Amazing Love! How Can It Be…?

Charles Wesley wrote one of my favorite hymns, And Can It Be, in 1738 at the age of 20 years. It is astounding that a 20 year old could pen words with such depth, but obviously, Wesley wasn’t the average 20 year old – of any time period.

The whole song, every verse, is worthy of consideration and public singing, but I normally can’t get beyond the first verse’s “Amazing love! How can it be, that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?” As the congregation continues to sing the particular verses that the song/worship leader has selected (rarely, if ever today, do they choose all of them), that question continues to reverberate through my heart and thoughts: How can it be, that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

The answer to this profound question is only found in Scripture, it can’t be derived from human reasoning. Simply put, the answer is found in God’s sovereign love.

You can hear this hymn here.

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

’Tis mystery all: th’Immortal dies:
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.
’Tis mercy all! Let earth adore;
Let angel minds inquire no more.

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

Still the small inward voice I hear,
That whispers all my sins forgiven;
Still the atoning blood is near,
That quenched the wrath of hostile Heaven.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Savior in my heart.
I feel the life His wounds impart;
I feel the Savior in my heart.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

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