Song Story: Unto You


Sometimes, writing a song is fast and furious.  A Child in Your Arms was written in less than three days!  But other times, you really struggle and labor over a song.  Unto You was written from that kind of work.  Many days, after spending a full nine or ten hours working, my husband would sit at the piano and stay up late working on this song. 

The goal behind Unto You was simple; how do you write a song that gives the story of the gospel in one coherent musical expression?  How do you write a song that shows the great depth and sacrifice of what the Lord has done for all of us?  Even though it seems simple, that challenge is immense. 

As I watched Steven work on this song, I was overwhelmed by his tenacity to really do the gospel justice.  This song began with the melody you hear in the beginning, and from there he began to meditate on the phrase “Unto You” as a central point for the song. 

The song begins with the perspective of Mary and Joseph.  After centuries of children’s plays and nativity scenes, it’s easy to forget that Mary and Joseph were probably frightened and maybe even faced social hostility because of the coming Messiah.  Initially, from the outside looking in, it would’ve been so hard to accept this special message from the angel.  That Mary would be with child outside of wedlock was probably a difficult thing for her to accept.  But, the angel also told Mary to rejoice!  The Redeemer was coming!

As Jesus grew into a man, He began to be noticed as a healer and a great teacher.  The entire time, He knew his fate. He knew the very ones who threw palm branches at His feet would yell “Crucify!” just a few days later.   

One of my favorite lyrics from the entire song speaks of Jesus being “Pierced by others’ guilt and shame / More than nails that held his hands and feet.”  Sin was the reason Jesus was on the cross, and for that we are all guilty.  The first several times we sang this song together at the piano, it was difficult to sing that line without tears choking our voices. 

When we meditate on the fact that our own personal sin put Him on the cross, it can be overwhelming.  Remembering, He isn’t just anyone.  He is the perfect, holy one.  He is the last one who should have ever had to endure suffering.  The very one who was at creation, placing the stars in their proper place, is who we nailed to the cross. 

But Jesus lifted His head and begged for the forgiveness of those around Him even in His suffering.  He surrendered to the intense punishment as an act of obedience to His heavenly Father and out of a deep abiding love that He has for His children.  If you remember nothing else from this song, please know, the love that Jesus has for you is deeper than you can ever imagine. 

And then the song begins to change.  Steven spent more time working on this bridge than any other section of the song.  This is the climax, the most important moment.  Jesus won.  He beat the grave, and He lives!  Nothing is more important than Jesus rising from the dead.  It is the very center of our faith, and the very heart of this song.  The meter changes, the key changes…. Jesus changes everything!!!

And then, through tears of joy we begin to understand.  Once Jesus is inside you and you look out at what He’s done, you can’t help but want to surrender right back to Him.  Our innocence has been restored.  Jesus has made something new.  May every breath, my heart, my joy, my soul; be an offering unto You. 

May the Lord bless you and keep you, and we pray that this song draws you ever closer to Him. 

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder.  And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
— Isaiah 9:6

Listen to Unto You now »