As similar as it is to its predecessors, the sophistication of this composition clearly surpasses that of Cranach
This issue’s woodcut is an imitation of Lucas Cranach the Elder’s 1529 painting, “Law and Grace”
We are not allowed to imagine the woman’s sin or judge the menacing crowd. Instead, we are forced to confront our own sin, and the merciful face of our Savior.
Christ is risen, and we preach Christ crucified (1 Cor. 1:23). His body is glorious, but it is glorious precisely because this is the body that suffered and died for us.
The message is dramatic. We find the Kingdom of Heaven not in leaving the world behind, not in mystical experience, not in the intercession of saints, but in our local congregation.
But this little hymn book, tucked on a bottom shelf between two wealthy and respected men whom nobody remembers—this little hymn book changed the world, and the Church continues to sing hymns from it to this day.
The grace of Christ defies human wisdom and the self-trust that comes so easily to adults. When confused and at a loss, the best course of action is to listen reverently to Jesus and believe what He says.