Living, He loved me,
Dying, He saved me,
Buried, He carried my sins far away!
Rising, He justified, freely, forever,
One day He's coming,
O glorious Day!
Yesterday I sat in church for the first time since before Easter, and it was so wonderful to be back, worshiping our wonderful, loving God with His family. The choir special had this as the song's chorus, and tears ran down my face in joy and longing and gratitude.
My public readers don't know this, but I am currently in Orlando - I have been for a week - helping Mom. Daddy fell and broke his leg just before Easter, had surgery, and is not doing so well right now. He's 92 and doesn't bounce back as quickly as a younger person, but the past two weeks he's been withdrawn and not participated with his therapy.
Two years ago Thanksgiving, I thought it would be my last with my beloved Daddy; he was exhibiting some of the same symptoms - sleeping all the time, unresponsive - but we found out his medication needed to be adjusted, and I got my Daddy back. During that time, though, we could see him fighting to try and respond to our encouragements to wake up and he was still eating breakfast and dinner.
This time, Daddy doesn't seem to be fighting, and he's hardly eating at all.
This time may indeed be my last with my Daddy.
I pray this isn't so. I pray that God, in His infinite mercy and kindness, will let me have my Daddy around for several more years - but I also know that His answer may be "No, child, it's time for my beloved son, Harry, to come to me and be eternally healed."
And that's why I was so grateful for this song. It reminded me that Jesus has come and lived a perfect life, died to atone for my sin, risen to prove His effective and accepted sacrifice, and has given His grace and forgiveness to Daddy. Jesus stands at the right hand of God the Father, claiming Daddy as a son of the Kingdom. When it does come time for Daddy to die, I know he will behold the face of the Savior he has loved so much in this life. I know that Daddy will be fully healed: He will no longer live in a frail, weak body and his mind, currently afflicted by Alzheimer's, will be clear and restored - better, even, than what he ever had here.
When Daddy dies, he will go to a far better place.
But this place isn't for everyone. Those who die without accepting the gift of God's forgiveness through His Son, Jesus Christ, will not go to a heavenly reward, but rather to a hellish retribution. Rest assured, one day your sins will find you out, and they will be paid for, one way or another. Daddy and I have humbled ourselves before God, confessed our sin, and asked Him to deal with it all - and Jesus paid our debt. If Jesus is not your Lord here on earth, one day your knee will bend before His throne in Heaven, and you will be sent to hell to pay for your sins all by yourself - for the rest of eternity.
If Daddy could talk to you, here and now, he would urge you to accept the outstretched hand that Jesus offers you - because Daddy has always loved family, and he would love to fellowship with another brother or sister - you? - in Heaven!
UPDATE: Here are the full lyrics -
One day when heaven was filled with his praises,
One day when sin was as black as could be,
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin—
Dwelt amongst men, my example is he!
Living, he loved me; dying, he saved me;
Buried, he carried my sins far away;
Rising, he justified freely, for ever:
One day he's coming—O, glorious day!
One day they led him up Calvary's mountain,
One day they nailed him to die on the tree;
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected:
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is he!
One day they left him alone in the garden,
One day he rested, from suffering free;
Angels came down o'er his tomb to keep vigil;
Hope of the hopeless, my Saviour is he!
One day the grave could conceal him no longer,
One day the stone rolled away from the door;
Then he arose, over death he had conquered;
Now is ascended, my Lord evermore!
One day the trumpet will sound for his coming,
One day the skies with his glories will shine;
Wonderful day, my beloved ones bringing;
Glorious Saviour, this Jesus is mine!