Posted by: rcottrill | April 12, 2013

Wounded for Me

Words: William Gilbert Jones Ovens (b. May 31, 1870; d. Nov. 18, 1945) and Gladys Westcott Dobson Roberts (b. _____, 1888; d. 1983 _____)
Music: William Gilbert Jones Ovens

Links:
Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: A little about Ovens (“WGO” to his friends), and the background of the song, is told on the Wordwise Hymns page. He wrote the first stanza of this hymn to be sung as a simple chorus. Then Gladys Roberts added the other stanzas.

For years Mrs. Roberts was a mystery. No resource that I know of had information on her beyond her name and year of birth. There was even some question as to whether her middle name was Westcott or Watkin. (You will see the resolution of that below.) I’m indebted to a British correspondent for the following information, sent in January of 2013.

Gladys Dobson was born in Cricklewood, in England. In 1915 she married Mr. Watkin Roberts in Calcutta, where the two of them served as missionaries. They had two children: Ruth was born in 1916, and Paul was born in 1923. Mr. Roberts died in Toronto, in 1969, His wife in 1983. There is a small irony about that. I myself was living in Toronto in 1969, completing a Bible college degree. It’s possible I may even have met the Roberts at a conference, though I don’t remember doing so.

Simple as it is, this little hymn expresses some significant points of theology related to God’s saving work. The Christian can make the statements of each stanza with confidence, as being personally true of him or her.

1) Christ was “wounded for me” (CH-1). This has to do with a very long (six syllable!) word, used of the death of Christ. It was substitutionary. Christ died as our Substitute under the wrath of God. He bore sin’s penalty for us. “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities” (Isa. 53:5).

CH-1) Wounded for me, wounded for me,
There on the cross He was wounded for me;
Gone my transgressions, and now I am free,
All because Jesus was wounded for me.

A slightly different aspect of this is covered by CH-2. “Now in His death my redemption I see.” Believers have been “redeemed…with the precious blood of Christ” (I Pet. 1:18-19). Purchased out of the slave market of sin, and set free, in Christ. As Fanny Crosby puts it in one of her gospel songs, “Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it! / Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.”

2) Christ has “risen for me” (CH-3). A dead saviour would be no saviour at all. By His triumph over death, Christ not only confirms His identity (Rom. 1:3-4), He also demonstrates God the Father’s satisfaction with His payment for sin. “Now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead” (I Cor. 15:20-21; cf. vs. 14, 17). “O Death, where is your sting?…Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 15:55, 57).

CH-3) Risen for me, risen for me,
Up from the grave He has risen for me;
Now evermore from death’s sting I am free,
All because Jesus has risen for me.

3) Christ is now “living for me” (CH-4). “Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us” (Rom. 8:34). “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost [completely and forever] those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25). When we have need of mercy and grace, we can come before the throne of God and ask for it (Heb. 4:14-16).

CH-4) Living for me, living for me,
Up in the skies He is living for me;
Daily He’s pleading and praying for me,
All because Jesus is living for me.

4) Finally, Christ is “coming for me” (CH-5). This is the oft repeated testimony of the Scriptures. From the lips of the Lord Jesus Himself we have this promise: “”In My Father’s house are many mansions [dwelling places]; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (Jn. 14:2-3; cf. Acts 1:9-11).

CH-5) Coming for me, coming for me,
One day to earth He is coming for me;
Then with what joy His dear face I shall see,
O how I praise Him–He’s coming for me!

Questions:
1) It was a wounded soldier that gave William Ovens the inspiration for the song “Wounded for Me.” Can you think of other examples (in the Bible, outside of it) of one person sacrificing his/her life to save another?

2) If you had the ability to add another stanza to this hymn, what would be its theme:  “________ for me”?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal


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