FOR the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. (Leviticus 17:11; all scripture quoted is from the king James Version)
I could find little history of this hymn except in the tradition Korean Hymnal alone. (#144). The Korean hymnal ascribes the hymn to Fanny Crosby, but I do not believe that to be the case. There is no record in any of her notes concerning this hymn. It is more likely a hymn by Missionary John Underwood originally written in Korean and translated by him, as well, into English. It is a favorite hymn of the Korean Church. The tune is the same as ‘Near the Cross’ by W.H. Doane (1868). Since Doane wrote the music for many of Crosby’s hymns, it may have led others to believe that Crosby wrote this hymn which I do not believe she did. Any enlightenment will be appreciated.
Jesus Shed His Blood for Me
Jesus shed his blood for me,
bore, for our salvation
on his cross, the agony
of a lost creation.
Jesus, Lord, Jesus, Lord,
for my sins they slew thee.
Now by thy dear blood restored,
draw the sinner to thee.
For what crime should he be killed,
for his killers praying?
Mad, that mindless mob has willed
their Messiah’s slaying.
None there lives who does not know
sin, bloodied as crimson;
but the cross makes white as snow
all in Christ’s dominion.
Jesus, oh so fair art thou!
My good friend, my Savior,
thy grace, only, save me now,
and from hell forever.
Jesus shed his blood for me, bore, for our salvation on his cross, the agony of a lost creation. “The Life is in the blood” the Scriptures tell us. The life of every human being and every animal of flesh is in the blood. The Bible is the living Word of God, therefore the very blood of Christ is what animates that Word. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) This tells us the Word itself is ALIVE for ‘Quick’ means alive. There is only one organ of the body that is alive and not fixed in a stationery place – the Blood, and, yes, blood is considered an organ in the science of hemotology.
For what crime should he be killed, for his killers praying? Mad, that mindless mob has willed their Messiah’s slaying. There is something about this stanza that is absent some of the whole story of redemption. Yes, Christ prayed that His murderers be forgiven by the Father, but the will of the mob did not prevail. They desired to destroy the Messiah, but their actions only led to His resurrection victory, and ours as well.
None there lives who does not know sin, bloodied as crimson; but the cross makes white as snow all in Christ’s dominion. Jesus had not a drop of Adam’s blood in His veins. He had our flesh but His blood was sinless. This is pointed out in a book entitled Chemistry of the Blood by MR DeHaan, MD We all have the tainted blood of Adam coursing through our veins – and it is tainted with the sin disease. Just the very presence of our blood condemns us as sinners, but there is a Balm in Gilead. The blood of Christ washes our sins away so that we may appear white as snow.
Jesus, oh so fair art thou! My good friend, my Savior, thy grace, only, save me now, and from hell forever. Yes, our Lord Jesus Christ is fairer by far than ten thousand. His blood was freely given for the work of grace in salvation. There is no other means of salvation except by grace alone – never is salvation based on good works for even the plowing of the wicked is sin. (Proverbs 21:4) If you did not know, all are wicked and fall short of the glory of God “…there is none righteous, no, not one!” (Romans 3:10) Yes, Jesus is our Friend, but far more than that: He is our Savior/Redeemer and such a Friend as sticketh closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)
Jesus, Lord, Jesus, Lord, for my sins they slew thee. Now by thy dear blood restored, draw the sinner to thee. Do you remember the one whose place Jesus immediately took on the cross? It was the hardened criminal, Barabbas. Barabbas, like us, was under the sentence of death. Like us, he was a captive of his sins. And like us, Jesus took his place on the cross. I hope that Barabbas later came to know Jesus as His Savior in a greater sense than that of the physical death Barabbas would have suffered. Like many of us, Barabbas had no understanding of what Jesus did for him unless his eyes were opened after the event.
The sinner does not draw near to Christ – He is, as the hymn suggests – drawn to Christ by the working of the Holy Ghost. That Spirit works as a magnet to draw the soul whose properties are such as are drawn by the Magnet. Those souls which bear no image or resemblance of their Maker are like lead – they are not attracted by the Great Magnet.