As the calendar brings us around to our annual remembrance of the cross and resurrection of our Savior, Lord, and God, I’m reminded how important music is to our meditations on and of the Word. We may be tempted to view music as secondary in importance to meditating on the Word, but when the music is filled with meaning that contains and reflects the Word, it also fulfills the Word. What does it say in Ephesians 5:19-20?
“…addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (ESV)
Need I point out that verse 19 follows verse 18 in which all of this is predicated by the command to be filled with the Spirit. The very first thing that God wants us to know about being a believer who is not just redeemed, but regenerated to live a life energized and sanctified by the Holy Spirit is that we’ll sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to edify each other and to make melody to the Lord with our hearts!
Do you think music like this is somehow secondary in importance for us? It’s central to our worship as living stones of the spiritual house built upon the cornerstone who is Christ and as spiritual priests charged with bringing spiritual sacrifices to our God.
“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:4-5, ESV)
So, let’s meditate on the Word, in the Word, and for the Word through music that overflows with the Word as part of our spiritual acceptable to our God.
The following song is an old hymn that I remember from my childhood. I’ve sung it in many different churches, although never quite like this version with a modern arrangement. It’s such a beautiful meditation that takes us back to the moments when Christ prayed for us before pouring out his love for us through his eternal suffering over those bloody, agonizing hours of taking on our sin.
…and if you really prefer the original, this one is superb: