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It's ok with me!

What kind of king (This is Jesus)

Added 5th March 2018


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What kind of king is crowned with thorns
or robed in nakedness and shame?
So cruelly beaten, mocked and scorned,
he bears the weight of all our blame.
What kind of king would stand condemned,
though innocent of every crime,
in silence, offer no defence
and take the place that should be mine?

What kind of king would choose to die,
yet three days later rise again,
to win for us eternal life
and heal and free us in his name?
And now this king is glorified,
though still adorned with wounds of grace,
and, reigning at the Father’s side,
receives the angels’ endless praise.

This is Jesus, our redeemer:
paid the ransom for our sin.
This is Jesus, risen saviour,
everlasting King of kings.

We know our king will soon return
to right the wrongs of history
and satisfy all those who yearn
for love to have the victory.
And then our king will wipe away
the tears of pain from every face;
oh how we’re longing for the day
when we’re received in his embrace.

King forever, robed in splendour,
victory is yours.
Now and always we will worship,
Christ, our risen Lord.

No other king deserves my all
for he alone was sacrificed;
Lord Jesus, I will heed your call
and give my heart, my soul, my life.

Where did you get the inspiration for the song?
The original inspiration for the song came from a fantastic series of Bible teaching given by Dr Paula Gooder at a UK Christian festival called Spring Harvest, in 2017. Over five mornings she expounded John 17 and amongst other points explained that in John's Gospel, the idea of "glory" is most often associated with the cross, not with the resurrection/ascension as we might expect. The paradox of utter humiliation, pain and death being considered glorious (because of what it accomplished) profoundly struck me and led to the first line: "what kind of king is crowned with thorns?". The rest of the song grew out of that initial idea.

How did it develop during the writing process?
Musically the verse melody went through a major rewrite when another writer helpfully pointed out that I'd fairly directly (though unintentionally)  lifted the tune of another, very popular, worship song of the moment! Lyrically it went through many different revisions, especially the chorus, which proved extremely difficult to get right. Trying to encapsulate the central truth: "this king - this suffering, dying, rising, glorified king - is Jesus" in 30 syllables was hard! As always the other Resound writers gave helpful suggestions and critique along the way, for which I'm grateful.

What would you say is the main message of the song?
Jesus is King. A king who willingly suffered and died for our sake; a king who surrendered his rightful authority and made himself defenceless, so he could be our eternal defence; a king who conquered death by dying; a king who one day will be revealed in glory as the true king of the whole world.

Can you imagine it being used in different ways in church?
The recording was made with a full band and would definitely work that way in church, perhaps as part of a longer set of songs. However, I have also used the song with just keyboard accompaniment during Communion, which gives space to contemplate the physical reality of all that Jesus suffered as we take bread and wine. The final verse / tag section also gives opportunity to respond with personal commitment to all that Jesus has done, so could work as a response to sermon on that theme.

Any tips for how to play/lead it?
Firstly don't be fazed by the changing time signature! The verses are effectively in 7/4, but because the melody rhythm is absolutely consistent throughout, this can simply be "felt" rather than worrying about counting the beats. It's quite a similar rhythm and feel to Matt Redman's classic "Lord let your glory fall", which also has verses in 7/4 and a chorus in 4/4, so if your church music team has ever led that song, they should be fine with this one.

Secondly if you are leading with a full band then I'd recommend keeping some musical dynamic in reserve for the bridge section - it works well if the accompaniment can really "explode" at that point.

Finally, in the writing process there were questions asked about whether the song really needs the final verse / tag section. I like it (which is why it's still there!) but it's not completely essential to the song, so if you feel it works better finishing after the bridge, or perhaps returning to a quieter chorus to finish then go for it. 

Thoughts? Comments? Questions?
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Trevor Poulter at 07:13 on 6th March 2018