I have to admit that I love it when great, old hymns get a lot of attention because they're "covered" by a contemporary Christian band. In this case, we have Casting Crowns to thank. Their version of this hymn, in a new tune setting, is called Glorious Day. But it's not a "new" song, it was first published 100 years ago, in 1911. New or old, traditional tune or contemporary version, this great hymn tells the gospel story. And it's something that is good to be reminded of, even though we think we know it well. It is encouraging to sing these words and to remember the promise that one day He's coming - indeed, what a glorious day it will be!
We'll look at this hymn verse by verse over the coming days, spending thoughtful time considering the scriptural truths so that we don't miss anything that the Lord has for us.
The first two lines of this hymn really get me thinking, and really make me thankful. Jesus left His home in heaven, where everyone and everything was praising and adoring and worshiping Him, to come to earth, which was the most sin-filled place in the galaxy! The world was dark in sin - it was as black as it could be.
But God gave us hope - hope in the person of Jesus Christ who is the light of the world.
"I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."John 8:12
He left heaven to become a human and live here on earth among us.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Because He has lived among us, He has experienced everything that we will face. That is incredibly encouraging to me! Christ is our example. We are to live as He lived, just as He taught us. Jesus Himself tells us that He is our example, and the scriptures are full of exhortation to us, instructing us how to live in light of the example Jesus set for us.
If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. John 13:14-16
When we see Christ as our example, and we know His suffering, we will not grow weary in enduring what He sets before us. We must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3
When we keep our eyes on Jesus, we see the result of His obedience to God. He has sat down at His right hand! He endured the cross and what a great reward! When I consider that, it keeps me from losing heart.
For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. I Peter 2:21-24
Peter reminds us that God has called us to this purpose - to follow the example of Christ who suffered for us. If you are suffering, keep your eyes on Jesus! And entrust yourself to the one who judges righteously.
Dear God, I thank you for sending Jesus and I thank you that He is my example. Help me to keep my eyes on You and my hope fixed on the glory that is to be revealed when Jesus comes again. Thank You that because of Jesus' sacrifice, I am dead to sin and alive to righteousness! In Your name, Amen.
Words by J. Wilbur Chapman
One day when Heaven was filled with His praises,
One day when sin was as black as could be,
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin,
Dwelt among men, my example is He!
Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me;
Buried, He carried my sins far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever;
One day He's coming, O glorious day!
One day they led Him up Calvary's mountain,
One day they nailed Him to die on the tree;
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected:
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He!
One day they left Him alone in the garden,
One day He rested, from suffering free;
Angels came down o'er His tomb to keep vigil;
Hope of the hopeless, my Savior is He!
One day the grave could conceal Him no longer,
One day the stone rolled away from the door;
Then He arose, over death He had conquered;
Now is ascended, my Lord evermore!
One day the trumpet will sound for His coming,
One day the skies with His glories will shine;
Wonderful day, my beloved ones bringing;
Glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine!