O Praise the Name
w/m - Dean Ussher, Marty Sampson, Benjamin Hastings
I cast my mind to Calvary
Where Jesus bled and died for me
I see His wounds, His hands, His feet
My Savior on that cursed tree
His body bound and drenched in tears
They laid Him down in Joseph's tomb
The entrance sealed by heavy stone
Messiah still and all alone
O praise the name of the Lord our God
O praise His name forever more
For endless days we will sing Your praise
Oh Lord, oh Lord our God
Then on the third at break of dawn
The Son of heaven rose again
O trampled death where is your sting?
The angels roar for Christ the King
He shall return in robes of white
The blazing Son shall pierce the night
And I will rise among the saints
My gaze transfixed on Jesus' face
This is our new song for November. It’s another song from Hillsong from a few years back and like some of their songs, sounds more like an old melodic hymn than it does a typical modern worship song, and that is to its credit. One thing that many modern worship writers have not learned from the past is how to write a timeless melody, but once in a while, they get it right.
I cast my mind to Calvary where Jesus bled and died for me. I see His wounds, His hands, His feet, my Savior on that cursed tree. While this verse is not the most creative of poetry, I appreciate it any time someone writes about the work of Christ on the cross. There is no more appropriate subject matter for the church to sing, than the ultimate show of love by our Savior.
His body bound and drenched in tears, they laid Him down in Joseph's tomb. The entrance sealed by heavy stone, Messiah still and all alone. We look back at the friends and family of Jesus and wonder why they didn’t get it. He even told them plainly that He would be crucified and would rise again in three days. Still, crucifixion seems so final, and their tears were justified. The most horrible death had just been suffered by the most innocent man.
O praise the name of the Lord our God. O praise His name forever more. For endless days we will sing Your praise, oh Lord, oh Lord our God. This is a wonderful chorus, but if I were arranging the song, I would have sung the third verse first, then moved to the chorus. As the story is told, it lifts up joyous praise with Christ still in the tomb, but even in the tomb, He is worthy of praise for what He bore on that cross in our place… the wrath of God.
Then on the third at break of dawn the Son of heaven rose again. O trampled death where is your sting? The angels roar for Christ the King. Jesus, through His death and resurrection defeated death and sin. Sin still has power over most people, but for those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are saved from its penalty, its power, and one day its presence. This is something we could never do. Regardless of the “good” things we accomplish, they are as filthy rags with selfish and not God-honoring motives. Thank God for His work in making you alive while you were dead in trespasses and sins.
He shall return in robes of white. The blazing Son shall pierce the night, and I will rise among the saints. My gaze transfixed on Jesus' face. The word “Transfixed” is a difficult one to work into a song and have it flow, but it makes sense here. It gives the idea of being mesmerized by something, and if the face of Jesus Himself does not do it, nothing will. We don’t know when Jesus will return. It may be at night, but we do know that the world will be in darkness, not looking for His return. From that day onward, all the saints will continually, day and night, praise the name of the Lord Most High!
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.