Jesus, Thank You
w/m - Pat Sczebel
The mystery of the cross I cannot comprehend
The agonies of Calvary
You the perfect Holy One, crushed Your Son
Who drank the bitter cup reserved for me
Your blood has washed away my sin
Jesus, thank You
The Father’s wrath completely satisfied
Jesus, thank You
Once Your enemy, now seated at Your table
Jesus, thank You
By Your perfect sacrifice I’ve been brought near
Your enemy You’ve made Your friend
Pouring out the riches of Your glorious grace
Your mercy and Your kindness know no end
Lover of my soul
I want to live for You
While this song may be new to our congregation, it was actually written back in 2003 and is one of the best “Thanksgiving” songs I’ve heard. To me, it perfectly balances theology with a heart-cry of praise and thankfulness in response.
The mystery of the cross I cannot comprehend, the agonies of Calvary. Last week we ran across the line, “I'll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross.” Books have been written about the physical pain and torture Jesus endured. Even more books have been written on the spiritual anguish of Christ’s bearing the wrath of God for our sins, and yet, the knowledge of all it meant has not been exhausted. With our limited minds, we can only engage with the facts that have been revealed to us in holy Scripture, and humbly praise God for His mercy. You the perfect Holy One, crushed Your Son, who drank the bitter cup reserved for me. God is perfect in His justice, and even though it is not fair, God is also perfect in His mercy. The world accuses God of being cruel in crushing His Son, but while the wrath was a “bitter cup”, it was still holy.
Your blood has washed away my sin. Jesus, thank You. 1 John 1:7 tells us, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” Jesus was the sacrifice in our place. He was the “wrath-bearer”. Because of the work of Christ, God is no longer at enmity with us, He is now for us. That is what is meant in the next line, The Father’s wrath completely satisfied. Jesus, thank You. Sin must be punished. It must be paid for. Most people will choose to pay for their own sins for eternity, but for us who are saved, Jesus paid that debt on the cross. Once Your enemy, now seated at Your table. Jesus, thank You. We are now called to not only be bond-slaves, bought by God to serve Him, but are given a place at His table as sons and joint-heirs with Christ.
By Your perfect sacrifice I’ve been brought near, Your enemy You’ve made Your friend. One of the things I love about this song is that it continues to use Biblical language. Many writers attempt to exegete their own feelings and emotions and attribute characteristics and language to God that He has not revealed about Himself. Ephesians 2:13 says, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Romans 5:10 and Colossians 1:21 speak of our standing before God as enemies, alienated from God, who have now been reconciled to Him.
Pouring out the riches of Your glorious grace, Your mercy and Your kindness know no end. For His Children, God’s mercy will never end. His blessings continue with us every day working every circumstance in our life for only our good, both now and in His presence for eternity.
Lover of my soul, I want to live for You. Psalm 23 refers to God “restoring our soul.” The bridge of this song takes the theology of the verses and the heart-cry of the chorus, and boils it down to application. Proper theology will produce emotion, but it can’t end there. We must take the message of the gospel to the world, living out what He has worked in us. When we look at God in His Word, it changes us, we become more like Him and for that we should all say, Jesus, thank You!
Bill Itzel has been a worship leader and singer/songwriter for over 30 years and is based in Westminster, MD. His family tours and leads worship around the country. Bill and his family attend Belcroft Bible Church in Bowie, MD. This is a blog about congregational worship and the latest news in the The Itzel's ministry.