Hymns for Holy Week and their Story

“O Perfect Life of Love”

March 05, 2023

This text by Sir Henry Williams Baker (1821-77) first appeared in the 1875 edition of “Hymns Ancient and Modern”.  As he himself has admitted, few of his hymns abound in joy, for he leans toward tender sentiments of Christ’s love seen in sadness.   Baker centers his hymn on Christ’s sixth word from the cross, “it is finished” [John 19:30].  
In verse 2-4, Baker draws upon the song of the Suffering Servant of the Lord in Isaiah 53:10 “it was the will of the Lord to crush Him”.  The justification of the sinner before God begins with the Father’s will, to which the Son freely follows.  It is not enough that we hear that Jesus Christ truly suffered and died, but we must also listen to the Good News that His Passion is “for me” [vs. 5]. 

O perfect life of love! All, all, is finished now,
All that He left His throne above to do for us below.

LSB 452

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