4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
1 Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended,
that we to judge thee have in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by thine own rejected,
O most afflicted!
2 Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone thee!
'Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee;
I crucified thee.
3 Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered;
the slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered.
For our atonement, while we nothing heeded,
4 For me, kind Jesus, was thy incarnation,
thy mortal sorrow, and thy life's oblation;
thy death of anguish and thy bitter passion,
for my salvation.
5 Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay thee,
I do adore thee, and will ever pray thee,
think on thy pity and thy love unswerving,
not my deserving.
United Methodist Hymnal, 1989
This hymn was written by Johann Heermann, who, when he was young got quite ill. His mother promised that if he recovered she would train him up for the ministry. She needed to beg money in order to do so, but he was educated. He eventually made it to the University of Strausburg but health problems led to his return to Baudten.
His life was fraught with illness. He was born in Poland.
He eventually became deacon at Konen, and later was a pastor. He needed to stop preaching when he had an illness in his throat.
This hymn was written during the 30 Years when many folk where feeling introspective about their views. The original name of the hymn was Herzliebster Jesu and was translated into English by Robert Bridges. His own personal tragedies also led added insight into this hymn as he reflected on Christ's death and his own part in it.