11 and Colossians 1:15-18 are two New Testament examples of hymns which the early church used to praise the person and work of Jesus Christ. Spiritual songs express a believer’s personal testimony and love for the Lord. The personal pronoun “I” predominates.

There is a rich wealth of music which speaks of the substitutionary atonement, or blood, of Jesus Christ. I’m sure you are familiar with many of them. These songs include such classics as And Can It Be That I Should Gain, Are You Washed in the Blood, Before the Throne of God Above, Jesus Paid it All, Man of Sorrows What a Name, Nothing but the Blood, O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing, Redeemed: How I Love to Proclaim It, There is a Fountain Filled with Blood and Worthy is the Lamb (Thank You for the Cross Lord).

At the church where Diana and serve and are members, the minister of music has recently chosen a number of recent and excellent songs addressing the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ for the congregation to sing in the worship services. One such song is entitled Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery by Matt Boswell, Michael Bleecker, and Matt Papa (2013).

VERSE 1                                                                                                                                           Come behold the wondrous mystery
In the dawning of the King
He the theme of heaven’s praises
Robed in frail humanity

In our longing, in our darkness
Now the light of life has come
Look to Christ, who condescended
Took on flesh to ransom us

Come behold the wondrous mystery
He the perfect Son of Man
In His living, in His suffering
Never trace nor stain of sin

See the true and better Adam
Come to save the hell-bound man
Christ the great and sure fulfillment
Of the law; in Him we stand

Come behold the wondrous mystery
Christ the Lord upon the tree
In the stead of ruined sinners
Hangs the Lamb in victory

See the price of our redemption
See the Father’s plan unfold
Bringing many sons to glory
Grace unmeasured, love untold

Come behold the wondrous mystery
Slain by death the God of life
But no grave could e’er restrain Him
Praise the Lord; He is alive!

What a foretaste of deliverance
How unwavering our hope
Christ in power resurrected
As we will be when he comes

What a foretaste of deliverance
How unwavering our hope
Christ in power resurrected
As we will be when he comes

I may have unintentionally left out one of your favorite hymns concerning the shed blood of Jesus Christ on behalf of His people.  If you are so led, let me know what hymn of Jesus’ atonement you regard as a favorite.

May God’s truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!




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