Devotion on Hymns, Jesus Paid it All, 7 April 2015 Anno Domini
1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. (Acts 9:1-6)
“These Christians are an exasperating lot,” thought Saul (the Apostle Paul later) as he journeyed to Damascus to murder and maim any Christians he found there. “They seem to fear nothing or no one, yet pretend to a faith of greater enlightenment than our religious teachers of the Jews. Their ill-intentioned faith seems to have turned the world upside down. They must be destroyed, along with the memory of their supposed Savior, Jesus,” he mused as he went on the way with his escort on that dusty road to Damascus that day. But Saul never completed the mission he had planned. Why not? Because he heard a Voice unlike any other voice he had ever before heard. “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” The Voice carried with it the tone of Authority and Divinity. Saul KNEW this was no earthly Voice. Saul knew this was a Voice from Heaven, but WHO was it? “Who art thou, Lord?” he asked with trembling voice. Once he knew the Voice to be that of Jesus, suddenly the error of years of false learning dawned on poor Saul. This was the very Jesus against whom Saul was going to war against in Damascus. That ‘was’ became an eternity. Saul never again warred against the Lord Jesus Christ or His people. That Voice changed Saul’s life forever, and in an INSTANT! It will change the life of all who hear it!
This wonderful old hymn is by Elvina Hall and was published in 1865. The music, All to Him I Owe, was composed by John T. Grape.
There is a truly wonderful and soul-inspiring testimony regarding this hymn that happened not long after it was first published. The story takes place in London under the Preaching of Rowland Hill – a rather colorful and lively evangelist: “While he was preaching in a park in London to a large assemblage, she was passing in her carriage. She said to her footman when she saw Rowland Hill in the midst of the people, “Why, who is that man?” That is Rowland Hill, my lady.” She had heard a good deal about the man, and she thought she would like to see him, so she directed her coachman to drive her near the platform. When the carriage came near he saw the insignia of nobility, and he asked who that noble lady was. Upon being told, he said, “Stop, my friends, I have got something to sell.” The idea of a preacher becoming suddenly an auctioneer made the people wonder, and in the midst of a dead silence he said: “I have more than a title to sell — I have more than a crown of Europe to sell; it is the soul of Lady Ann Erskine. Is there anyone here who bids for it? Yes, I hear a bid. Satan, Satan, what will you give? ‘I will give pleasure, honor, riches — yea, I will give the whole world for her soul.’ Do you hear another bid? Is there any other one? Do I hear another bid? Ah, I thought so; I hear another bid. The Lord Jesus Christ, what will You give for this soul? ‘I will give peace, joy, comfort, that the world knows not of — yea, I will give My life for her eternal life.’ Lady Ann Erskine, you have heard the two bidders for your soul, which will you accept? And she ordered the door of her carriage to be opened, and came weeping from it, and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ. He, the great and mighty Saviour, is a bidder for your soul to-night. He offers you riches and comfort, and joy, peace here, and eternal life hereafter, while Satan offers you what he cannot give. Poor lost soul, which will you have? He will ransom your soul if you but put your burden upon Him. Twenty-one years ago I made up my mind that Jesus would have my soul, and I have never regretted the step, and no man has ever felt sorry for coming to Him. When we accept Him we must like Him. Your sins may rise up as a mountain, but the Son of Man can purge you of all evil, and take you right into the palaces of Heaven, if you will only allow Him to Save you.”
JESUS PAID IT ALL
I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.
For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim,
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb. (Refrain)
Lord, now indeed I find
Thy power and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots
And melt the heart of stone. (Refrain)
And when from my dying bed
My ransomed soul shall rise,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
Shall rend the vaulted skies. (Refrain)
The most wonderful thing about the unbelievable meanings of this hymn is that they are very true and believable to all who will hear the Voice of the Lord. “I hear the Savior say, “Thy strength indeed is small; Child of weakness, watch and pray, Find in Me thine all in all.” It is beyond doubt that Saul, too, recognized his utter weakness before that Personage that struck him down and blinded him with His brilliance on Saul’s Road to Ruin. That Road to Ruin became Saul’s Road to Light. He heard the voice of Jesus, and that was ENOUGH! Saul did find in Christ his “All-in-All”! “Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.” (Col 3:11)
“For nothing good have I Whereby Thy grace to claim, I’ll wash my garments white In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.” True, Saul had no good thing to give, but his intentions were full of bad things – just like you and me before we heard that Voice. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” (Rom 3:10) By the way, grace is not something to be earned or purchased. Grace is the free gift of God. It is unmerited and undeserved mercy. The Prodigal Son (you and I) was covered with the finest robe his father had to offer to cover the filth of the pig sty. Imagine! You and I, too, are covered with the finest White Robe of Righteousness that Heaven has to offer – a Robe purchased at the immeasurable expense of the Blood of our Lord and Savior! The miracle of forgiveness – and that is what it truly is – is beyond our understanding. How can we wash our dirty rags of sin to a white splendor in the crimson blood of Jesus? Yes, and even whiter than snow? It is the red stains of His blood that bleaches out the black and sickening stains of our sin. He is our Lamb of the Passover!
“Lord, now indeed I find Thy power and Thine alone, Can change the leper’s spots And melt the heart of stone.” If we are depending on the slightest iota of our own power to cross Jordan Banks, we shall be drowned in the deep; for our power can avail nothing of salvation. He is the only resurrection power that acts as a magnet to pull up that metal of similar nature to Him. We will be like Him because we have taken on that Mind which was in Christ Jesus! The leper’s spots are blemishes in our feasts of righteousness that is made of sin. Given a White Robe each morning by way of repentance and forgiveness, it has horridly defiling spots by evening time. But Christ has made the Mercy Seat available to all who will plead their cause to their Advocate seated by the Father. The stony heart is cold and hard, but the volcanic fountain of Christ’s love will melt even that stone, and replace it with a heart of flesh upon which He has written His Table of Laws.
My dear friends, regardless of your present age and health, there awaits every reader of this devotion a room of dying determined by the will of God. When we are children, we believe, mercifully, that no such day and hour will come; but come it surely will, and not always at the expected moment. “And when from my dying bed My ransomed soul shall rise, “Jesus died my soul to save,” Shall rend the vaulted skies.” Please bear in mind that the Lord, our God, has reserved an escort for you at the moment of death – an escort of the angels of Heaven. It will be the first VIP escort for many of us. Notice the deference paid to the saint of God, as opposed to the sinner, at death. In the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus, we read: “22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;” (Luke 16:21-22) Remember the old negro spiritual: “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, Coming for to Carry me Home?” It was a band of angels that was coming after that dear old singer, and that band was coming to carry him home! “A band of angels coming a’ter me, jes’ a coming for to carry me home!” I hope I will meet that old gentleman beyond the stormy Banks of Jordan Waters. Jesus paid for our travel fare but we must accept the ticket!
“Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.” It is true! Jesus paid it all on that terrible instrument of torture called a cross. We can never give to God a single thing. All of Creation belongs to Him alone. But we can surrender our souls (which belong to Him) back to His loving care. We are able to surrender those souls because Jesus paid it all at Calvary! The crimson gashes of the whip made in Pilate’s paddock; the gaping and crimson wounds on His sinless brow made by the crown of thorns; the terrible and painful crimson wounds on His feet and hands made by the Roman nine-inch nails: and the horrific wound made by the spear to His divine and Holy side by the lancer which drains crimson blood and water – all were made to pay for the laundry bill of our crimson sins. His blood washes – not just white as snow – but WHITER than snow. Snow flakes are formed by the condensation of ice crystals about a particle of dust or smoke in the upper atmosphere. So at the heart of every snowflake is a particle of impurity. But the blood of Christ removes even that particle of impurity.
Please consider the gems of truth in a single verse of the Psalms: “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” (Psalms 51:7) Hyssop is a popular purgative in Asia. It cleans out the alimentary canal. It cleans the INSIDE of the body. If we are cleaned by God from within first, we shall appear every whit as white, and even whiter, than snow in the outward appearance. But if the filth remains at our core, the impurity remains in the heart.