All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name – A Meditation on a Hymn

All hail the pow’r of Jesus’ name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
bring forth the royal diadem
and crown him Lord of all.

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Crown him, ye martyrs of our God
who from his altar call;
extol the stem of Jesse’s rod
and crown him Lord of all.

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Ye seed of Israel’s chosen race,
ye ransomed from the fall,
hail him who saves you by his grace
and crown him Lord of all.

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Ye Gentile sinners, ne’er forget
the wormwood and the gall;
go spread your trophies at his feet
and crown him Lord of all.

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Babes, men, and sires, who know his love,
Who feel your sin and thrall,
Now join with all the hosts above,
And crown him Lord of all.

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Let ev’ry kindred, ev’ry tribe
on this terrestrial ball
to him all majesty ascribe
and crown him Lord of all.

—————————–

Oh, that with yonder sacred throng
we at his feet may fall!
We’ll join the everlasting song
and crown him Lord of all.

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All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name is a hymn that declares the kingship of Christ.

The structure of this hymn is simple. The first verse begins with the command that goes out to all people “All hail the power of Jesus’ name”. Each verse then considers a group of people (or angels) who come and bow down to Jesus, the Lord of All.

The book of Revelation speaks of a scene in heaven where all the heavenly angels, all of the redeemed and all of creation fall down in worship and praise, lifting their voices to the King of Kings.

In this hymn we recreate this scene piece by piece, like a painter filling out an artwork.

First, we sing of the angels, those great powerful spirit beings, falling flat on their faces in honour of King Jesus.

As in the case in Revelation 6:9, the martyrs are in our scene. They cry out from under the altar “How long, O Lord, until you judge and avenge our blood”. “Jesse’s rod” refers to the coming judgement from King Jesus.

As we pick up the brush for verse 3, we sing of redeemed Israel. The remnant of Israel who trusted in the promise of the coming Messiah are saved by the same grace that we are will be in our painting of the multitudes praising Christ. It is a remarkable thing to think that we will sing Jesus’ praises alongside Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and countless other believing Jews.

We Gentiles are up next in the fourth verse. We will give gifts to our king as we remember the terrible sacrifice he paid to free us from our sins.

We need to add some more detail to our scene, and so we sing in verse 5 and 6 of how this gathering crowd included people of all ages. Children, did you know that you can join in honouring the King of Glory, Jesus Christ? Any one, of any age, who feels their sin and knows his love can join in this song. People from every tribe and tongue and nation add their harmonious voices to the rising tune.

And so we enter the final, climatic verse as we take a step back from the scene we have been painting and find a “sacred throng”, a great and awesome assembly, a majestic multitude all falling at Jesus’ feet and singing this everlasting song: “Crown Him, Crown Him, Lord of All”!

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