Back in 2005 we produced an album called Worship God Live, a live album that featured Pat Sczebel and me each leading six songs. Pat serves as one of the pastors at Crossway Community Church, in Surrey, British Columbia. He’s been a dear friend for years.
Pat inspires me in many ways. He’s one of the most encouraging guys I know. He’s a caring husband, a faithful dad, a diligent pastor, and he has a heart for the lost. But most of all, I’m affected by his genuine love for Jesus Christ. Through a variety of circumstances, in want and fruitfulness, Pat’s love for the Savior has produced encouragement, hope, and faith that affects everyone around him.
One of Pat’s songs on this album is “Jesus, Thank You.” It typifies Pat’s life – a life of gratefulness that God sent his Son to endure the punishment we deserved and to reconcile us to God.
When he first sent the song to be considered for a Sovereign Grace project, it somehow got passed over. Later on, at a songwriter’s retreat, he played three songs that all needed some major work. He pulled out “Jesus, Thank You” again, thinking maybe it was better than the first response indicated. He was right. He did some more work on the song and produced a song that combines a clear statement of substitutionary atonement with our grateful response of love and obedience.
The original first verse went like this:
This mystery of grace I cannot comprehend
Why would You save a wretch like me
Why would the perfect holy One crush His only Son
For the worst of sinners Crucified
Good, but not great. It became:
The mystery of the cross I cannot comprehend
The agonies of Calvary
You, the perfect, holy One crushed Your Son
Who drank the bitter cup reserved for me.
And here’s the chorus:
Your blood has washed away my sin
Jesus, thank You
The Father’s wrath completely satisfied
Jesus, thank You
Once Your enemy, now seated at Your table
Jesus, thank You.
You can download the guitar chart here.
Last year at the NEXT conference, I had the privilege of leading “Jesus, Thank You” with the band Reilly. We sang it after CJ Mahaney had preached a message on the death of Christ from Mk. 15:33-39. Enjoy.
This is one of our church’s (and one of my personal) favorite songs! I praise God for His hand in crafting the song over time and allowing it to be produced…it has been such a blessing to many, including myself.
When my daughter joined Covenant Life Church and first introduced her father and me to Sovereign Grace Music, this song was one of the very first that she played for us. I had expressed concern over the whole reformed thing, wondering if it was academic and dispassionate….”Do they always refer to Jesus as “Christ” and not ever get personal with him?” She said, “Listen to this song, Mom.” Well, it certainly put my fears to rest, and quickly became my alltime favorite song. It has the perfect combination of objective biblical truth (the verses) and our heartfelt response to it in worship (the chorus). Bob, I think you call it letting our emotional fire be fueled by sound biblical doctrine. This concept has been life changing for me and my family. I’m so grateful to God that this song did end up on the album!
My husband and I absolutely love this song. It is one of our all time favorites from SG Ministries. The combination of truth and passion is wonderful, such a great expression of what is in our hearts. I often listen to this one over and over. I count it a great blessing if I get to sing this in a worship service.
Great song! A worship leader friend of mine showed it to me, and although our church hasn’t adopted it yet, it is one of my personal favorites from SG as well!
This was the first SG song I heard. A fellow worship leader attending Southern Seminary recommended that I listen to it. I’m thankful to God for the impact SG has had in my life and the ministry God allows me to lead.
Thanks for this song, Pat!
Thanks for this blog- great seeing how much work goes into your writing. Awesome song I look forward to using it in church.
This is one of our church’s absolute favorites as well.
“Once Your enemy, now seated at Your table” – what a great lyric and and even greater work of God.
Love the song. We sing it regularly in our worship with one little change to the lyrics. “The Father’s wrath…” is changed to “The wrath of God…”. Why? We thought that in the New Testament the name “Father” mainly signifies the First Person as reconciled, adopting and welcoming (Luke 15). Post-wrath, if you like. While we may not be technically correct (ie. the Father has always been the Father) we feel that the weight of the name Father is tilted toward love rather than wrath. I other words the NT speaks of the wrath of God but not, to my knowledge, of the wrath of the Father.
Either way it’s a good song. Thanks, Pat!
We appreciate this song in our church body as well. The melody is simple enough that the congregation can pick it up quickly allowing them to focus on the words and worship. The chord structure is flexible enough though that it allows us to play it “differently” each time keeping it fresh. I appreciate the bridge as well and how it allows us to build the song or even come back to it as a tag.
A top 10 non-hymn song from Sovereign Grace in my opinion. I plan to play this with acoustic guitar in an upcoming communion service pointing people to the cross until He comes :)
This is a favorite at our church. We also made a small change. “The mystery of the cross I cannot comprehend” became “The mystery of the cross I could not comprehend” – past tense. As it says in Colossians 1:26, this mystery is now revealed to his saints. As a Christian, this is an important distinction. I understand that the writer might be telling a personal narrative, moving from unbeliever to believer as the song progresses. However, in a church worship setting, we are worshipping God together as believers, already having received the riches of His glorious grace!
Thanks, Brian. Thanks for your encouraging words! Actually, the song is meant to be sung as a believer. The word “mystery” is being used here not in the Paul’s sense in Eph. 3, but in respect to the depths of Christ’s agony and the wisdom and mercy of God in giving his Son. Those are aspects of the gospel we will never fully comprehend, even in eternity, and will will spend endless ages exploring and praising God for!
Hi. I’m a little late to Sovereign Grace music but so thankful to find them for our worship time at our church. I love this song but I just cannot find any Scriptural basis for the phrase “once your enemy…”. I’m not being contentious I just want to find out where that phrase comes from. Enemy is a very specific term usually reserved for a specific biblical character. John 3:16 would not say we were enemies. I’ve done several searches in Scripture for how the term enemy could work. Would love to hear from Pat so we can use this song.
Hey,Greg! Thanks for your question. One place the thought comes from is this passage: “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” (Ephesians 2:1–3, ESV) If we were “children of wrath” then we were God’s enemies. We were opposed to his righteous rule in our lives. But now, because of his mercy and great love, we have been forgiven, reconciled to him, and adopted into his family. The very nature of needing reconciliation implies that we were at one time in conflict with God. Does that help?
Excellent. Totally helps. Thank you so much.