James Koerts and I have teamed together for the first time to produce a new hymn and octavo entitled Draw Near through Christ. The choral arrangement is being released this fall as part of SoundForth’s ChurchWorks Choral Series. The hymn version will be released at ChurchWorksMedia.com soon. I’ll announce both when they’re available. In the meantime, I thought I’d introduce the song with the demo recording of the octavo, which has been a blessing to me in my private worship. You can download it here.
The theme of the hymn is access to God, which Scripture often attaches to cherubim, the guardians of divine sanctuaries. Immediate access was enjoyed in Eden but lost through the fall (symbolized by cherubim keeping sinners out of Eden’s sanctuary; Genesis 3:22-24). Access was still unavailable in the OT Tabernacle and Temple (symbolized by cherubim being sewn into the veil and formed on the mercy seat, still barring sinners from the Most Holy Place; Exodus 26:31-33). Access was finally regained for us by Christ’s atoning death (symbolized by the veil being torn, making a new and living way through which we can again draw near to God; Matthew 27:50-51; Hebrews 10:19-22).
I’m indebted to Allen P. Ross, whose book Reclaiming the Hope of Glory helped me to “connect the dots” from Eden, to the Tabernacle, to Calvary, and ultimately to the New Jerusalem. I commend it to you.
The doctrine of access to God being regained by the Lord Jesus Christ—our perfect Temple, Priest, and Lamb—is one that has become especially dear to me, coming up often in my preaching and prayers. I hope this song will help make it dear to others, as well. Grace.
Draw Near through Christ
In Eden’s bliss we walked with God
Unhindered by the curse.
Yet we rebelled and were expelled—
Estranged; alone; perverse.
Two mighty cherubs barred the path
To Eden’s holy place;
No more could men, now stained by sin,
Behold our Maker’s face.
Beneath the Law we sought the Lord
Through sacrifice and priest.
One time each year one man, in fear,
Sought God with blood of beast.
Still mighty cherubs blocked the way
So sinners could not pass—
In curtain sewn, on golden throne,
They stopped the rebel fast.
Then Christ appeared to clear the way
To God for sinful man;
Fulfilled the Law without a flaw—
Our Temple, Priest, and Lamb.
Astounded cherubs stepped aside;
Each hid his flaming sword.
With nail and thorn the Veil was torn;
Draw near through Christ the Lord!
In Jesus’ name we boldly come
Before the throne of grace.
With empty hand, in Christ we stand
To seek Almighty’s face
Till saints and cherubs join in awe
Around the Savior’s throne.
With one great voice we will rejoice:
“All praise to Christ alone!”
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