Hymn-Theology: Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted

“Stricken, smitten, and afflicted, See Him dying on the tree! ’Tis the Christ by man rejected; Yes, my soul, ’tis He, ’tis He!

Thomas Kelly – “Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted” 1804

Good Friday is a convenient time to reflect on the indescribable sacrifice, inhumane cruelty, and blasphemous attacks on Jesus all of which He willingly endured in order to be the propitiation for our sins.

Again, not having grown up in church, I first heard this song via a rendition by Fernando Ortega in the early 90’s, at which time, the lyrics hit me like a brick over the head. These words still choke me up a bit as it describes the of the suffering on the cross.

This particular hymn, all lyrics considered, does a particularly good job at summarizing Isaiah 53. The stanza I’m focusing on today comes from Isaiah 53:4.

Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. Isaiah 53:4

He was beaten to a pulp, whipped 39 times with a cat of nine tails, ridiculed, had His beard ripped out, a crown of thorns smashed upon His head, and was forced to carry His cross to the place of execution.  That story is told in just a few words:

Stricken, Smitten and Afflicted

See Him dying on a tree!

Our soul does bear witness that He is the Christ, rejected by mankind, and for a time, rejected by me.

It is an amazing thought: God came and took on human form in order to bear our griefs, carry our sorrows, and atone for our sins. Our repayment for this demonstration of love was to esteem him stricken, smitten, and afflicted.  Surely, this is grossly unequal.

For Thought & Discussion:

All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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