The last song in our series of music for Holy Week is “Ah, Holy Jesus…” written by Johann Heermann, a 16th cent. German Pastor. For ancient hymn texts it is a startling personalization of sin and Christ’s work on our behalf. Read more about this hymn at hymnary.org.
Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended,
That man to judge thee hath in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by thine own rejected,
O most afflicted.
Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone thee.
‘Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee:
I crucified thee.
Lo, the good Shepherd for the sheep is offered;
The slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered;
For man’s atonement, while he nothing heedeth,
For me, kind Jesus, was thy incarnation,
Thy mortal sorrow, and thy life’s oblation;
Thy death of anguish and thy bitter passion,
For my salvation.
Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay Thee,
I do adore thee, and will ever pray thee,
Think on thy pity and thy love unswerving,
Not my deserving.