“LEAD ME TO CALVARY”

Wayne S. Walker

“And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there
they crucified Him” (Lk. 23.33).

     INTRO.:  A song that reminds us of what happened when Jesus was
crucified on the cross for our sins is “Lead Me To Calvary” (#179 in
Hymns for Worship Revised”).  The text was written by Jennie Evelyn
Hussey (1874-1958).  Born into a family which had been Quakers for four
generations, she began to write poetry at a very early age and produced
approximately 150 hymn texts during her life.  This one was first
published in 1921 in “New Songs of Praise and Power, No. 3” of the
Hall-Mack Co.

     The book was edited and the tune (Duncannon) was composed both by
William James Kirkpatrick (1828-1921).  It was one of Kirkpatrick’s last
collections.  Hussey lived most of her life on the same family farm at
Henniker, NH, where she had been born, but much of her time was filled
with suffering and hardship due to the fact that she cared for her
invalid sister.  Toward the end of her days, she resided in the Home for
the Aged at Concord, NH.

     This hymn helps us remember what Jesus did for us by His death on
Calvary.

I. Stanza 1 focuses upon Jesus’ thorn-crowned brow as He hung on Calvary
 A. Although Jesus was crowned King upon His ascension back into heaven,
each individual figuratively crowns Him as King of his life by
acknowledging Him as Lord: Rom. 10.9-10
 B. As a result of Christ’s position as King, we should give Him glory:
Rev. 5.12-13
 C. As a cruel, mocking symbol of His kingship, He was given a crown of
thorns before His crucifixion: Mk. 15.14-20

II. Stanza 2 focuses upon the burial of Jesus following His death on
Calvary
 A. While Christ’s burial isn’t given the same spiritual significance as
either His death or resurrection, it is still recorded as a fact of
scripture: Lk. 23.50-56, 1 Cor. 15.3-4
 B. There were a few who tenderly mourned and wept for Him at His death:
Lk. 23.27-28
 C. We do not know if angels actually guarded Him while He was in the
tomb, but angels
were certainly there when He arose from the dead: Matt. 28.1-7

III. Stanza 3 focuses upon the resurrection of Jesus and the empty tom
which in essence validates His dath on Calvary
 A. Mary evidently refers to Mary Magdalene who came with the women early
that first day of the week with spices to anoint the body of Jesus: Mk.
16.1, Jn. 1.1-18
 B. While we cannot go to the literal tomb with a gift for Jesus, He
wants us to give Him our hearts in obedience and our lives in service to
Him: Matt. 22.37, Rom. 12.1-2
 C. And we can be reminded of this as the scriptures show to us the empty
tomb: Lk. 24.1-9

IV. Stanza 4 focuses upon the application of what Jesus means to us
because of His death on Calvary
 A. We must be willing to bear the cross of complete submission to
Christ: Mt. 16.24-26
 B. We must even be willing to drink the cup of suffering for Him in this
life if need be: Mt. 20.20-23
 C. And the reason that we must be willing to do this is because He has
already borne all for us by dying upon the Cross for our sins: 2 Cor.
8.9, 9.15

     CONCL.:  The chorus well states the very purpose of the entire song
as it asks the Lord to help us not to forget the love that was shown for
us in the suffering and death of Christ by leading us in our minds back
to Calvary.  We often use this song to prepare our minds for the Lord’s
supper, and it is a very appropriate song to do just that, but it can be
used at other times as well.  So, whenever I need help to face temptation
or soorw, and also on the first day of each week when I need to remember
Christ’s death by eating His supper, I should ask the Lord to “Lead Me To
Calvary.”

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