“This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.” - Ephesians 3:6
In Paul’s writings, he regularly makes reference to the mystery of the gospel, which he was preaching to the gentiles. The mystery of how God would rescue a people for himself, from every tribe and nation. The mystery, fulfilled in Christ.
Drawing on this language, Matt Papa, Michael Bleecker, and Matt Boswell have penned ‘Come behold the wondrous mystery’. This song has become a new favourite amongst our church members. It is deeply saturated with the gospel message, with each of it’s verses tracing a different aspect to the ‘wondrous mystery’ of the gospel.
The first verse speaks of Christ’s incarnation; when the ‘theme of heaven’s praises’ came to earth ‘robed in frail humanity'. From there we progress to Christ’s perfect life in verse two, leading into his death in verse three. It is at this point that the song really shines, as the melody soars to emphasise the righteous lamb of God, hanging on the cross in victory. From the heights of victory, the song flows through to it’s end with verse 4, looking to Christ’s resurrection, and his return.
The song itself is extremely simple, with a tune that is very easy to pick up and sing.
When playing this song, I find paying attention to the lyrics is key. Particuarly in verse 3, dropping down to relative minor chords really emphasise the contrast between the seemingly failure at the cross, to the victory that is accomplished.
As a church we like to sing the second half of the final verse twice, underscoring and encouraging each other with the unwavering hope the gospel holds out to us, because of Christ’s resurrection.
This song is a great one to sing all year round, especially if you are working through Paul's epistles. It would also be a great song to sing at Christmas time, reminding us that the babe in the manger is the same King who redeemed his people.