“O teach me what it meaneth,
That Cross uplifted high,
With one the Man of sorrows, Condemned to bleed and die!
O teach me what it cost Thee To make a sinner whole;
And teach me, Saviour teach me, The value of a soul!
Lucy Ann Bennett
What is the value of a man’s soul? Is there some intrinsic quality that makes his soul valuable? Ah! Yes, he was created in the image and likeness of God. But is that sufficient to make his soul of any value? Is man not a fallen creature, who is dead in sins and trespasses; a child of wrath and son of disobedience, whose throat is an open sepulchre? What possible value could such a soul have? I venture to say NONE! The value lies not in man but the One who gave Himself for him. The price that was paid for the redemption of man is not proof of his worth but proof of the astounding magnificence of God’s great grace and mercy in redeeming vile sinners and making them joint heirs with Christ! There aren’t words lofty and weighty enough to describe it.
This hymn writer I believe, sought to know the depth of the riches of God’s wisdom and knowledge in the display of his grace. He who declares that He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, has redeemed her from His wrath to come, and so she must sing. And I must as well.
The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, said upon the restoration of his senses that ‘all inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing.’ Those are the submissions of a man who by the gracious workings of God, ceased to be a rebel. He once thought himself mighty, but now knows he is but a creature.
Are those your submissions as well? Then there must be a persistent seeking of the One who has saved us with so great a salvation. There must be a never-ending giving of praise to the Saviour who shed his precious blood for the remission of our sins and who made us new creatures. There must be constant contemplations on and admiration of the great truths of Scripture. There must also be love for all the redeemed who make up the church that the Saviour has undertaken to nourish and preserve to the very end. And lastly, there must be a compelling compassion for all those presently sold under sin, who lack any consciousness of their miserable estate. These ones must need be told of the Cross uplifted high, and the Man of sorrows, acquainted with grief who hung on it.
Lord teach us indeed what these things means……
Might the Lord grant that we understand these deep things so often taken for granted, and that in our understanding, we may grow in our knowledge and love for Him. To Him alone be glory now and forever. Amen.