Hymn of the Month
Calvary Covers It AllEthelwyn Robinson Taylor
Walter Grand Taylor and his wife Ethelwyn, were the directors of the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago from 1918 to 1936. They were affectionately known as Pa and Ma Taylor.
One night in the early 1930’s, a dancer named Walter “Happy Mac” MacDonald, stumbled into a meeting at the Pacific Garden Mission. Comedian, Eddie Cantor, said MacDonald had the fastest feet in the world. Mac was talented, but he was also in bondage to sin, and addicted to alcohol. When an invitation was given for those present to trust in Christ as Savior, Mac did not respond. But, as he returned, night after night, workers gradually came to know more about him.
Ethelwyn Taylor watched Mac, and her heart went out to him. She prayed, “Dear Lord, please help us say and do the right things, so that we may win Mac to Thee.” Finally, MacDonald did seek counseling, and Ma Taylor listened as he struggled with his past. “You don’t understand,” he prayed. “You don’t know how bad I am, Lord. Really, I’m the worst man in the world. You can’t save me; I’m too bad.”
Mrs. Taylor recalled a message she had heard weeks before. Evangelist Percy Crawford had been a rebel in his youth. But one day he accepted Christ as his Savior. The theme of Crawford’s testimony was, “Calvary covers it all,” and Taylor shared those words with MacDonald.
He asked her to repeat them, and suddenly the light dawned. “Oh! Mrs. Taylor, I’m so glad it’s true, and you told me. Calvary does cover it all! My whole past of sin and shame.” The former entertainer trusted in the Savior that night in 1934 and lived to become an outstanding servant of Christ.
A few days later, Taylor went into the mission chapel, sat down at the piano, and created the words and music of a gospel song.
Far dearer than all that the world can impart
Was the message that came to my heart;
How that Jesus alone for my sin did atone,
And Calvary covers it all.
Calvary covers it all,
My past with its sin and stain;
My guilt and despair
Jesus took on Him there,
And Calvary covers it all.
We see this principle of a “covering” in operation in the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. The offering of a sheep or some other animal on an alter couldn’t really pay for the sins of a human being (Hebrews 10:4). It was only a temporary covering. Each of the thousands of sacrifices offered was an enactment of the principle of substitution—of the innocent dying in place of the guilty. And each one pointed forward to the final great sacrifice of Christ on the cross.
When a person laid his hand in faith upon the slain animal on the altar, it was “accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him” (Leviticus 1:4), as though it had died in his place. No wonder David cries, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered…to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity” (Psalm 32:1,2). Forgiveness was granted in anticipation of what Christ would do one day, when He offered Himself as God’s Lamb, dying for the sins of the world (John 1:29). The final provision for our sins and our reconciliation came at Calvary. Calvary covers it all!