Amazing Grace: 366 Hymn Stories

September 17

Words and Music by Philip P. Bliss, 1838–1876
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering … He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. (Isaiah 53:3)
A life of praise is not something that can be worked up. Rather, it is a remembrance and a response to Christ’s sacrificial death on our behalf. As we reflect on who Christ is and what He has accomplished for us, what He provides in our daily lives as an advocate before God, and what He has promised for our future, our hearts are melted before Him. We bow at His feet in humble adoration and proclaim with all sincerity, “Hallelujah, What a Savior!”
It is said that the word Hallelujah is basically the same in all languages. It seems as though God has given this word as a preparation for the great celebration of heaven, when His children from every tribe, language, people and nation shall have been gathered home to sing their eternal “Hallelujah to the Lamb!”
Philip Bliss, along with Ira Sankey, was one of the truly important leaders and publishers of early gospel music. Before his tragic train accident death at the age of 38, he wrote hundreds of gospel songs, many of which are still widely sung today. “Hallelujah, What a Savior!” is one of the best and most enduring of the songs produced by Bliss. The first four stanzas present Christ’s atoning work simply and clearly. The last stanza, “When He comes, our glorious King,” is in an entirely different mood, joyful and triumphant in its anticipation of the praise that will continue throughout eternity—“Hallelujah, What a Savior!”
“Man of Sorrows!” what a name for the Son of God, who came ruined sinners to reclaim! Hallelujah, what a Savior!
Bearing shame and scoffing rude, in my place condemned He stood-—Sealed my pardon with His blood: Hallelujah, what a Savior!
Guilty, vile and helpless we, spotless Lamb of God was He; full atonement! can it be? Hallelujah, what a Savior!
Lifted up was He to die, “It is finished,” was His cry; now in heav’n exalted high: Hallelujah, what a Savior!
When He comes, our glorious King, all His ransomed home to bring, then anew this song we’ll sing: Hallelujah, what a Savior!

    For Today: Isaiah 53:3–6; Philippians 2:7–11; Hebrews 12:2; 1 Peter 2:24

Carry your “Hallelujah, what a Savior!” with you into every situation. Reflect often on Christ’s atoning work on your behalf and the glorious promise of His return.

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