As the week draws to a close, I’d like to consider a few hymns of the church that speak to Christ’s heavenly prayer ministry. I found this beautiful song in a 1955 Presbyterian Hymnal that found its way to me at some point. The hymnal holds a special place alongside my Baptist and Methodist hymnals, and I have found great delight as I have made use of its Scriptural and thematic indexes. Notice here that the second verse speaks of the ongoing priestly ministry of Christ in Heaven.
“Hail, Thou Once Despised Jesus”
Hail, Thou once despised Jesus, Crowned in mockery a King!
Thou didst suffer to release us; Thou didst free salvation bring.
Hail, thou agonizing Saviour, Bearer of our sin and shame!
By thy merits we find favor; Life is given through Thy name.
Jesus, hail! enthroned in glory, There forever to abide;
All the heavenly hosts adore Thee, Seated at the Father’s side:
There for sinners Thou are pleading; There Thou dost our place prepare:
Ever for us interceding, Till in glory we appear.
Worship, honor, power and blessing Thou art worthy to receive;
Loudest praises, without ceasing, Meet it is for us to give.
Help, ye bright, angelic spirits, Bring your sweetest, noblest lays,
Help to sing our Saviour’s merits; Help to chant Immanuel’s praise.
John Bakewell, 1757