After writing the song “Mercy’s Throne”, we knew that it would be the title track for the album. Lyrically, stylistically, thematically… it’s just different from the other tracks. It also turned out to be our friendliest song to congregational singing. We’ve only sung it twice at our worship services so far, but I can’t wait to sing it again for our upcoming Good Friday service, because this is a song about, and for, Good Friday.
The Purpose in the Poetry
The five songs that make up “Mercy’s Throne” are ordered to tell a story. “Jesus Save Us” walks us through the fulfillment of prophecy and Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem. “A Greater Plan” brings us into the upper room of the last supper and connects the passover feast with the ordinance of Communion. “Let this Cup Pass” captures the sorrow and obedience that were present as Jesus prepared for his death. “Mercy’s Throne” focuses in on the crucifixion of Jesus, and “Believe He Lives” celebrates the resurrection. There is background and context (Jesus Save Us, A Greater Plan), there is conflict (Let this Cup Pass), there is a climax (Mercy’s Throne), and there is resolution (Believe He Lives). In this way, the album is a complete work that tells a single, already compelling, story: The last week of Jesus’ life. Make no mistake, the story of redemption has been written by a Master and, as artists, we will be able to tell and retell it forever.
In the same way that the album tells a story, the song “Mercy’s Throne” puts a spotlight on the atoning work of Christ at the cross. Each verse in this song builds off of the last. Verse One places us at the scene, Verse Two expands on the conflict, Verse Three has the climax of Christ’s death, and Verse Four resolves the conflict with our salvation purchased by Jesus’ death.
What is Good about Friday?
The day that Jesus died is the most significant day in all of human history. It is the day that God’s plan to save his people from their sins came to pass. In Jesus, we see the suffering servant of Isaiah 53 laying down his life to accomplish the will of the Father (Isaiah 53:10) by pouring out his soul to death, and bearing the sins of many (Isaiah 53:12). Just like we did for “Let this Cup Pass,” I want to break down “Mercy’s Throne” to show the important places where our lyrics intersect scripture.
With a crown of thorns upon His brow - Matthew 27:29, Mark 15:17, John 19:2
See the Son of Man as He bleeds and bows - Mark 10:45, Mark 15:15
Bearing every Sin on His faultless frame - 1 Peter 2:24
Trading righteousness for our robes of shame - Isaiah 64:6, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 3:21-26, Galatians 3:13
Now the soldiers lash Him with their whips - Matthew 27:26
Hear the crowd with murder on their lips
Cry to crucify God's only Son - Matthew 27:22, Luke 23:21
He would wear the pain that our sin had won - Colossians 1:22, Matthew 27:46
Oh the cross of Christ is mercy's throne - Romans 5:8
Where the Lamb of God would for sin atone - Revelation 5:9
Our deliverer was delivered up - Acts 2:23
He has purchased us with His holy blood - 1 Thessalonians 5:9, Acts 20:28
Taking wretched steps to Calvary's hill
Feeling every nail that would hold and kill - John 19:17-18
He was lifted high for the world to see
Jesus' final breath was our victory - John 12:32-33, John 3:14, John 8:28
So the LORD was lowered down to rest
in a borrowed tomb where He tasted death - Matthew 27:57-60
Dying once for all the saints to save - Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 5:25-27, 1 Corinthians 15:3, Hebrews 10:14, Titus 2:14
and for three dark days He was in the grave - Matthew 12:40, 1 Corinthians 15:4, Matthew 28:5-6
Our Sin, Nailed to the Cross
One of the hopes that we had in writing this song was that it would help all of us stop and feel the weight of what Jesus did for us. We wanted a song that would proclaim Christ’s triumph at the cross, but would do so in a sorrowful and reverent way.
13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14)
We were dead in sin. We had no hope.
And then, at the right time, Christ cried “It is finished!” (Romans 5:6-8, John 19:30)