One of the most thought provoking hymns ever written is Isaac Watts’ When I Survey the Wondrous Cross. He wrote over 600 hymns but it seems that he wrote this text as if he were standing at the foot of Christ’s cross, together with the disciple John, the faithful women, Jesus’ mother, the Roman soldiers and the excited, shouting mob. As we picture the blood which flowed from His wounds, showing, as the hymn suggests, His sorrow because of our sins and also His great love for us, how can we fail to say, ” May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Gal. 6:14
When you read this hymn, I hope that you will make the words and their meaning your very own.
When I survey the wondrous cross,
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God;
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.