THE ROCK IS JESUS
It was here at Caesarea Philippi that the scripture in Matthew 16 comes to life. He asked them, " Who do you say that I am?" and Peter replied, ' You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" and Jesus said " And I say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church and the gates of Hades will not overpower it."
I loved this place. It brings the scripture to life and I can just imagine Jesus and the disciples walking through the beautiful springs as they climbed toward the top of the hill where pagans offered human sacrifices to their gods. It was here that God revealed to Peter that Jesus was the Christ and HIS church would be built with power!
Now to the history of the song!
Edward Mote 1797-1874 was born in London to innkeepers that did not allow a bible in their home. As a teenager he was invited to church by a cabinetmaker he was working with and after hearing the gospel message he was converted. He eventually became a successful cabinetmaker and was active in his local church.
The words On Christ the solid Rock I stand/All other ground is sinking sand came to his mind one day as he was working and he added the verses as a poem.
As the wife of a friend lay dying he was called to come and visit with her. He read the poem to her and after each verse he repeated the words we know as the chorus, On Christ the solid Rock I stand/All other ground is sinking sand. The hymn was published two years later with music composed by William Bradbury.
In the original poem there was another verse that is not included in the hymn we sing today.
I trust His righteous character; His council, promise, and His power; His honor and His Name’s at stake to save me from the burning lake;
He died at age 77 saying, “I think I am going to heaven; yes I am nearing port. The truths I have been preaching, I am now living upon and they’ll do very well to die upon. Ah! The precious blood.”