"NAILED TO THE CROSS"
"Having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances…nailing it to the cross" (Col. 2.13-14)
INTRO.: A hymn which emphasizes the fact that we can have forgiveness of sins because of what Jesus did at the cross is "Nailed To The Cross" (#158 in Hymns for Worship Revised and #316 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text was written by Carrie E. (Mrs. Frank A.) Breck (1855-1934). A native of Vermont who spent most of her married life in Portland, OR, she gave lyric expression to her faith as she carried out the routine duties of her day. The tune was composed by Grant Colfax Tullar (1869-1950). A Methodist minister and evangelistic song leader, he cofounded the Tullar-Meridith Publishing Co. in New York City, NY, which was a successful music printing business. Mrs. Breck often sent her poems to Mr. Tullar so that he could provide music for them. Some of their most famous collaborations are the songs, "Shall I Crucify My Savior?" of 1896, and "Face to face with Christ, my Savior" of 1898.
"Nailed to the Cross" was first published by Tullar-Meridith Co. in 1899. The copyright was renewed in 1927 by Tullar but after 1943 was owned by the Broadcast Music, Inc. Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, it appeared in the 1921 Great Songs of the Church (No. 1) and the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2 both edited by E. L. Jorgenson; the 1935 Christian Hymns (No. 1), the 1948 Christian Hymns No. 2, and the 1966 Christian Hymns No. 3 all edited by L. O. Sanderson; the 1963 Abiding Hymns edited by Robert C. Welch; and the 1963 Christian Hymnal edited by J. Nelson Slater. Today it may be found in the 1971 Songs of the Church, the 1990 Songs of the Church 21st C. Ed., and the 1994 Songs of Faith and Praise all edited by Alton H. Howard; the 1978/1983 (Church) Gospel Songs and Hymns edited by V. E. Howard; and the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand; in addition to Hymns for Worship, Sacred Selections, and the 2007 Sacred Songs of the Church edited by William D. Jeffcoat.
The song reminds us of the blessings that we have because of the cross.
I. Stanza one says that all past sins can be forgiven
"There was One who was willing to die in my stead That a soul so unworthy might live,
And the path to the cross He was willing to tread All the sins of my life to forgive."
A. Jesus died in our stead: Matt. 26.28, Rom. 5.8, 1 Cor. 15.3
B. The purpose for His death was that we might live: Jn. 10.10, Rom. 6.2-3
C. And the result of this is that we can have forgiveness: Eph. 1.7, Heb. 10.17-18
II. Stanza two says that our present state can be that of no condemnation
"He is tender and loving and patient with me While He cleanses my heart of its dross,
But there’s ‘no condemnation;’ I know I am free For my sins are all nailed to the cross."
A. Jesus is tender, loving, and patient with us: Rom. 8.31-33, Heb. 7.25, 1 Jn. 2.1-2
B. Even now, when we sin, He is willing to cleanse our hearts: 1 Jn. 1.7-9
C. As a result, we can stand before God with "no condemnation": Rom. 8.1-2
III. Stanza three says that our future can be filled with hope
"I will cling to my Savior and never depart; I will joyfully journey each day
With a song on my lips and a song in my heart That my sins have been taken away."
A. Of course, this hope is conditioned on the fact that we must cling to the Savior and never depart: Heb. 3.6, 4.14, 10.23
B. But if we do that, we can joyfully journey each day: Phil. 4.4, 1 Pet. 1.8
C. And we can have a song on our lips and in our hearts, and can look forward to singing the eternal song of redemption, because of what Jesus did for us at the cross: Rev. 7.9-14
CONCL.: The chorus continues to stress the importance of the fact that Jesus Christ nailed our sins to the cross in the sense that it was there that He shed His precious blood as an atonement for them.
"They are nailed to the cross, they are nailed to the cross, O, how much He was willing to bear!
With what anguish and loss Jesus went to the cross! But He carried my sins with Him there."
This song has often been used to prepare for the Lord’s supper, and it is certainly an appropriate one to help us show the Lord’s death. And we should ever be thankful that Jesus was willing to bear the anguish and loss of dying for us that all which would cause us to be condemned before God might be "Nailed To The Cross."