“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Looking back over all the songs I’ve written, I think “At the Foot of the Cross” and “Waiting” are the two that are the dearest to me. I wrote them both within a week of each other. It was a tough week. I think it goes to show the purification process going on.

In meditation of the cross, I remember writing in my journal (and I’d share it in concerts): “When we come to the cross it’s scary. Because when we come to the cross we see ourselves for who we really are and who we really aren’t, and it’s ugly. But when we come to the cross, we also see God for who He really is, and His love for what it really is. Completely full of justice to be sure, but full of compassion and mercy.”

So, this song is an honest remembering of my first-love. Not just in a static kind of way, but in a way of putting myself in that place again. Reminds me of what Giorgio Tiepolo wrote, “Anyone who does not fall in love with God by looking at Jesus dead upon the cross will never fall in love” (Liguori, 1997, p. 11). What many don’t know who have heard this song, is that it was such a hard song to write for me, it took me a while to be able to sing it without shedding a tear. In a way, I think it was one of the first songs as a songwriter where I actually wrote what I was trying to say.

At the Foot of the Cross
by Joel Bidderman

Have You brought me here
Among these rocks and thorns
Listening for the voice that I long to hear
Let this be my plea
Keep me on my knees
That I would not forget Your mercy

At the foot of the cross
I’m broken and I’m weak
At the foot of the cross
I lay everything

Oh Friend of mine
Once bruised, bleeding and torn
Let me not forget why You hung there
My iniquities You paid
My sin Your joy to bear
Your love that draws and holds me close to You
© 2000 Joel A Bidderman

Vocal & Guitar: Joel Bidderman
Vocals: Erin Parsons, Becky Thompson

Guitar: Joe Sanzo
Keys: Jake Parsons
Percussion: Fred Jacobs
Bowed Upright Bass: Candice Miracle

Liguori, A. (1997). The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. (P. Heinegg, trans.), Liguori, Missouri: Liguori Publications