HAIL, THOU ONCE DESPISED JESUS!
John Bakewell, 1721–1819
He [God] raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:20, 21)
The author of this worshipful and strongly doctrinal hymn text presents a vivid contrast between the shame and suffering of Christ’s earthly life and the greatness of His eternal glorification. We must never forget that the infant Jesus has moved on to take His place as the reigning Lord. Often at Christmas we become very sentimental about His lowly birth, or at Easter saddened as we recall His suffering and death. Sometimes our emphasis upon Christ’s earthly ministry causes us to lose sight of His eternal deity. The Bible reminds us that “because Jesus lives forever, He has a permanent priesthood. Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them” (Hebrews 7:24, 25).
John Bakewell was a zealous lay evangelist who was associated with the Wesleyan movement during the mid 1700’s. Something of the character of this man is indicated by the tribute on his tombstone in a grave site located in the same area where John Wesley is buried in London, England:
Sacred to the memory of John Bakewell, who departed this life March 18, 1819, age 98. He adorned the doctrine of God, our Savior, and preached His glorious gospel about 70 years. “The memory of the just is blessed.”
* * * *
Hail, Thou once despised Jesus! Hail, Thou Galilean King! Thou didst suffer to release us; Thou didst free salvation bring. Hail, Thou agonizing Savior, 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 Thy Father’s side: There for sinners Thou art pleading; there Thou dost our place prepare, ever for us interceding till in glory we appear.
Worship, honor pow’r 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 Savior’s merits; help to chant Immanuel’s praise!
For Today: Isaiah 53:3–6; Luke 24:26; Ephesians 1:18–22; Revelation 5:6–14
Lift your heart to the One who was slain but now liveth again—our Savior evermore. And because of His unchanging priesthood, He is ever accessible to us through prayer. Worship Him with these musical lines—
Osbeck, K. W.
- He is despised and rejected of men: he is a man full of sorrows, and hath experience of infirmities: we hid as it were our faces from him: he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely, he hath born our infirmities, and carried our sorrows, yet we did judge him as plagued and smitten of God, and humbled. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was broken for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes are we healed. All we like sheep have gone astray: we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:3–6
- Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? Luke 24:26
- That the eyes of your understanding may be lightened, that ye may know what the hope is of his calling, and what the riches of his glorious inheritance is in Saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us, which believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every Name, that is named, not in this world only, but also in t hat that is to come. And hath made all things subject under his feet, and hath given him over all things to be the head to the Church, Ephesians 1:18–22
- Then I beheld, and lo, in the mids of the throne, and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the Elders stood a Lamb, as though he had been killed, which had seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God, sent into all the world. And he came, and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the horse. And when he hath taken the book, the four beasts, and the four and twenty Elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one harps and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of the Saints, And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof, because thou wast killed, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation. And hast made us unto our God Kings, and Priests, and we shall reign on the earth. Then I beheld, and I heard the voice of many Angels round about the throne, and about the beasts and the Elders, and there were ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousand thousands, Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was killed, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and praise. And all the creatures which are in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Praise, and honor, and glory, and power be unto him, that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for evermore. And the four beasts said, Amen, and the four and twenty Elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for evermore. Revelation 5:6–14