We were not there when they crucified Jesus. We haven’t witnessed His sufferings and pain. But from the Biblical accounts, we’ve learned about His life, death, and resurrection. Also, there have been other ways by which such stories were diffused. One is through music. Many are those who were gifted with such musical talents. Gladly, these people use their God-given skills to spread His stories that are meant to lead them toward Him. Take for instance the song “When He was on the Cross (I was on His Mind)” that Ronald Michael Payne and Ronny Hinson wrote.
The song basically puts emphasis on the selflessness that Jesus has shown the world when He died on the cross. Both Payne and Hinson were used by God to convey one beautiful message that everyone ought to know. This message had led to the creation of the beautiful song. To ignite our awareness in the song’s message, let’s lend our ears to it first. Below is a rendition of the song, also known as “When He was on the Cross,” by The Paynes.
Song Writing Background
Mike Payne and his group were about to release their album called I’m a Jesus Fan. For that record, Payne planned to include a variety of songs and he’s looking for something like a slow ballad to add. He tried to search for ideas from different corners but to no avail. Until he and his wife, Loreen, went to a Shoney’s restaurant and bumped into Ronny Hinson. That was the night before their recording. As it happened, the meeting was a blessing of some sort. Payne then shared with Hinson his concern about recording a song with his wife the following day. But at that time, the couple didn’t have anything on hand yet. When asked about what he’s working on, Payne said,
“Well, I have an idea about the theme for a song — when He was on the cross He was thinking about me.”
Payne went on to further elaborate his thoughts about the tune. He wanted to tell in the song that when Jesus was on the cross, He saw everyone standing around Him. Jesus saw their needs but didn’t stop there. He looked into the future and saw the many generations to come. He thought about them and saw their needs too.
Before Payne fell deeper into his thoughts, Hinson shortly cut him saying,
“Instead of saying, ‘When He was on the cross He was thinking about me,’ why don’t you say, ‘When He was on the cross, I was on His mind.’”
Payne was so impressed with Hinson’s idea and he liked it instantly. So, both decided to sit down and put a song together as per Hinson’s suggestion. Trying their best not to disturb Loreen’s sleep, the two discussed and wrote the song quietly. Both were able to express what’s in their hearts and minds through their composition. When the morning broke through, their new song was already complete. That same morning, all three headed to the Hilltop Studios for the song’s recording.
The Song’s Success
During the recording, Hinson thought the song is a perfect record for The Florida Boys. He was very optimistic that “When He was on the Cross” would be the next top gospel song for the group. Although Payne was able to include the song on his new album, it went to reach greater heights with The Florida Boys. Hinson’s depiction did come true. The song became No. 1 on the charts and was named the song of the year twice – in 1985 and 1986.
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