Christ My Song - 47
Wherefore weep we over Jesus - Weep not for me, but weep for yourselves (Carl Johann Philipp Spitta/Richard Massie/
Johannes Thomas Rüegg)
Weep not for me, but weep for yourselves.
1. Wherefore weep we over Jesus,
o'er his death and bitter smart?
Weep we rather that he sees us
unconvinced and hard of heart;
for his soul was never tainted
with the smallest spot of stain:
'twas for us he was acquainted
with such depths of grief and pain.
2. Ah! what profits it with groaning
underneath his cross to stand;
ah! what profits our bemoaning
his pale brow and bleeding hand?
Wherefore gaze on him expiring,
railed at, pierced, and crucified,
whilst we think not of inquiring,
wherefore, and for whom he died?
3. If no sin could be discovered
in the pure and spotless Lord,
if the cruel death he suffered
is sin's just and meet reward:
then it must have been for others
that the Lord on Calvary bled,
and the guilt have been another's,
which was laid upon his head.
4. And for whom has he contended
in a strive so strange and new?
And for whom to hell descended?
Was it not for me and you?
Now you see that he was reaping
punishment for us alone;
and we have great cause for weeping,
not for his guilt, but our own.
5. If we then make full confession
joined with penitence and prayer,
if we see our own transgression
in the punishment he bare,
if we mourn with true repentance,
we shall hear the Saviour say,
"Fear not: I have borne your sentence;
wipe your bitter tears away."
Richard Massie, Lyra Domestica I, 1863, 22-23.
(Slightly adapted: 3,7 orig.: and the guilt have been a brother's; 4,4 orig.: Brothers! 'twas for me and you!)
Translated from the German Weint nicht über Jesu Schmerzen - Weinet nicht über mich, weinet über euch
of Carl Johann Philipp Spitta.