Biblical References: Matthew 26:39, 27:32-56; Mark 10:45, 15:21-41; Luke 23:26-49; John 1:29, 6:38, 10:14-18, 19:16-30, 20:28; 1 Corinthians 15:3; Galatians 2:20; 1 Timothy 2:6
Tune: Attributed to William Croft, 1708; harmony by William Henry Monk, 1861 ("Our God, Our Help in Ages Past")
Text: Copyright © 1999 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Copied from Gifts of Love: New Hymns for Today's Worship by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (Geneva Press, 2000).
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org New Hymns: www.carolynshymns.com/
Hymn Use Permission: Gifts of Love: New Hymns for Today's Worship by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (Geneva Press, 2000) includes a permission note for those who own this book to use this hymn (along with the 44 other new hymns in the book) in their local church's worship services. People who do not own Gifts of Love are asked to contact Carolyn (email@example.com) for permission to use the hymn and to get a copy of the hymn formatted for worship bulletin use.
Father, Forgive Them is a hymn inspired by Jesus' Seven Last Words from the Cross.
Hymn Note for "God, What a Faith-Filled Mystery!"
A variety of biblical images help us understand the meaning of the atonement. These are summarized in the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s "The Confession of 1967": "God's reconciling act in Jesus Christ is a mystery ... It is called the sacrifice of a lamb, a shepherd's life given for his sheep, atonement by a priest; again it is ransom of a slave, payment of debt, vicarious satisfaction of a legal penalty, and victory over the powers of evil" (9.09). This Good Friday hymn lifts up many of these images, as we ponder the meaning of Christ's loving sacrifice for us.
Consider buying these books for yourself, your church library and your public library, where they have the potential of touching the lives of people you might never meet.
- The Death of the Messiah, From Gethsemane to the Grave, Volume 1: A Commentary on the Passion Narratives in the Four Gospels (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library) and The Death of the Messiah, From Gethsemane to the Grave, Volume 2: A Commentary on the Passion Narratives in the Four Gospels (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library) by Raymond E. Brown is the most in-depth study on the death of Jesus. Raymond E. Brown was Auburn Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and two popes appointed Father Brown as the sole American on the Pontifical Biblical Commission.
- A Crucified Christ in Holy Week: Essays on the Four Gospel Passion Narratives by Raymond E. Brown is a short summary of Brown's insights on Holy Week.
- Feasting on the Word: Year A, Vol. 2: Lent Through Eastertide edited by David L. Bartlett and Barbara Brown Taylor is the wonderful preaching resource that offers four views (theological, pastoral, exegetical and homiletical) by four different writers for each of the lectionary texts for each Sunday.
- Christians at the Cross: Finding Hope in the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus by N. T. Wright. This gifted scholar's insights are offered in this brief book.
- Thank God It's Friday: Encountering the Seven Last Words from the Cross by William H. Willimon is a popular preacher's sermons on Jesus' words from the cross.
- Cross-Shattered Christ: Meditations on the Seven Last Words by Stanley Hauerwas are reflections by one of the most influential writers on Christian ethics today.
- 24 Hours That Changed the World by Adam Hamilton is a gifted preacher's insights on the last twenty-four hours that Jesus lived before he died on the cross.
- The Seven Last Words From The Cross by Fleming Rutledge offers powerful sermons by a gifted Episcopal priest.
- The Last Week: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus's Final Days in Jerusalem by Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan brings two popular writers together again for their unique way of interpreting the Bible's most important week.
- Christian Doctrine by Shirley Guthrie. This book, originally written for an adult Sunday School class, became a bestselling overview of the Christian beliefs. Carolyn had it as a college textbook; it was later revised and it has been used for adult classes in two churches where she has been a pastor. This book has an excellent chapter understanding the Atonement.