Friday, June 5, 2015

Hymspirational Moment #4

"I SEE A CRIMSON STREAM OF BLOOD"

Verse 1
On Calvary's hill of sorrow
Where sin’s demands were paid,
And rays of hope for tomorrow
Across our path were laid.

Chorus
I see a crimson stream of blood,
It flows from Calvary,
Its waves which reach the throne of God,
Are sweeping over me.

Verse 2
Today no condemnation
Abides to turn away
My soul from His salvation,
He’s in my heart to stay.

Verse 3
When gloom and sadness whisper,
“You’ve sinned—no use to pray,”
I look away to Jesus,
And He tells me to say:

Verse 4
And when we reach the portal
Where life forever reigns,
The ransomed hosts’ grand final
Will be this glad refrain.

When Bishop Garfield Thomas (G.T.) Haywood penned the words to "I See A Crimson Stream Of Blood," it was after a time of extended prayer and fasting in 1920.  As the story goes, Bishop Haywood walked to the pulpit of Christ Temple in Indianapolis and, without benefit of musical accompaniment, lifted his voice and began to sing:  "On Calvary's hill of sorrow where sins demands were paid..."  The eternal consequence of sin has been the greatest plague upon the conscience of mankind.  Even the Christian is sometimes faced with doubts about his own standing in the eyes of God.  The "what if's" that certain situations in life cause to rise in our hearts often can be overwhelming.

"On Calvary's hill of sorrow where sin’s demands were paid, and rays of hope for tomorrow across our path were laid."  Verse 1 establishes the basic premise.  From the rugged cross atop Golgotha came the agonizing cries of a suffering Saviour whose blood was being shed for the remission of all sin.  The demand of sin under the Old Covenant was blood and without the shedding of blood was no remission of sins (Hebrews 9:22) and the blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ the Righteous, was going to silence the roaring voice of justice once and for all.  The hope produced by this ultimate sacrifice continues to intersect the lives of all mankind through the preaching of the Gospel.  

"Today no condemnation abides to turn away my soul from His salvation, He’s in my heart to stay."  Verse 2 addresses the assurance of salvation.  Borrowing from the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:1, the author bids us to remember that condemnation no longer needs to be a part of the Born Again Christian's life.  We need not wonder if we are saved.  We can and must KNOW that we have partaken of the heavenly gift of eternal life.  We know we are saved because we have believed on the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16).  We know we are saved because we have repented of our sins (Luke 13:3).  We know we are saved because we have been buried with Him in baptism (Colossians 2:12) by which we were placed in Christ (Galatians 3:27) in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38).  We know we are saved because we have been sealed by the baptism of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:22).  There is no more condemnation.  

When gloom and sadness whisper, “You’ve sinned—no use to pray.” I look away to Jesus, and He tells me to say..."  Verse 3 reminds us of the fact that, even as Christians, we will sin.  In those times of sin, we must not allow condemnation to override that which we know:  when we sin, we have an Advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1).  What need has the Christian for gloom and sadness in the light of such a glorious Saviour, one like as the Son of Man, who has stood once and for all as our Great High Priest and Atonement?  What greater pleader or petitioner could one ask for than the Lord Jesus Christ?  In Him is embodied the very Eternal God who has never lost nor shall ever lose one of His own.  If you have sinned, run to Him.  He waits eagerly to forgive you.  

 "And when we reach the portal where life forever reigns, the ransomed hosts’ grand final will be this glad refrain."  Eternity comes to mind in verse 4.  The joy of salvation begins on earth to be realized in its fullness in eternity.  It shall be a scene akin to that recorded for us by the Apostle John in Revelation 5:9-10: "And they sang a new song, saying, 'Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.'"  What joy to stand with the Saints of all ages who have known the wonderful gift of the Crimson Stream!  What peace to know that our sins are not only gone today but tomorrow and forever!  

"I see a crimson stream of blood and it flows from Calvary.  Its waves which reach the throne of God are sweeping over me."  Memorize that.  Repeat it every time life causes you to doubt the work of God in you unto salvation.  In the darkest moments of life, lift up your eyes to the throne of God.  As your gaze rises heavenward, you will not be able to help but pass your eyes by Golgotha and see the fountain from which the saving blood of Christ continues to flow.  Watching the earth in despair is vanity.  Look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher or faith.  Look to Him when fear and condemnation bids you to look elsewhere and otherwise.  His riven side and nail-pierced hands and feet serve as a reminder that you are loved beyond any normal degree possible by mortals.  The blood of Christ which flowed over your soul in baptism can continue to wash in waves which reach far above any sin which you may have committed.

Thank God for that crimson stream of blood.